By Emily O’Connell
Hello blog readers! As a second year leader, I have read this blog countless times. Reading the blog was typically how I ended each of my days while on trip. Thanks to the vicissitudes of fate, however, I’ve hopped off of my bike and joined the office crew for the rest of summer! So, without further ado, I am excited to present what is the first of many blogs written by yours truly! Out there in the field, it’s a big, final full day for a whole bunch of trips – our Pacific Coasters, Montanans, NWXers, and AXers are all in their finest duds, looking forward to (or remembering, in the case of AX) a big final meal, and collecting that last souvenir before the big flight home tomorrow. Our other trips are living the dream – let’s check it out!
Maine Coast Junior (MCJ2):
Leaders Rosa and Dixie are pitching tents and looking forward to getting to know their gang – gathering in Freeport later this afternoon. With these two at the helm, our MCJers are in for a fun-filled seven days! No picture by press-time, but we’ll have plenty to share tomorrow.
Cape Cod and the Islands (CI2):
Our Capers took to the high seas again today, transiting from the Vineyard over to Nantucket. They’re exploring the cobble-stoned streets, checking out the Murray’s Reds on offer at the Toggery, and celebrating a very special birthday. Not a bad way to pass a Thursday!
New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC1):
After some paddling yesterday, these guys headed to Portland to celebrate their last night together. It’s hard to believe it, but today the NEMC1 group bid farewell after a fabulous ten days together. Time flies!
Vermont to Montreal A (VM2A):
Jessi and Jonathan’s Vermonsters rode through the heart of the Green Mountain State today! They cruised right through downtown Middlebury and Middlebury College (Go, Panthers!).
Vermont to Montreal B (VM2B):
Freddie and Anna’s group crushed their mileage today – including “the Wall,” the largest hill of the trip! Their spirits were high as they completed the 22 miles of today’s ride and are now camping at a beautiful lakeside campground.
Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX2):
John and Erinn’s group spent their second day on the water today – and they had a picture-perfect day for paddling. Our hearty DEXsters group is embarked on their community service portion of the trip cleaning up the islands of Isle au Haut Bay. Not a cloud or worry in sight!
California Mountains and Coast (CMC):
Way out in California, Matt and Midge’s gang had a big morning paddling back to the mainland after their two-night kayaking adventure. Now they are heading for the hills and Yosemite-bound!
Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA):
Our friends in the Caribbean competed 5 hours of service today! They spent the day helping with trail maintenance along the Tanama River. This area is one of the most remote and wild on the island – the group got to see some pretty spectacular sites!
Montana Service Adventure (MSA):
Today the group spent their last full day together in beautiful Whitefish. They got to spend the whole day exploring a classic western town and celebrating the many accomplishments of their trip. Annika and Christian’s crew will have a great dinner out and then spend their final night as a group!
Northwest Explorer (NWX):
Will and Becca’s NWXers got to do a slightly different type of exploring today as they traded their hiking boots for sneakers and sought out Seattle’s many sites – including Pike’s Place and the flagship REI. As they wandered the city, they spent the day reminiscing about their last their many adventures over the last 19 days. They’ve got a big final dinner on tap for tonight!
Pacific Coast A (PC1A):
San Francisco! After arriving in the Golden Gate City yesterday, the PCA crew had the entire day to explore the city. They saw many classic San Fran tourist sites – from bubble tea in Chinatown, to ice cream at Ghirardelli Square, to counting the sea lions at Fisherman’s wharf! The gang can’t believe they are heading out tomorrow morning!
Pacific Coast B (PC1B):
Sherry and Mike’s group also spent the day wandering through San Francisco. The city is pretty hilly, but probably seemed like nothing to our now professional riders (you should see the calves on these people!). They will celebrate their final night together with a dinner at an awesome restaurant right in the city!
Alps Explorer A & B:
The TMB is done, the glacier has been explored, the Matterhorn is but a pointed memory, and our AXers were sadly considering the long States-bound flights slated for tomorrow morning. They commiserated by joining forces and swimming in Lake Geneva before big Swiss dinners!
Europe Coast to Coast A (ECCA):
Making their way through Germany’s Black Forest, Jeanne and Kirk’s gang hit the road this morning with 84-km of hilly riding in their sights. They had some tough climbs, but rolled into camp in Tuttlingen in fine form! They’re at a very simple campground tonight – so no wifi to send us a picture, but Kirk reported that all was very well (particularly after a re-route that cut out one of the nastiest little hills of the day…).
Europe Coast to Coast B (ECC B):
We’ve got a slew of ECCB pics for you today after yesterday’s dearth. Posie and Postyn’s group enjoyed a true rest day in the charming town of Schiltach today – that meant relaxing, refueling, and laundry….. And a birthday!
America Coast to Coast (ACC):
Mia and Chris’ Continent Crossers are off the bikes in Jacksboro, Texas today. The group got to sleep in, cook some great food, and relax as they prepare to conquer the rest of Texas. Today marks the traditional halfway mark for these guys, too – they celebrated with yummy America-themed cake (it’s half an American flag cause they’re halfway!)