By: Kelly, Izzy & Jack
It’s a bittersweet day here in the office – while many of our trips are hitting their stride, others are wrapping up all over the world. So, from Acadia to Yosemite, from Seattle to Geneva, let’s say “Hello,” “Goodbye,” and “Keep crushing those miles!” to our friends in the field…
Maine Coast Junior (MCJ2): This crew swapped their boots for bikes this morning, and took on the famous carriage roads of Acadia National Park. Their final afternoon on Mt. Desert Island was spent exploring the quaint town of Bar Harbor. After exploring the park, both on foot and by bike, it’s time to head south tomorrow for some sea-kayaking and community service.
Cape Cod & the Islands (CI2): Our Capers spent their full “Challenge Day” exploring everything Nantucket has to offer. After covering almost 20 miles of ground around the island, they still had enough time to hang at the beach – who could ask for more?
Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA2): CSA had a busy day today, traveling to their accommodations for the next few nights, volunteering at the local wildlife refuge, and trying their hand at surfing during the day. Their new home is notorious for having enormous iguanas lumbering around the property and sunning themselves, so they’ll have to keep their eyes peeled for the prehistoric creatures! Through it all, they still found time to play a game or two. For the uninitiated, the first two pictures depict a wildly entertaining game called “Captain’s Calling.”
Vermont to Montreal (VM2): Our VM crew swapped their bikes for kayaks this morning and hit the open waters of Lake Champlain. Careful to avoid any run-ins with the infamous “Champ” (Lake Champlain’s rumored sea monster), they enjoyed the paddle before hopping back in the saddle to bike the rest of the way to camp. After today’s full body workout, you can be sure they’re looking forward to making the most of tomorrow’s rest day.
Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEXA2): If past trips and current weather are any indication, DEXA woke up to the crash of the waves, the cry of gulls, and glistening waves. They likely spent their last day on the water island hopping and also cleaning up beaches as they went. We can’t wait until they’re back on the mainland and able to send us pictures on their way to their next adventures – Acadia National Park!
Maine’s Downeast Explorer B (DEXB2): This group of Downeasters said goodbye to one of Maine’s jewels this morning as they woke up before the crack of dawn to summit Cadillac Mountain. From the summit of Cadillac they were among the first on the eastern seaboard to see the sun peek over the horizon line. After a cozy nap on the peak they hopped in the van and pointed themselves North, towards Bangor, their resting stop for the night before continuing along to the Appalachian Trail and the start of their backcountry portion tomorrow.
Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS2): It was another great day of Spanish classes in the morning and service in the afternoon for this aptly named “Language & Service” group (we’re sure their great day had nothing to do with the location…). Diving into Costa Rican heritage with their lessons today, the students are preparing to celebrate Guanacaste Day tomorrow – Costa Rica’s annual celebration of the annexation of Guanacaste province in 1824. Although traditionally held on July 25th, the teachers wanted a chance to show the students what it’s all about while they share their last day of class together. Fiesta time!
California Mountains & Coast A (CMCA2): An early wake up and a paddle back to shore started the day for our CMCA crew. Once saying hello to the mainland and all its amenities (we’re clearly talking about the spiral slide here), the group road-tripped (and selfied) east towards Big Trees State Park, where they’ll put their hiking boots to good use in the days to come. How did Big Trees get it’s name? Something tells us we may get photographic evidence tomorrow…
California Mountains & Coast B (CMCB2): Meanwhile, our CMCB crew waved goodbye to civilization as they headed into the backcountry today. Over the next few days they’ll enjoy some of the most majestic – and isolated – views Yosemite has to offer. The only downside to being off the grid? No blog pics… sorry folks!
Montana Service Adventure (MSA1): It was a bittersweet goodbye for our Montana crew today. After nearly three weeks together, cycling over the plains and mountains of the “Treasure State,” all their bags were packed and they were (maybe) ready to go. Though leaving on a jet plane, they’ll have their memories, photographs, and this eternal blog to help them remember all their laughs along the way!
Northwest Explorer (NWX1): Our Northwesters bid fond farewells and went their separate ways this morning. In the last three weeks together they’ve explored the backcountry – where roads don’t go – in two different national parks, rafted the white waters of Washington State, and spent time sea-kayaking and island camping in the San Juans. Next stop? Space! Wait, the Space Needle isn’t actually a space ship, you say. Hmmm, maybe next year.
Pacific Coast A & B (PC1 A & B): Nearly three weeks and 600 miles later, it was finally time for our Pacific Coasters to head home. With bags packed and bikes no longer their mode of transportation, the groups shared final hugs and said their goodbyes. The silver lining? For the first time in a long time, they can look forward to a night tucked into their own beds!
Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX1): After hiking some of the most challenging and picturesque sections of the West Highland and Great Glen Ways, this group has seen some of the best Scotland has to offer. And while some might say that “The best laid schemes o’ mice and men / Gang aft agley,” there’s no doubt this group has persevered, through rain (though no snow, nor sleet, nor hail) and swarms and tough terrain. They used their last full day to rest and rejoice, before flying homeward early this morn’.
Alps Explorer (AX1): Whether it was Semisonic’s “Closing Time,” NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye,” or Edward Sharpe’s “Home,” we can only assume a farewell song was in order this morning, as our Alps crew said their final goodbyes after three weeks together exploring the Alps. By now, we’re sure Will and Becca are staring longingly out their hostel windows, stargazing and somberly humming Sir Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”
Europe Coast to Coast (ECC): Tim and Mia’s ECC crew rode an impressive 75 kilometers to Strasbourg today. They conquered some big elevation changes before reconnecting with flatter terrain towards the end of their day. Due to it’s location close to the border, Strasbourg is a hub of Franco-German cross-culture. This also means that ECC will pedal into Germany for the first time tomorrow!
America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): We’re pleased to report that, with fresh legs after yesterday’s rest day, Abby and West’s team made fantastic time into camp today. It’s still hard for us here in the office to believe that 68 miles is a relatively easy day for these San Diego-bound folk, but one thing we can agree on is that Texas is a BIG state, and now these guys have just two more full days of riding until New Mexico.
America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): Today’s ACC2 blog post inspiration comes from an office favorite: Taylor Swift’s New Romantics. After 95 hot miles today, Dixie and Lucy’s team can agree with T Swift when she tells us, “Everyday is like a battle,” but their persistence is evident and tomorrow’s rest day will be their reward for another rock-solid week of riding. Taylor’s wise words continue to resonate, as these guys are “too busy [biking] to get knocked off [their] feet.” Keep up the good work, friends!