Day 33 – The Hour Draws Nigh

We’re coming to the tail end of the summer, Devoted Reader. In fact, one set of fearless leaders, Drew and Rachel, currently of Downeast Explorer fame, will be wrapping it up for the year when DEX concludes in Freeport tomorrow. O, how bittersweet is the passing of time! But beauty would not beauty be if beauty did not fade, right? Indeed.

OK, melancholic rhapsodizing concluded for the afternoon, let’s get to the field!

No news from the Cape today, but Lucas and Danika’s group are back on the Cape proper and looking forward to surfing on Friday, while Chrissy and Wyatt’s group are on Nantucket, doing their best to blend in with the J. Crew crowd in their bike short-tans and helmets.

Up the Coast, the aforementioned, soon-to-conclude Downeast Explorer trip rolled through Brunswick this morning after coming off of the Appalachian Trail and down from Katahdin. Drew’s two-plus week beard is looking fantastic — and, more importantly, the group had a successful hike up and down Mt. Katahdin yesterday. The conditions were so perfect that they were able to hike the famed, and feared, Knife Edge Trail down. Very much in need of showers after so much time in the woods, the group was headed to Freeport to clean up before a big dinner out in Portland tonight.

Both of our Coast to Quebec groups were racing towards the city today. Corley and Andy sent me the below shot from the St. Lawrence river ferry on the way into town (with apologies to the poor fellow cut out on the left…). Both groups will be enjoying all that the city has to offer over the next day or so before heading home on Friday.

Much closer to home, our New England Mountains and Coasters were in town today, too, as they headed out Harpswell Neck to do a few hours of community service with the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust. The group spent their afternoon doing the very helpful, but decidedly unglamorous, work of pulling weeds out of the Trust’s headquarters property. But after they’re done, it’s off to their campground by the Bay — with a great swimming beach and sea-kayaking to look forward to tomorrow.

Both groups out on the California coast are continuing to crush the miles. In between idyllic coastal vistas (see Lidia and Alex’s group below), the groups find time for mail call (witness the gruesome aftermath in the second shot below…).

And our Coast to Coasters are cruising into Prescott, Arizona this afternoon. In Prescott, they’ll enjoy their very last day off of the bikes tomorrow before the last, touch push to the beach. In Prescott, too, the group will be doing their community service project with the Boys and Girls Club — sharing their cross-country stories with the kids and putting on a bike-safety clinic, as well. Cait sent in the below shot just before the group took on a huge descent — only to find it leads to a huge 9-mile uphill… But with the exception of the small matter of the Mojave Desert, they can almost taste the salt in the breeze!