Day 34: The Beginning of the End? End of the Beginning?

Penultimate Day in July greetings to you all!  Chad here – Susie’s been on a blog tear lately, but she’s got the day off, so you’re stuck with me!  As usual, we have a lot going on out there – let’s make the rounds, shall we? 

CI:  Challenge Day on Nantucket – oh, yeah!  These guys crushed their 40-mile day like it was no one’s business – and even had a bit of pyramid-making mojo left out there at the Siasconset lighthouse!

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beachA little post-Challenge Ride oceanside reflection.  It’s good for the soul.

NEMC:  The accomplishments were similarly huge on our NEMC trip.  Today, Mount Washington.  Did it.  No problemo.


IMG_4879Allllll the way up at the top!  Yeah, cars – we walked up!

VMA & B:  Both of our Vermont groups are living the off-the-grid dream today.  Noah and Rosa’s group is on the shore of Lake Champlain for the first time tonight – they’ll spend a lot of time along it’s gorgeous shoreline over the next few days.  Meanwhile, Matt said that their own group morale is very high today as they enjoy a beautiful evening on the other side of the Middlebury campus in Branbury, VT.  For those not in New England, it is a beeee-youtiful night all over the northeast tonight…  We should have pictures from both groups tomorrow.

CQA:  Lizzie and Ben’s group is way, way up there in Quebec now, and just a day away from the city itself.  In case you’re wondering, yes, Leader Ben is displaying a stars-and-stripes fanny pack (that plays music, no less…).  Stay classy, USA! 


CQB:  And looked who crossed the old Am/Can border today?  Posie and Postyn’s group are deep in the land of la lingue Francais and Le Mac Grande.  These guys are a mere 24 hours or less from the hostel in Quebec!

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photo 1Thanks very much, but we’re still going to the right!

DEX:  The good news is that it was a stunningly beautiful day to climb Mount Katahdin.  The bad news is that we have no picture from the summit to prove it. We’ll get more pictures from from these guys as they make their way south tomorrow during their last full day (!) together, but in the meantime, here’s the one picture we did get from this morning, pre-Katahdin.


CSA:  Meanwhile, we do have plenty of pictures from our buddies down on Vieques.  As an aside, if Puerto Rico is La Isla del Encanto, then Vieques is La Isla de Muy Encanto – it’s a pretty special place.  Dylan, Hannah and their Service Warriors worked alongside peers from Vieques at the local high school before enjoying an authentic Puerto Rican meal and a trip to the locals’ favorite secret beach.  Morale was, in a word, high.

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CMC:  On the first full day of their trip, our CMCers are throwing themselves into it – they hit the water for three days of paddling in the the protected waters of Tomales Bay.  They made for a bright spot on an otherwise foggy Pacific morning!


IMG_1697Rainbow over/under foggy Point Reyes….

PCA:  I tell you what, friends, our leader Ally is winning the staff photography contest this year.  Every day she outdoes herself with these Pacific Coast shots.  I mean – just check out this redwoods shot!  And the panorama shot is also breathtaking.  Bravo, Ally!  Bravo, PC!  Bravo, nature!

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IMG_1822Lunch in another breathtakingly beautiful seaside spot?  Why, if we have to, I suppose…


NWXA:  Kelly and Garth are now deep in the woods in North Cascades National Park – and they’re going to be there until Sunday!  We shouldn’t hear anything from them before then.  Picture alpine streams, snow fields, and sunsets over the mountains that bring tears to your eyes – that’s where they’ll be hanging out.

NWXB:  Meanwhile, from the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound, we have a report of “hot stone massages” on the beach.  Nice.  Frankly, the ol’directors back here at HQ could use one of those right about now…  Mia and Jeremy sound terrific – they’re coming off of the water and hitting the showers tomorrow.

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ACC1:  Today is Nick and Alexis’ very last, final, there-are-no-more, no mas rest day until they hit San Diego next week!  Given that, the group made sure the day lived up to billing….


ACC2:  A bit to the east, it was no armchair lounging for Mike an McKayla’s group – just miles and miles of gorgeous scenery as the group made their way toward the aptly-named Pine, AZ this afternoon.  They’ll be enjoying the same lounge chairs in Prescott this time tomorrow…


ECC:  And it really is the beginning of the end.  All of our Europe Coast to Coasters flew off from Venice’s Marco Polo airport today.  It was 1200 plus miles from Amsterdam to Venice, through the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, (a very small corner of) Switzerland, and Italy.  An amazing trip – and David and Anna were so sad to see it end early today.