August 12th – Four Trails Update

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All of our Four Trails villages are out of camp and on their final adventures! It’s an exciting time for us as we see the campers settle into the comfort of their village and begin to push themselves toward higher goals and toward overcoming greater obstacles. Here’s how they’re doing:

Shaw village’s most recent in-camp time was a highlight of our session (and theirs!). They spent some time with Veronica in the garden learning more about the many uses of herbs and how we use our garden for more than just food. Yesterday, they packed their bags and hopped on bikes toward Tamworth, NH, where they camped for the evening before heading out this morning toward Laconia, NH. You might like to know that the first piece of “trail booty” (found objects) they found alongside the road was a child-sized doll wearing overalls—they sent us pictures! So now they have a new passenger/mascot with them for their travels.

Flag village’s in-camp time was productive and exciting for the in-camp community. Their work blazing new trails above the waterfall has been used for the past several days by the Pioneer campers as they went on their overnight adventures. In addition to their in-camp service, they worked hard to prepare for their hiking trip and on the morning of their departure, they were able to get out of camp and on their way the fastest of any group we’ve seen all summer. They stayed last night at Gentian Pond Lean-to and they’re looking forward to walking the stunning and open Goose-Eye Ridgeline tomorrow.

Chocorua and Nesuntabunt villages continue their hike through the Saddleback and Bigelow mountains. In the past two days, both groups have had their resupply where they were restocked with all the food, fuel, and amenities (including toilet paper!) they will need for their last stretch of hiking. As I write this, I’ve just spoken with Nesuntabunt and they have a mile of rolling uphill to reach Crocker Cirque Campsite which has a bubbling and cold stream in which they can rest their tired feet. Chocorua is spending the night at Horns Pond Lean-to where a glacial pond offers some of the best swimming on this stretch of the Appalachian Trail.

On an entirely different kind of trip, Katahdin village has spent the last two days in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park and are continuing their journey down the Maine coast toward Merrowvista. They biked an impressive 46 miles today and will take on 57 miles tomorrow on their way to Wiscasset, ME. We know that they’ve been enjoying late summer sunsets and ice cream and we can’t wait to hear more about all the wonderful times they are having.

Our Voyageurs are enjoying similar coastal sunsets over the Atlantic and are making great progress down the peninsula toward Yarmouth. It’s all about the miles for Voyageur Men who have made it to Digby already (all the way from Cape Breton) a distance of nearly 650 kilometers (219 miles!).They have about 100 kilometers to go to reach Yarmouth, where they will catch the ferry with Voyageur Coed. The coed Voyageurs have enjoyed a more leisurely pace, now on the south shore where they have snapped beautiful photos of lighthouses and coastal cliffs. Tomorrow they’ll stay in Pubnico at a beautiful location alongside the beach and near an ice cream shop.

As of today, both Odyssey groups have left the 100-Mile Wilderness and will be entering Baxter State Park, and in a couple of days, both groups will summit Mt. Katahdin! Both groups were able to enjoy some ice cream and hot chocolate at Abol Bridge Campground to celebrate their last few days on trail. They have several rest days at the base of Katahdin where they will rest and wait for the perfect weather and time to summit the mountain. It will be a long day for both groups, but it will be well worth it. In a couple of days, we will send out the drivers to pick up these accomplished campers and we can’t wait to hear firsthand of their adventures.