Day 34: Keeping It Simple

By: Annika Nygren

Day 34: Now that Pun Day Monday is said and done, I promise to go back to the basics today and keep this post short, sweet and to the point. No more getting fancy for me for a little bit. Our leaders are enjoying lovely weather all over the world and we are excited to report many smiling, happy faces! Let’s dive in, shall we?

Cape Cod and the Islands (CI): What a gorgeous day to be on NantucketI Island! Emily and Will’s group of beach goers tackled their challenge ride today of 35 miles and took these awesome shots along the way!

IMG_1533Apogee jerseys and game faces ON.

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New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC): Matt and Midge’s group summited Mount Pierce today! A beautiful day for a hike, but unfortunately, not a lot of service in the area so we will have to wait until tomorrow for our beloved NEMC pictures. And if you ask me, yesterday’s pictures will forever put a smile on one’s face!

Vermont to Montreal (VM): A nice ride with rolling hills today! Our Vermonsters enjoyed the beautiful scenery in addition to conquering the biggest hill of the trip, also known as: The Wall!

California Mountains and Coast (CMC): First day of two and a half out on the water! Emma and Dylan’s group have started their 48 hour sea kayaking adventures. Unfortunately they couldn’t catch service before heading out, so we will have to wait another day until we can see pictures from these sea adventurers.

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA): Working hard in the rain forest today! Will and Lucy’s group spent the morning digging irrigation ditches and will be spending this afternoon checking out some caves!IMG_3034.JPG

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Coast to Quebec (CQA): Mike and Mary texted me this morning to say that they enjoyed a delicious breakfast to celebrate their arrival to Quebec City after sleeping in a little! Enjoy your day of exploring guys, you made it!!!IMG_7634

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557-MMS-1406650648-attachment1-IMAG0180Coast to Quebec (CQB): After today, Pete and Sherry’s group will be going their separate ways back home and to the delicacies of real beds and home-style cooking. They are pumped to be exploring the city they worked so hard to get to and having one last final dinner on the town tonight!IMG_4176

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Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 11.47.52 AMI spy some sweeeeet bike short tan lines

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX): It’s hard to believe Marino and Erin’s group only have one day left together! They are exploring the wonderful land that is Freeport, ME and going out for a final dinner tonight in Portland! It will be sad to see these hiker-kayakers  go!IMG_8185

Montana Service Adventure (MSA): Another day of riding on the wide open plains on the way to Dupuyer (pronounced “Daah-poo-yer”). Today’s ride brought Hannah and Opie’s team by a Dinosaur museum! Otherwise, it was just 14 people, 28 tires and some great views all the way into camp!

IMG_1250Guys – we went through this with another group last week so you should know better – there is a GIANT dinosaur right behind you! This is not the time for pictures!!

Northwest Explorer (NWX): Back country, back country… oh glorious, glorious back country! Izzy and John’s group are enjoying their first full day and are pictured below at the trailhead right before their journey. Today’s hike was on the shorter side and they will be increasing their mileage as the days go on! We shouldn’t hear from them until Sunday!20140729_101325

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Pacific Coast (PCA): Out of the Redwoods and onto Eureka! Tonight (and tomorrow’s – woooo rest day!) campground has a pool, hot tub and showers! Talk about luxurious!Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.55.00 AM

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 5.25.11 PMPacific Coast (PCB): Surfing yesterday, Redwood forest riding today! Kate and Trevor’s group had an awesome time riding the waves yesterday in addition to riding their bikes through some pretty epic (and tall!) scenery.Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.59.27 AM

Alps Explorer (AX): Once again, Jack and CC have graced the blog with gorgeous blog photos! They took some time at Le Brevent to soak in the majestic views of Mont Blanc, front and center, and the town of Chamonix far below! It was very, very rainy there over the last two days so we’ve got them out of the elements and tucked in to a charming little gîte (yeah, that’s a jazzy french circonflexe accent) in Les Houches tonight.  With better weather in the forecast, they’re onward and upward tomorrow!IMG_7632

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IMG_7629Group hugs seem to be a theme amongst this crowd…

IMG_7627Cable car selfie!!

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America Coast to Coast (ACC1): Their last pre-SD day off is  being well spent in Prescott, AZ! They bought team socks, explored town and our heading back to the motel for some swimming, laundry and chilling! Just six more days until their big arrival in San Diego!! Can you believe it?! IMG_6151                                                 Silly souvenir shopping as modeled by Josh and Laura!

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America Coast to Coast (ACC2): Sam and Ally’s crew celebrated their one month anniversary last night with some sparkling cider, everything brownies (and I mean everything- cookie dough, oreos, and then brownie batter) and a delicious dinner! Tonight, they’ll be tucked in to Pine, Arizona.

IMG_9981There they are, in all their glory.

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IMG_6586A toast to day 30!

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Well, that about wraps it up for Apogee this Tuesday. Our ECC trips are on their way home and I am very excited to see all of leaders back home again! I can’t believe Apogee has less than two weeks left in the summer; time flies when you’re having fun! I should also mention that I am out of the office for the next two days, so keep your eyes peeled for some awesome blog posts written by our very own Chad, Kevin, Shem, Cait and/or Alex! I will see everyone again on Friday. Adios, amigos!

Day 33: Punday Monday

By: Annika Nygren

Day 33: “Punny: A play on words for the words funny. It is a pun in itself.” This theme may be a little aggressive for a Monday morning, but I have to admit that nothing makes me happier than a good pun (well, except for sunshine and pizza). For example, “I can hear music coming out of my printer. I think the paper’s jammin‘ again.” And just because I work for company that involves a lot of biking… : ‘Do you know why the bike couldn’t stand on it’s own? It was two tired’. LOL. It’s so bad it’s good. Heads up: many of these puns only make sense when you read them out loud! Enjoy.

Cape Cod and the Islands (CI): After working on the farm yesterday and meating all the other animals, Emily and Will’s group had to hop over to the udder island (Nantucket…). Here they are having a ferry good time!

IMG_3844Ice cream was obviously a popular event amongst the boys.

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New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC): Matt and Midge’s group hung out in North Conway today exploring the town after a morning hike and bought some pretty functional AND fashionable souvenirs given the inclement weather. When I say I laughed so hard I cried looking at these photos, I’m not kidding. Henceforth, Matt and Midge’s group shall be known as the kings and queens of blog photos! The raining (reigning) Best Submitted Blog Picture EVER champions. (Also, due to persistent rain, we have arranged for these NEMCers to stay indoors tonight!!)Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 12.34.56 PM                                                         Can’t rain on their parade!

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IMG_4294Sheltered from the rain for the night and enjoying some well deserved hot chocolate!

Vermont to Montreal (VM): “Donut fear, VM crushes it rain or shine (and gets to enjoy some delish apple cider donuts after a wet morning)!” -Direct quote from Abby and Rueben. Enough said.

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California Mountains and Coast: Day 1! Most of the day was spent gathering the group at the airport and then setting up camp tonight! Dylan and Emma’s group will be hitting up Point Reyes tomorrow for two full days of kayaking and catching some reyes (rays- see what I did there?). Hopefully the leaders can keep losing cell service at bay while they’re on the water.Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 5.56.31 PM

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA): Another Day 1!Big “WAVES” from Puerto Rico! But actually, every-juan (woot woot! reference to Puerto Rico’s capital) is excited to be hitting the beach later!IMG_1246.JPG

Coast to Quebec (CQA): And they officially made it! Hooray! Mike and Mary just called to say that they are safely in Quebec and ready to explore! These guys had big in-tent-ions of setting up camp, but quickly changed their minds when they heard about the real beds at the hostel. Starting all the way from Freeport, Maine, USA and riding to Quebec was an amazing challenge and adventure for all! Congrats!!550-MMS-1406579117-attachment1-IMAG0173

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This shot was take from a nice angle. (This pun was so bad it kind of felt like a slant rhyme).

Coast to Quebec (CQB): Oui (get it?!) heard from Pete and Sherry and they are no longer tire-d from their rides because they made it to their final destination: Quebec City! This is such an exciting day for their group and they are all excited to explore the city tomorrow! Congratulations to you as well.Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 5.41.39 PM

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Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX): Hiking up Katahdin was unfortunately cut short by some threatening dark clouds, but Erin and Marino’s group had fun and jumped for joy weather or not it was raining!IMG_7620

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Montana Service Adventure (MSA): Today during Hannah and Opie’s group ride, they road through some construction involving new pavement, it really helped with their bonding and the cementing of group relationships.. Hannah and Opie said everyone was feeling very “cem-entimental” after their ride to Choteau.

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Northwest Explorer (NWX): Today John and Izzy’s group spent time learning about the North Cascades and the trails involved for their upcoming back country hiking at the Wilderness Information Center! Today is all about resting and resupplying. We may not be getting pictures from these guys for a couple of days; we can’t bear to see you go! (Don’t worry Mom and Dad, these guys are safe from real bears, I was just desperate for some sort of camping pun!)20140728_103200

Pacific Coast (PCA): Wood you be able to guess where Where Matt and Jeanne’s group is today? Hint, it’s red! And called the Del Norte Redwoods State Park. Gorgeous riding, but unfortunately very little service. More pictures to come tomorrow, you better be-leaf it!

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Pacific Coast (PCB): After a nice rest day on the water, Kate and Trevor are surfin’ up dinner back at camp! Despite lacking a photo, the group loooved hitting up the waves and are looking forward to some Redwood riding tomorrow.

Alps Explorer (AX): What’s the best part about hiking in Switzerland? Not sure, our group is now in France, but the big flag (on yesterday’s birthday cake) was a big plus! Day Two of the Tour du Mont Blanc down, ten to go! Luckily this group doesn’t move at glacial speeds, or else they would not be getting to their campsites in good time!IMG_7615                                                                Group Snuggles!

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Europe Coast to Coast (ECCA): One last day together in Venice, and a final dinner to ciao down on tonight! Congratulations to Mia and Jeremy’s group for completing this ride! Enjoy exploring! We are so proud of you all. Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 12.02.00 PM

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 12.01.44 PMHey Jeremy!

IMG_2659Look at all of those accomplished smiles!

Europe Coast to Coast (ECCB): Nick and Christine’s group are also ciao-ing (sorry I had to use it twice, easily my most clever pun of the day!) down on final dinner tonight and reveling in their amazing journey from the Netherlands to Italy! We will miss you guys… it’s already hard to thinking about gelatting go of you all! (woof… these are getting rougher and rougher…)Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 4.26.09 PM

America Coast to Coast (ACC1): Into Prescott and getting pumped (like their tires) for their LAST rest day before tomorrow! Then, it is straight and smooth sailing to Saaaaannnn Dieeeeggooooooo! IMG_9209

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America Coast to Coast (ACC2): I sent out a note to all the leaders asking for my usual round of photos in addition to a pun if they could think of one, and Sam responded within 30 seconds with this picture and caption:

IMG_7618Having a HILL of a good time! Rolling climbs on our way to Heber!

Well, that’s a wrap folks. This proved to be a much more challenging task than I first anticipated! Thank you for sticking around despite this post being “awwwww”-’full’ (eh? eh? are you sick of me yet?)! I am looking forward to checking in on everyone tomorrow!

Bye: Annika (last one I promise!)

Day 32: Pics-on-pics-on-pics

By: Annika Nygren

Day 32: Big photo day in the Apogee World! Every single leader has sent in multiple photos and the blog is overflowing with visual stimulation. Enjoy! Also! We have a leader to celebrate today… Happy birthday Dylan! We hope you are enjoying your day off!

Cape Cod and the Islands (CI): Service work on Martha’s Vineyard! Emily and Will’s group helped out at a farm and then got to meet some of the animals this afternoon! Another wonderful day on the island…IMG_2557

 One more beach shot from yesterday afternoon! Great advertising girls!

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IMG_3409Off to the farm!

New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC): Matt and Midge’s crew are hiking Mount Jackson today and enjoyed a lovely game of “Cookie Face” last night! Cookie face involves placing an Oreo on your forehead and using your facial muscles (think moving your brows and squeezing your eyes shut and open) and gravity to move the cookie down one’s face and into your mouth! These guys had to WORK for dessert last night! IMG_5575

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Vermont to Montreal (VM): Trip start today! Reuben and Abby gathered their new bunch of kiddos today and brought them to camp for dinner and the “first chat” later tonight! It’s going to be a great 13 days!IMG_0553.JPG

Coast to Quebec (CQA): Safely in Canada! Mary and Mike caught a pocket of wifi to email me these awesome shots of some of their kids conquering the hills! Spirits are high and the gang is SO excited to arrive into Quebec City tomorrow!

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Conquering that hill with a smile! That’s what we like to see! 

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 11.15.17 AMSeriously… that’s a big hill!

Coast to Quebec (CQB): Up early and ready for Canada! Peter and Sherry’s group also crossed the border this morning and are already tucked in for the night at their destination.  They, too, are very excited to reach QC tomorrow!IMG_0450

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX): Impromptu trash pickup and Fairy Head hike yesterday! Up to Baxter State Park for the big Katahdin hike on Tuesday!

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Montana Service Adventure (MSA): Riding the plains of Montana! Today’s ride is long, but verrry quiet. There’s a reason they call it big sky country!Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 3.47.55 PM

Northwest Explorer (NWX): Out of the backcountry and onto rafting today! Next up is the North Cascades where they’ll do an even longer backcountry hike in a few days!20140726_164501

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Mmm S’mores!

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Looking mighty fine in that rafting gear

Pacific Coast (PCA): Surfing today for Matt and Jeanne’s group on their rest day from their bikes. Hang loose, duuuudes!Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 5.08.50 PM

Pacific Coast (PCB): Crossing into California and camping with PCA tonight! What a great day! I know it’s not Superlative Saturday anymore… but if I were to make it “Shout Out Sunday”, Trevor and Kate’s team would definitely get my recognition for most enthusiastic and expansive variety of blog photos today!IMG_0256

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That pyramid! So close!
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Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.34.03 PMPeace out Oregon, hello Golden State!

Alps Explorer (AX): Birthdays! Slack lining! Fancy cooking! These past few days have been full of activities including preparations for their Tour du Mont Blanc hike!

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IMG_7575Birthday Doughnut!

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Quite literally, a Swiss Birthday cake!

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#sarcasm

Europe Coast to Coast (ECCA & B): THEY MADE IT!!! Woow it has been just about a month since Mia, Jeremy, Nick and Christine’s groups started their adventure in the Netherlands! Six countries – 27 days – stunning scenery – the North Sea – the Mediterranean Sea – Amsterdam, Paris, Strasbourg and Venice – pastries, baguettes, jams and lots and lots of Nutella – it has been an incredible ride. CONGRATULATIONS! You are all amazing, and we hope that you enjoy you’re day off in Venice tomorrow!picture

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IMG_1210The last ten yards! Go Nick, go!!

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ECC A cheering in ECC B.
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Congratulatory hugs! IMG_1203

America Coast to Coast (ACC1):  I just realized that yesterday was ACC1′s one month anniversary! What an incredible 30/ 31 days with this crowd, and we are excited to see them getting so close to California! Gorgeous sunset last night (as captured by Josh and Laura). Last night’s anniversary was celebrated with a cake and 5 pounds of fries!! Looked awesome, eat up! You guys still have some more miles ahead of you.IMG_4445

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 5 lbs of fries!!

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America Coast to Coast (ACC2): Pie town!! As Ally said: “Pie town!! Nothing beats 9 AM apple and cherry pie ala mode!!!!!!!” Oh, also, Sam and Ally’s team will cross their seventh state border today! Hello Arizona!

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Wowza! That was a lot of pictures! A very exciting Sunday to say the least… Keep your eyes peeled for Punday Monday tomorrow; I’m going to put my corny humor to the test!

Day 31: Superlative Saturday!

By: Annika Nygren

Day 31: With 13 trips on the map, this Saturday is filled with news and updates from all over the Apogee world. Pictures came flooding in early this morning, and I’ve decided to give each group a well-deserved shout out with Superlative Saturday! I’ve been into jazzy titles lately that typically involve alliterations inspired by a text from my friend Chris.  He used a really nice vocab word/ adjective that I really appreciated… “upstanding”. You don’t hear that enough these days! And if you ask me, all of our leaders and groups are worthy of such praise! Let’s get right to it!

Cape Cod and the Islands (CI): Heading to the ferry en route to Martha’s Vineyard this morning! Though Emily and Will’s group is new to the blog, that does not make them any less deserving of the Most Likely to Brighten Up Your Day superlative! Because as time passes, this crowd will melt your heart with pictures of them tackling longer riding days, surfing, and eventually, exploring Boston!IMG_0981

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IMG_8634New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC): Another group of new faces; we are excited to see all the places Matt and Midge’s group will go! I asked Matt and Midge for an adjective to describe the team so far and the word they chose was ” ‘boisterous’- in the best, most positive way possible. They are super adorable.” Today’s Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork award goes to Matt and Midge’s group as they worked together and conquered the high ropes course!

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S’mores last night!

IMG_5753Coast to Quebec (CQA): With hands over their hearts, and a U-S-A squeezed in the middle there, Mary and Mikes group have earned the Most Patriotic Group superlative today as they crossed the border into Canada! Quebec City here they come!

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Coast to Quebec (CQB): No… Pete and Sherry’s group did not ride a water jet today. BUT! They did go rafting!! Due to their executed diligence of always coming together to pose for a blog photo and sending them in to me earlier in the day rather than later, they get the Annika’s Not Biased But She’s A CQB Superfan award.IMG_4869

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Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX): Marino and Erin’s crew did one of Maine’s most beautiful coastal hikes today in far Downeast Maine. Unfortunately, cell phone reception is extremely limited where they are so no pictures as of blog posting time.  Tomorrow they’ll head up to Baxter State Park with the goal of climbing Mount Katahdin on Monday! With Erin and Marino’s tendency to take photos that gives us the allusion that they are doing such things as pushing a major boulder off a cliff, the Magic Tricksters award is a clear winner for their superlative today!

Montana Service Adventure (MSA): Great ride today into Wolf Creek.  The route took Hannah and Opie’s group past the “Sleeping Giant”; a mountain that looks like a sleeping lady (which they had a clear view of yesterday during their community service work). Speaking of service work, this team has, and will, complete a great deal of service work over the course of the next two weeks… leaving them with the Most Likely to Lend a Helping Hand superlative.

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Northwest Explorer (NWX): Backcountry backpacking is in store for Izzy and John’s crew over the next few days! Based on conditions during their last trip (and Olympic National Park’s tendency to preserve a winter treat), these explorers have earned the (bear with me) Most-Likely-to-Have-a-Snowball-Fight-in-Shorts-During-the-End-of-July honor! Despite warmer temperatures, pockets of snow are still around in the mountains!

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Pacific Coast (PCA): Border crossing today into sweet, sweet California! After today, they will be taking a break from the bikes and hopping on surf boards. Based on these pictures and the flawless weather, Matt and Jeanne’s group are clearly deserving of the Best Blue Sky Smiles Award.IMG_9038

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Where does the sky end?! And the water start?! Those vibrant colors are breathtaking.

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Pacific Coast (PCB): Today’s ride is full of gorgeous views and a nice climb up Cape Sebastian. Trevor and Kate often struggle to find service, so they have earned the Silent Sneaky Successful Ride award for they always complete their rides in style and in good time.

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Alps Explorer (AX): Most Likely to Be On the Cover of a Magazine Superlative! Yes CC and Jack’s explorers are very good-looking, but I must admit this award is mostly in reference to their beautiful surroundings! As this incredible trip unfolds, and they begin hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc tomorrow, you will see more of just what I mean. Seriously… just look at these photos:

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Europe Coast to Coast (ECCA & B): Most Likely to Eat Food That Makes Your Mouth Water! We’ve all been thinking it, so I’m just going to say it. I am SO jealous of the foreign, European food these groups have been enjoying along their journey across Europe. It’s hard to believe, but they finish their riding tomorrow!  In Venice!Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 10.30.55 AM

 

America Coast to Coast (ACC1): Most Photogenic Group in town goes to Josh and Laura’s crowd of amazing riders! They crossed into their second to last state yesterday, Arizona!! Moms, Dads, brothers, sisters, friends and pets who have been following this blog since the very beginning (I thank you for sticking with us!) can attest to the fact that these guys crush the blog photo game and never disappoint us with a nice mix of smiling group photos, crazy candids, and goofy lunch break shots. AND today they ran into a very special gentleman along their route! They met Ernie Andrus, a 91 year-old man who is running (yes you heard that right, RUNNING) across the country over two to four years!  You can learn more at http://coast2coastruns.com.  Definitely check it out! I am still in awe.IMG_9215

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IMG_8870Ernie!!

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He told Laura he “preferred shots with the ladies”

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America Coast to Coast (ACC2): Last night, Sam and Ally’s group enjoyed a BBQ cook-out with the Socorro school principal (he’s on right). Today they are breezing through their mileage on their last day full day in New Mexico. Tomorrow they, too, will cross into Arizona! Although today’s pictures weren’t shot at sunrise, all you ACC2 fans should agree with me when I say that these guys are well-deserving of the Sensational Scenic Sunrise and Sunshine Shots superlative (that’s six s’s! I love that.). This group never disappoints blog readers with their abundance of bright, happy colors and action shots in some pretty incredible terrain… especially in the morning!!

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Well, those may not have been your typical list of high school year book superlatives, but they are an Annika Apogee Special! Today’s blog post was written in record time due to the overflow of photos from leaders early this morning (thank you!!) so from this day forth, July 26th will forever be known as The Most Efficient Blog Post Day (Shem loves efficiency- so shout out to Shem, this ones for you!). Until tomorrow….