Day 37: Sunny Skies & Snowballs

By: Emily and Emily

With the third Maine Coast Junior and New England Mountain’s and Coast trips starting today, our last trips have officially started. Before we know it, leaders will be returning to Brunswick and we’ll begin to wrap up the summer. But why dwell on that fact, these trips all had incredibly fun days!

Maine Coast Junior (MCJ3):

They have arrived! Our third and final Maine Coast Junior group met this afternoon in Massachusetts. They’ve since transferred to Maine, where they set up their campsite and settled down to their first family dinner. These guys are in for a great trip – over the next 7 days they’ll be hiking, biking, volunteering, and spending an awesome week in the beautiful Maine outdoors.

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Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE3):

Our writers took a quick break from crafting their essays and went on a coastal adventure this morning. After hiking 3 miles to and from a beautiful Maine beach, they spent the afternoon working with Jaed and continuing to polish their essays.

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Cape Cod and the Islands (CI3):

Our island bikers spent their day exploring Martha’s Vineyard. With nothing on the agenda but relaxation, these guys decided to hit the beach! After some fun in the sun, they get to spend a nice evening at their beautiful campground. Tomorrow they are heading to the FARM Institute for community service. From the photo below, it looks like these guys are having some delicious meals!

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New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC3):

Isa and Aaron’s group arrived today for their 10-day adventure together. They’ll be hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, rafting the Kennebec River and paddling sea kayaks along the Maine coast. Today they played some “get to know you games” and settled into their first campground. Tomorrow they are headed to a high ropes course for team-building and aerial adventures before heading to the Whites.

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Vermont to Montreal (VM3):

With 27 miles behind them, our Vermont riders completed their longest day of riding yet. Their ride today took them along quiet country roads and through cow dotted farmlands. It’s hard to believe that these guys are already over one-third of their way to Montreal!

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California Mountains and Coast (CMC3):

These California hikers spent today preparing for their time in Yosemite – doing laundry and and stocking up on the essentials with a big shopping trip. They’re scheduled for a service project with park naturalists tomorrow, before taking some time to explore the Valley.

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Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA3):

Our friends in the Caribbean had a day full of service today, completing 6 more hours. This morning the group headed to a new Puerto Rican town where they met up with Casa Pueblo, an organization that focuses on protecting the natural and cultural resources of Puerto Rico. They’ll be working with Casa Pueblo tomorrow as well.

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Coast to Quebec A (CQ2A):

Big day of riding for our Quebec bound friends. They had a challenging 38 miles to complete with “roller-coaster-like hills,” but there’s a swimming hole near camp that they can enjoy as a reward for conquering their ride. As another treat, they had their first mail pick up today – yay packages!

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Coast to Quebec B (CQ2B):

With just 35 miles on the agenda for today, CQB has long been tucked into their accommodations in Dexter, ME. Word is that their afternoon agenda included a visit to the laundromat; and that their hosts for the evening had cooked them dinner. Our thanks!

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Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX3):

Leaving their island campground behind, these explorers woke up early and paddled back to the mainland. They spent the rest of the day preparing for their adventures in Acadia National Park.

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A classic “APOGEE” sunset pose.

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Montana Service Adventure (MSA2):

Another day of riding for these service super-stars. The group is on their way to Glacier National Park, where they will work with Park Rangers on service projects and continue to soak up all the natural beauty around them.

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Northwest Explorer (NWX2):

Short day in the backcountry for Will and Becca’s hikers. They’re on the shores of an alpine lake tonight, and will be hiking out of the backcountry tomorrow.

Pacific Coast A (PC2A):

PCA left the redwoods early this morning to escape the sun as they biked inland along the Eel River. Tonight’s campsite is also along the Eel River, where they will be able to cool off before another 60 mile ride tomorrow. Word is that they’re cooking fried rice for dinner!

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Pacific Coast B (PC2B):

Big day of riding for this group as they traversed into the redwoods, biking along the famous Avenue of the Giants on the way to their campsite. They will sleep among these gorgeous trees tonight, and enjoy their shade, before heading further inland tomorrow.

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Alps Explorer A (AX2A):

Buon pomeriggio e benvenuti in Italia. Noah and Emma’s group has crossed into Italy and is spending the night at a rifugio, which means a delicious four course meal, beds for the night, and breakfast in the morning. Tomorrow they have a long hike, but dreams of the upcoming rest day will get them through. We got a flood of pictures from these guys today, enjoy!

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Alps Explorer B (AX2B):

Happy rest day, Alps Explorers. These folks enjoyed their one and only day off on the TMB today. After sleeping in and having a big breakfast, the group explored Courmayeur, a vibrant Italian alpine town with real gelato and pizza!

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America Coast to Coast (ACC):

Mia and Opie’s bikers got up before the sun to beat the heat and crush their ride into 29 Palms. Despite being a 100 mile ride (their last of the trip!), they were able to get in early and spent the remainder of their day resting up for their final push. Three days to San Diego!

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Day 36: The Home Stretch

By: Emily Sturtevant

It’s August 1st, which means we are in the final stretch of the summer here at Apogee!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE3):

Halfway through their week and everyone continues to be working hard on their essays. This morning the group had personal writing time, taking inspiration from their beautiful cabins on the Maine coast. To break up their work, the group enjoyed a picnic lunch and swim at Wolfe’s Neck. Tonight they will work to complete both of their essay drafts with Jaed.

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Cape Cod and the Islands (CI3):

The group has bid farewell to Nantucket and are back on Martha’s Vineyard after a short bike ride and ferry. The group will stay here the next few days, getting a chance to explore the town, hit the beaches, and do some community service.

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1010307Who needs bikes when you’ve got a sweet yacht?

Vermont to Montreal (VM3):

Today these bikers had a relatively easy 17 miles of riding, which brought them through Middlebury and over to Lake Champlain. Their campsite happens to be riverside, so they will have the chance to cool off their feet on this sunny day.

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California Mountains and Coast (CMC3):

Midge and Matt’s crew enjoyed their last morning on water today as they paddled back to the main land. They then traded their kayaks in for the van as they spent the rest of the day cruising closer to Yosemite Park where they will spend the upcoming days hiking.

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Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA3):

Another big day of service for Emily, Thomas, and their amigos. Today they spent their time doing trail maintenance on the Tanama River with Roberto, a local who well known for his dedication and effort in keeping up the area. After their work in the morning they will have the afternoon off to explore Tanama.

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Coast to Quebec A (CQ2A):

These guys are cruising through Maine, crushing another 35 miles today as they travel closer to Canada. They even stopped for a little snack and dance break on the way. The group will have the chance to do laundry this afternoon and will be spending the night indoors.

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Coast to Quebec B (CQ2B):

Welcome to Unity, ME and congratulations on being halfway through your trip, CQB! After their break from bikes yesterday, the group was back in the saddle for another big 40 mile ride.
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Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX3):

Shinning sun, blue waters, and warm weather for the DEX-sters today! The group enjoyed another full day in lovely Isle au Haut Bay, where they were able to spend the morning cleaning up more local beaches and afternoon soaking up the quintessential Maine summer day.

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Montana Service Adventure (MSA2):

Annika and Christian’s crew enjoyed a much needed rest day on their halfway point of their adventure. They will spend the day doing laundry and relaxing before the head into Glacier National Park for more service, biking and a day of riding.
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FullSizeRender (11)Haaaaapppy biiiiirrrrthday!

Northwest Explorer (NWX2):

Smooth sailing today after the group’s long day yesterday. They were able to hike through meadows with wildflowers and enjoy beautiful views on their short hike. At camp they will have a chance to dip their tired toes in the near by creek. We’ll hear from them on Tuesday!

Pacific Coast A (PC2A):

These all-stars faced their biggest ride of the entire trip today, and crushed it! Their afternoon included a ride through the Avenue of the Giants, arguably the longest and coolest ride through a redwood forest that you can do. Tonight’s campground is in a second generation forest, meaning they will be surrounded by tall trees and massive stumps.

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IMG_20150727_195112317Drought? What drought?

Pacific Coast B (PC2B):

Happy service day! These folks took off a day of biking to give back to the local community. They spent the day volunteering with Food for People, a group focused on eliminating hunger and improving the health and well-being of the community through access to healthy and nutritious foods, community education and advocacy.

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image1 (21)It really is a hard life on PC2B…

Alps Explorer A (AX2A):

Today the group started the second half of their trip with a big day of hiking that included a 1400-meter climb and a 1000-meter drop. However, they were able to have the company of some sheep as they traversed today’s portion of the TMB. Unfortunately they don’t have ability to send photos today, but we will make up for it tomorrow.

Alps Explorer B (AX2B):

Though today is the longest hike of their trip, the group was able to stay motivated with help from the amazing views of Mount Blanc Massif and thoughts of tomorrow’s well deserved rest day. Tim and Ally’s crew will enjoy real Italian pizza and gelato while resting, we’ll I’ll try not to be too jealous of them.

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America Coast to Coast (ACC):

These folks are in for an interesting ride today! They spent the morning riding 56 miles before taking the afternoon off to rest up. In order to cut down tomorrow’s mileage, the group will hop back on their bikes after dinner to ride another 18 miles (and cross into CALIFORNIA!!) before crawling into bed. Tomorrow the group has a big 100 mile ride into 29 Palms, but nothing they can’t handle!

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Day 35: Bye bye, July!

By: Emily Sturtevant

Where did the month of July go? I guess time flies when you’re writing about adventures like theses. Only eleven more days of the Apogee summer, but still so many amazing trips to report on!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE3):

Another busy day for our MCCE group. This morning they worked once again with Bowdoin’s Director of Admissions, this time practicing their interview skills. And what better way to spend an afternoon than by taking advantage of the beautiful Maine weather and hiking out to a beach? Tonight they’ll be working with their instructor, Jaed, on first drafts of their essays. Not a bad way to write a college essay if you ask me!
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Cape Cod and the Islands (CI3):

It’s another beautiful day of exploration and biking for Kevin and Alyssa’s crew! The group enjoyed a full day on Nantucket where they were able to have a leisurely pancake breakfast before hopping on their bikes for Siasconset beach. They enjoyed the waves, soaked in the sun, and made time for a little R&R before heading back to the hostel for dinner.

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Vermont to Montreal (VM3):

Day three and these guys are going strong. Freddy and Anna’s riders faced the toughest hill of their trip today, aptly named “the Wall,” but together they made it to the top. They then crossed one of Vermont’s fabled covered bridges, giving them the quintessential “Vermont” experience. This afternoon the group had time to relax their legs after the long ride and some time to cool off with a swim in the lake.

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California Mountains and Coast (CMC3):

After enjoying their night at their private beachfront campsite, the group continued their paddling in Point Reyes National Seashore. Tonight they will be sleeping by the ocean again before heading back to the main land for a day of transit, rest, and resupply. We had just enough cell phone service to check in with them, and they’re having a great day on the water. Unfortunately, the limited cell phone service did pose a problem when try to send photos. We are sure to have some gorgeous images for you tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA3):

Emily, Thomas and their group worked hard once again today with another day of service in central Puerto Rico. And their hard work definitely paid off – they spent their afternoon enjoying the tropical sun and exploring…

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Coast to Quebec A (CQ2A):

This group is back on their bikes after yesterday’s service day and are really feeling the unity of their group up (in Unity, ME). Today’s ride took them away from the coast and inland towards farm country. Word on the street is the group is 100+ miles into their journey and will be celebrating tonight with pizza!

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Coast to Quebec B (CQ2B):

Kate and Zack’s group had a great day volunteering with the Coastal Mountains Land Trust, an organization working to conserve the western Penobscot Bay area. Specifically, the group got down and dirty, spending the day planting trees and Himalayan balsam. According to the leaders, the group is in high spirits, and loved the beautiful views and great weather.

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Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX3):

Today our DEX-ers have taken to the sea for their three day, two night kayaking adventure in Isle au Haut Bay. While out, they will visit near by islands where they will work with Maine Island Trails Association to help clean up debris that has washed ashore or been left there. And they couldn’t have had a more perfect day to be on the water – it was 80 degrees, and the sun was shining. Now that’s the life!

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Montana Service Adventure (MSA3):

These superstars had their longest day of riding today, even having a chance to bike alongside some of Montana’s wild horses. They are staying at a beautiful campsite tonight, and looking forward to their first mail stop. Tomorrow the group will do service in Browning in the morning and then have the afternoon to rest and do laundry.
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Looks like a few of the students put on a show for the rest of the group last night as they enjoyed the comforts of staying indoors!

Northwest Explorer (NWX2):

Day two of backcountry brings this group amazing views, a chance for a swim, and a picnic lunch. Though they had a full six-mile day of hiking, the will be rewarded with a campsite tonight that Izzy (NWX ’14) describes as one of the most beautiful place she’s ever been. Will and Becca will be sharing many photos with us as soon as they’re out of the back country!

Pacific Coast A (PC2A):

PC2A had a short ride this morning to Eureka, and spent this afternoon resting and recharging for a few big days ahead. Tomorrow they get to ride Avenue of the Giants!
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Pacific Coast B (PC2B):

A big day of riding for our 2B Pacific Coasters. They also will be in Eureka tonight with the 2A crew. Tomorrow the group will have a rest day (the coordinator of their community service project with Food for People unfortunately had to cancel tomorrow’s service at the last minute), so they will have time to explore Eureka and rest their legs before their next stretch of riding.

PC2BYesterday’s venture into the redwoods…

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Alps Explorer A (AX2A):

Our Alps group had another amazing day of hiking along the TMB, and according to Emma and Noah some highlights included views of the Aiguille de Bionassy. We are looking forward to sharing some photos with you over the next couple of days, however the lack of WIFI today did not allow for photos to be sent.

Alps Explorer B (AX2B):

Benvenuto in Italia! The group crossed their first TMB border today, with their second rifugio awaiting them at the end of their hike. They were all treated to a delicious four course meal, no tents to set up, and breakfast in the morning. Not a bad way to camp (if that’s even what you call it at this point).

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America Coast to Coast (ACC):

These rockstars crushed a century ride today as they moved further into Arizona and even closer to California. The group has five more days of riding until they reach the Pacific!!

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Day 34: Bikes, Hikes, and Pen Strikes

By: Sturtevant and O’Connell

Another full day of fun on all of our trips! Highlights include: donuts in Vermont, a Paul Bunyan sighting in California, and dinosaurs in Montana!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE3):

These students wasted no time getting down to business today. The group started their morning working with Bowdoin’s Director of Admissions talking about what works and doesn’t work in a college essay. They then had their first workshop with Jaed where they were able to develop topics for their own essays. Tonight they will be able to relax before delving back into their writing.

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A little post-essay work hangin’ with the sheep…

Cape Cod and the Islands (CI3):

Today’s journey included not one, but two ferries to get these riders to Nantucket. The group enjoyed beautiful weather today as they traveled along the coast and on the water, even having time to explore Nantucket Center. Word on the street is that their dinner is being made for them at the hostel tonight – what a treat!

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Cape Pano#2! And note the Cape Cod chips – on the Cape!

Vermont to Montreal (VM3):

Congratulations on finishing your first day of riding Vermontsters! Freddy and Anna’s group started their morning with a safety ride – making sure their helmets fit correctly, they’re comfortable riding with panniers, and they know how to call out commands such as “slowing” and “potholes.” After they completed this they rode along fifteen miles of Vermont countryside to practice these skills, stopping for a little treat along the way.

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Local apple cider donuts? Donut mind if I do!

California Mountains and Coast (CMC3):

After enjoying their first night together, the group is hopping right into their trip. Today they started their three day, two night kayaking adventure in Point Reyes. Here they will be able to camp along the beautiful California beach, cook marshmallows on the campfire, and begin making the first of their many inside jokes.

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Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA3):

This morning the group completed their first of many hours of community service. Emily, Thomas and their students worked in the rain forest doing trail maintenance while learning more about the local ecology. The group had the afternoon to themselves, giving them plenty of time to explore the beauty that surrounds them – they hit Lago dos Bocas (the Lake of Two Mouths) and the weird, wacky Arecibo observatory.

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Coast to Quebec A (CQ2A):

Community service day! This morning Rosa and Kyle’s group headed to the Coastal Mountain Land Trust to help with invasive species removal. They were working on an organic blueberry farm so probably got a sweet snack while working. In the afternoon the group got some time to explore the town and then returned to camp for some rest and relaxation.

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Coast to Quebec B (CQ2B):

Zack and Kate’s group got on their bikes bright and early today in order to conquer their longest day of riding so far. At the beginning of their ride they enjoyed breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean as they rode along an idyllic Maine beach front town. The rest of their ride took them north.  Tonight they will meet up with their CQA friends at camp!

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Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX3):

These DEX-sters conquered the trail this morning with a little day hike up Mt. Megunticook outside of the lovely village of Camden! This trip gave them amazing views of the ocean and the local islands. Next up the group will be heading to Old Quarry to start their sea kayaking portion of the trip, where they will rest their legs before they hit the peaks again.

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Montana Service Adventure (MSA2):

Today’s ride of 35 miles for Annika and Christian’s group was through the beautiful plains of Montana. They enjoyed blue skies as they made their way over a few rolling hills; they even stopped at a dinosaur museum for a little photo shoot. Tonight these guys are building up for their hardest day of biking.

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MSASeriously, you guys, did you turn into dinosaurs? For real?

Northwest Explorer (NWX2):

These guys are heading back into the backcountry today, this time in the beautiful North Cascades National Park. Will and Becca’s group has a longer stint in the woods this time, five nights! Over that time they will hike over 30 miles through some spectacular parts of Washington State. These guys are going to be having some great times but unfortunately we won’t get any pictures from the group until they leave the backcountry.

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Linked legs on the way into the woods!

Pacific Coast A (PC2A):

Big riding day for Abby and West’s group as they continue to make their way down the coast to their final destination – San Francisco. The crew is working together as they keep on conquering major uphills, long miles, and warm weather.

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Pacific Coast B (PC2B):

Back on their bikes today after surfing yesterday. They rode 29 miles through beautiful parts of California. Today’s ride took Mike and Sherry’s gang through Del Norte Redwoods State Park where their views while riding changed from the coastline to the incredible red giants. The area is also known for its wild elk population, maybe they got to see one!

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That’s a mighty big ax you’ve got there, Paul!

Alps Explorer A (AX2A):

Noah and Emma’s group continued to make their way through the French Alps on their third day on the TMB. During their hike, they had some time to explore the absurdly lovely ski town of Chamonix, where they enjoyed an outdoor concert. These guys are back to camping tonight after their night of luxury in the refuge last night.

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AXAOhhh, you know, just some more incredibly beautiful pictures from the Alps – whatever….

Alps Explorer B (AX2B):

Today was these guys hardest hiking day of the trip. They climbed 4,500 feet which was followed by a 3,000 foot downhill. To get pumped up for their hiking today, the whole group (including their French guide) got temporary headband tattoos. With that addition they really had they game faces on. Congrats on completing today’s difficult hike guys!

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Pulling tough-guy faces with the temporary tattoos!

America Coast to Coast (ACC):

Community service day for Mia and Chris’ crew. This morning they headed to the Boys and Girls Club where they held a miniature bike clinic so the young riders could learn some bike maintenance and the cross country riders could share some stories from the road, including the food they’ve eaten and roadkill they’ve seen (let’s be clear – not the food they’ve seen and the roadkill they’ve eaten…). Then in the afternoon the group got to enjoy some downtime to go to the bike shop, get mail, go swimming and, of course, rest up for a big riding day tomorrow –100 miles down into the desert!

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