Day 45: Over and Out

By: Annika Nygren

Day 45: Why must all good things come to an end? The greater portion of the day was spent catching early morning flights and saying tearful goodbyes as our students departed from their leaders and split off in their separation directions to go back home. Where did the last six and a half weeks go? I cannot believe how quickly this summer went by!

From our islanders surfing, biking and doing service on the Cape to our hikers crushing the White Mountains (specifically THE mountain, aka Mount Washington… hey, hey, tallest peak in the Northeast) on NEMC as well as DEX cruising up Katahdin (whattup highest peak in Maine and last stop on the Appalachian Trail). But don’t forget our pseudo New Englanders who started in the nearby woods of Freeport and Vermont’s Lake St. Catherine and crossed through the state to roll through customs and into Canada- we won’t forget you CQ and VM! And of course our tropical team CSA in Puerto Rico, hopping between islands, becoming one with the surf and endlessly lending a helping hand to their surroundings. Flying over to the west coast we can’t glance over MSA, riding the Going to the Sun road and helping out with the wildlife along the way. Bumping out further to the coast explorers of both NWX and CMC conquered hikes and back country portions in Yosemite, Olympic, and North Cascades National Parks; not to mention rafting and sea kayaking galore! And how could we forget our PCers? Riding in style through the Red Woods and crossing the quintessential SF GG-bridge #abreevsforever. Another big plane ride from home base over the Atlantic to Europe leads us to reminisce about AX‘s journey on the Tour du Mont Blanc (let’s be real, the pictures speak for themselves), and ECC braving the Alps and crossing through six (!) countries from north to south. And before the big finale, let’s not forget our little MCJs, biking and hiking through Acadia as well as sea kayaking in Maine waters. Now, onto our oldest and most intellectual crowd, our MCCEers writing up a storm as well as hitting the water and exploring the surrounding area for the past week bringing a smile to our faces. And last, but definitely not least, it’s time to highlight our ACC groups who dipped their wheels in the Atlantic a mere six weeks ago before sprinting into the Pacific Ocean just a few days ago…  nine states and some 2700+ miles later.

PHEW! What a summer, and that does not even capture all the magic. Apogee Adventures, it has been an honor and a privilege to write for you. Without all the fabulous leaders, students, families, behind-the-scenes office work and the famous dynamic duo “Chevin” (Kevin and Chad, of course), my job would not have been so exciting, fun and rewarding! You are all the absolute best. It is times like this when I get really emotional and struggle to find the words to say how lucky I feel to have been a part of something so special. I think it is safe to say that Apogee summer 2014 was a HUGE success, and we are all ready for another round of awesomeness in just 309 days or so! Before my tears start to drown my computer, I’m going to sign off with a so long, farewell, adios, auf wiedersehen, adieu!

Until next year Apogee!

P.S. Here are few last minute photos! We didn’t get shots from everybody, but if you haven’t seen it yet, check out MCCE’s video to upcoming music sensation “Kanye.”






IMG_9689Well, Unknown-1





Day 44: Rivers and Roads

By: Annika Nygren

Day 44: Hello, hello, wide world of Apogee, and what a bittersweet day it is! Our trips seem to have come and gone in a flash and tomorrow marks the final day of the remaining 12 groups, in addition to Apogee’s adventure season. Where did the time go?! I know time flies when you’re having fun, but this is just ridiculous… Although there will be one final blog post tomorrow, we understand that you blog-reading super fans out there might taper off as you pick up your wonderful adventurers tomorrow. SO, I thought today’s pseudo last post should go out with a bang and I am going to give my rhyming skills another go.

Maine Coast Junior (MCJ A): Time to check in on some of our youngest kiddos, who spent the morning paddling like little superheroes. Sea kayaking induced facial expressions named the opposite of a frown, and now it’s time to go out on the town! Off to dinner in Portland tonight to eat out on the town and not by head light.

IMG_5048Now, wait a second – why won’t mine go anywhere?

IMG958480Juvenile bald eagle on the branch!

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Maine Coast Junior (MCJ B): Service in the morning with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust – protecting those sweet little squash from the scary weeds was an absolute must! After a morning in the beautiful summer sun, Marino and Erin’s group hopped into their own kayaks for some fun, fun, fun! Dinner in Portland is underway, we’re sad to see these nuggets go on this very last day.


Vermont to Montreal (VM): After two great days in Montreal, we’re happy to hear Abby and Reuben’s group had a ball! Today they transitioned from Canada back to the U.S., sporting their new blue Apogee t-shirts looking dapper and well-dressed.


California Mountains and Coast (CMC): Emma and Dylan’s group spent the morning doing some habitat restoration at Half Moon Bay State beach, while the leaders configured their final dinner and speech. Exploring San Francisco was super exciting and cool, eating dinner on the town is sure to rule!



Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA): One last day of exploration in beautiful, historic San Juan was followed by fresh coconut water as a snack add-on. These folks are really bummed to be leaving the tropics, but I will no longer have to be jealous of the palm trees in their blog pics!Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 11.00.49 AMCoco frio!

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 11.00.35 AMWe get it, Lucy and Will… you’re tan and living the dream in Puerto Rico. Can’t wait to see you surfing-service doers soon!

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 1.20.54 PM

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 5.45.48 PM

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 5.45.39 PMMontana Service Adventure (MSA): Exploring Whitefish after many days of hard service work and riding, taking a break from the saddle definitely sounded inviting. Hannah and Opie had a wonderful crew, we’re going to miss the wildlife and nature from those gorgeous Montana views.IMG_1866

Northwest Explorer (NWX): Wrapping up an amazing trip with some service at Dash Point State Park, helping on the land and doing their part. Hiking in the Northwest was truly a treat, with back country exposure that can’t be beat! Izzy and John are quite the leader pair, try to beat these group pictures, if you dare…20140808_090630

20140806_201456Pacific Coast (PCA): No more biking and lots of ice cream for Jeanne and Matt’s team’s liking. Taking San-Fran by stride, putting saying goodbye to the side. This team conquered many the miles, leaving us here looking at all of those accomplished smiles.unnamed

Pacific Coast (PCB): Trevor and Kate had a similar picture spot to PCA, everybody wants to check out the Haight! After biking all of those hills, these guys definitely earned this ice cream bill. Although this team must part tomorrow, we hope that it won’t be with too much sorrow. We hate to see our new friends go, you crushed that West coast, “like woah.”IMG_8887

Alps Explorer (AX): Check the Tour du Mont Blanc off of the bucket list, these European adventures will sure be missed! Jack and CC’s crew saw some pretty sweet sights and braved a few chilly hikes. Not many can say they hiked through three countries in 20 days, but hey that’s the Apogee way! We welcome you soon back to the land of red, white and blue!IMG_7953








America Coast to Coast (ACC2): After six weeks together without a day apart, how does one say goodbye without an aching heart? Crushing America from coast to coast, a bragging right they will forever have to boast. What an adventure through nine different states, we hope tonight’s dinner is full of clean plate’s! Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 2.54.29 PM

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE): Sharing essays out loud made leaders Nick and Mia oh so proud. The weather was perfect, which contributed to the fun in hearing everyone’s college essay subject. Way to work hard and write on these summer days, we know that it will pay off in a big way!!



And now it is time for me to bring this second-to-last-post to and end, I hope my rhymes weren’t too hard to comprehend (jokes). This summer has been a whirlwind of laughs, new friends, epic views and crazy blog themes… an Apogee summer I shall keep in my heart and forever close to me. I would like to sign out with a song the Apogee leaders showed me before they went out and about. Included below is a link to the original, I hope my new words will help give you a visual. Thank you all so much for keeping up with these posts, for you it is what will making me miss writing the most. Until tomorrow when I officially sign off, I hope you enjoy your Friday and cook some rice pilaf.

“Rivers and Roads” the original by The Head and Heart with lyrics

Here is the instrumental version to sing along to Apogee Style:

Rivers and Roads 

By: Emily Sherry (shout out to CQ!) and yours truly

A day from now we’ll all be gone

All our friends will go on their way

 And they’re going to miss these places 

Oh how I wish we all could stay

What a great time it has been

Oh the stories I have to tell

Of all the times that we excelled

and how I miss you all as well

  Ohhh ooooh oh

Oooooh oh

Ohhhh oooooh oh

Ooooh oh

Been talkin’ ‘bout the trips we did

And all the hikes and hills we crushed

If you don’t know how to say goodbye

Then we will not farewell

So if we try and persevere

We will see you all next year!

Ohhh ooooh oh

Oooooh oh

Ohhhh oooooh oh

Ooooh oh

Ohhh ooooh oh

Oooooh oh

Ohhhh oooooh oh

Ooooh oh

Rivers and roads

Mountains and coast

Biking ’til I reach you

Service and aid

Oh Islands and plains

oh Rivers ’til I reach you

Hikin’ the globe

Bikin’ with loads

Hiking ’til I reach you

Rivers and roads

Rivers and roads

Rivers ’til I greet you!

Day 43: Grand Plans

By Chad Olcott

Today’s title could refer to so many things in the wide, wide world of Apogee, but to me, right now, it refers to the grand plans I had for the blog. I thought I’d do the whole thing in limericks – or iambic pentameter – or I’d have some amazing theme involving the letters of the alphabet and birthdays of the great composers. But, friends, it all came to naught – just putting the pictures in this little ol’blog is an enormous undertaking!  I tip my hat to Annika and the guest bloggers we coax and cajole into putting this together on a daily basis. With Kevin in California, Cait (who participated in the “#icebucketchallenge” last night – find it on Facebook…), Alex, and Annika enjoying a last day off before the end of the season, and Shem-Dog-Millionaire on his way to Montreal to collect our Vermonsters, it’s a lonely office today! So – it was all I could do to get the pictures in the right places – the Apo-limericks will have to wait for another day.

MCJA: It was a rainy afternoon here in midcoast Maine – but Mike and Mary’s gang were undaunted! They got out there for their service project with the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust and did some great trail work in damp conditions.

2Testing it for weight distribution…

3The sun may not be out, but my goodness, the guns certainly are! Thanks to Ben from HHLT for working with our gang!

MCJB: Erin and Marino took this afternoon’s climatological lemons and made their own lemonade – at the bowling alley. This afternoon’s scheduled sea-kayaking has been pushed back to tomorrow afternoon, which looks like it will be much, much nicer!


IMG_3776“Wait, so I can’t take the shoes with me??”

VM:  It’s one last day together for our Vermonsters up in Montreal.  I just heard from Reuben and Abby – they’re just sitting down to one last big meal on the town in the city.  Then it’s an early morning wake-up for the long drive back to the States.

IMG_3859Near real-time view of our Vermonsters on their last night together – bon appetit, mes amis!

CMC:  Look who emerged from the woods!  Emma and Dylan’s California Dreamers had a great time in the Yosemite high country and are, as I type, making their way back to the coast to wrap up the trip in high style.


IMG_7117Group selfie!

IMG_6590 IMG_4928 IMG_4390 IMG_2875

IMG_0193“A-P-O-G-E-E” A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

CSA:  Will and Lucy’s crew was interviewed on Radio Vieques this morning – they’re pretty much celebrities… They’ve wrapped up their service for the trip and will be headed for Old San Juan tomorrow for their last full day together.

IMG_5079Don’t let fame go your head, guys!

IMG_1281.JPGChecking out the view from the fort on Vieques this morning

MSA:  Hannah and Chris get today’s “Most Orchestrated Pictures” Award with the very nicely organized pre-rafting and post-riding pictures from yesterday and earlier today.  And these guys are done with all of their riding, too – having put some 400 miles, one mountain range, and one Continental Divide between them and Bozeman.  Well done, cowboys and cowgirls!

IMG_5108 IMG_2476

NWX:  John and Izzy left their beloved Cypress Island behind this morning on a San Juan Islands Chamber of Commerce-worthy morning. They powered up for their last paddle with a fortifying breakfast of blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes…




A big pancake for a big dude

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PCA:  And over the Golden Gate they went! Matt and Jeanne’s rockstars rumbled over the big red bridge at about 1 PM PDT.  But not before meeting up with their PCB colleagues and our own Kevin Cashman.

pca (2)Umm – hi, mom and dad?

IMG_1238.JPGLooking good, guys….

IMG_1237There’s our own Kevin over there on the right – hope you’re having fun in California, Kevin…..!  

IMG_1236.JPGReunited at last!

PCB:  Well – if you’re reading this top to bottom, there’s no surprise here.  Kate and Trevor’s mile-eaters cruised up to the Golden Gate in near-record time and are now loving life in downtown San Francisco.  A stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf and an enormous ice cream from Ghirardelli awaits!


AX:  Here come even more amazing shots from our Swiss Misses (and Misters). Jack and CC’s gang put a few more nicks in their much-loved hiking boots this morning – getting up well before dawn to hike through the sunrise and close out the Tour du Mont Blanc.  They were done by noon and eating pizza in Geneva before our Californians were even getting up for the day.

ax1Pre-dawn posing before their last hike

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photo 2 (4)photo 4 (3)

Bath tub with a view.

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Plumb tuckered out – and done with the TMB!



IMG_1921Mmm-mmm – you know what my grandmother always said, “nothing beats fresh pizza in Geneva after completing the Tour du Mont Blanc….”


IMG_1919Our own Garth Franklin sent in these last two – pretty amazing views.  And an ibex? Amazing!

ACC1: In a word, “bittersweet.” Here’s Josh and Laura resting this afternoon – fresh from seeing everyone off at the airport. In Josh’s text – “feeling stunned and out of this world.”  I think that about describes what everyone is feeling after wrapping up this epic.


ACC2: Meanwhile, Sam and Ally were making their tour of San Diego – complete with the obligatory, yet delicious, trip to In-n-Out.  One more day of hanging out before their own sad trip to the airport on Saturday morning.

IMG_0813Should you find yourself at an In-n-Out sometime soon, consider ordering your burger “Animal Style” – you won’t be disappointed.

IMG_1090Checking out the Apogee body piercing studio in Ocean Beach – another obligatory stop.  No piercings obtained, Mom – promise!

MCCE: And back here on the coast of Maine, Mia, Nick and their Soon-to-be-Collegians were hard at work with instructor Jaed Coffin today, putting the final pieces together before tomorrow’s unveiling of the essay. They put down the laptops this afternoon for a couple of rainy hours doing community service with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.

mcee1One-on-one conferencing with Jaed.

photo 2 (5)Essay-pano! 

Guest Trip – Maine Coast Senior – Blogger-extraordinaire Annika made good use of her day off and got together up in Acadia with co-leaders Pete Cutler and Emily Sherry (Coast to Quebec, ’14 – ???, ’15) and Apogee Demi-God David Cutler (cousin to Pete, NEMC ’10, NWX/MSA ’11, ACC ’12, ECC ’13).  Annika – seriously – don’t forget to come back.  Writing this thing is hard!


Day 42: Birthdays and Other Huge Celebrations!

By Alex Doig

Hello to the wide world of Apogee Adventures! I have emerged from the gear barn (the Doighouse) to fill in for our beloved Annika today. Here goes nothing!

Birthday Boys! That’s right folks, today is a very special day here at Apogee Adventures. It is the birthday of our wonderful founder, Kevin Cashman!  It is also the birthday of Pacific Coast Support Guru Extraordinaire, Christian Edwards!  And what better way to celebrate than by toasting the successful arrival of VM into Montreal and ACC2 into Saaaaan Diiiieeeeegoooo! With celebrations across the world, let’s see how our trips marked this special occasion.

Maine Coast Junior (MCJA): Our junior adventurers set out on a full day-hike today. Check out the smiles on these kiddos!

photo 5 (2)“Happy Birthday, Kevin!”

photo 1 (5)Seriously, guys – we can still see you…

photo 3 (2)

These photos missed the blog yesterday, so here’s a recap on Tuesday’s adventures:

photo 2 (2)Looking fly on the Fuji Nevada. Zero to sixty in… well, never mind.

photo 3 (1)

photo 4 (1) photo 5 (1)

photo 4Lunchtime in the beautiful summer sun. Wish I was there with you guys!

Maine Coast Junior (MCJB): These lucky ducks set out today on their biking adventure after waiting out a wet morning in Bar Harbor.  I assembled most of their bikes, so I can personally guarantee the safest and smoothest ride imaginable.

IMG_4997.JPGPre-biking trip to Acadia’s Thunder Hole

IMG_7995Post-biking pizza with guest biking instructor Pete Cutler of Coast to Quebec fame!

Vermont to Montréal (VM): Bienvenue à Montréal! We made it! After more than 230 miles, our intrepid riders arrived at their hostel in the great city of Montréal. Tomorrow, the group will explore the city and celebrate the journey with a final dinner.

IMG_3545I think we’re getting close.

IMG_1823I really  think we’re getting close!

IMG_9652I really think we’re really close!!! Congratulations! We are so proud of you all!

California Mountains and Coast (CMC): Middle day in the backcountry. The group may be out of cell-service, but I’m sure if they sing loud enough Kevin will hear them. He’s in the same state now!

Carribean Service Adventure (CSA): “Can you say transit day?” – text from Will, as the group waited for the afternoon ferry from Fajardo to Vieques. Once on the ferry, they enjoyed some fantastic views of the Puerto Rican coast. The afternoon was spent mingling with local students and exploring the town of Isabel Segundo on the lovely island of Vieques.

IMG_0635In the ferry terminal

IMG_6360Surefire sign of a good time: giving thumbs up in your sleep!

Montana Service Adventure (MSA): Whitewater Wednesday!!! Today these service-seekers turned thrill-seekers took to the Flathead river for some whitewater rafting.  No pictures by press-time as they were still on the water, but we’ll have plenty to post tomorrow as they set out on their last ride of the trip into Whitefish!

Northwest Explorer (NWX): More sea-kayaking today. These paddlers have set up base-camp on Cypress Island (one of the least developed in the San Juans) and have been exploring the greater area. Sign me up please.


Pacific Coast (PCA): 41 beautiful miles of beautiful country and coastline today. Tomorrow they’re headed into the heart of San Francisco.



IMG_6164…and one with the birthday boy!

Pacific Coast (PCB): 61 miles today (after 66 yesterday!) These guys have been working hard. Tomorrow they’ll cut down on the mileage and roll over the Golden Gate into San Francisco!

IMG_0299.JPGApogee! To the top!



Alps Explorer (AX): Lots of smiles today as these Alps Explorers tackle a less rigorous, yet equally breathtaking portion of the Tour de Mont Blanc. Lakes, mountains, good friends, and hot cocoa? Sounds like a perfect day to me.

IMG_5909Lac Champex

IMG_0328Hot cocoa break. Life is rough!


IMG_5024Who are you bringing to prom?

IMG_7121Group hug with a view!

American Coast to Coast (ACC1):  They are enjoying their last day together and awaiting the arrival of ACC2 at the beach this afternoon! Airport tomorrow!?

IMG_4769Good morning, Josh!




American Coast to Coast (ACC2):  THEY MADE IT!! Sam and Ally’s rockstars are at the beach as I type!!  They are enjoying the celebrations held with parents, families, friends, and their fellow Apogee All-Stars ACC1!

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IMG_4458.JPGBoth groups together celebrating!

photoWe couldn’t be prouder or happier back here at HQ!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE): Today our future Hemingways returned to Bowdoin for a workshop focusing on interview skills. Afterward, these guys relaxed with a picnic and an afternoon of swimming at Wolfe’s Neck.

MCCE1“…and there you have the formula for the perfect blog post.”


Thanks for reading my one and only blog post this summer (Chad helped). Looks like these trips will all be wrapping up soon, meaning lots of gear is en route to my position. Better get back to the barn!

Over and out, Doig-Doig