Day 41: High Five – The Final Countdown

By: Emily Sturtevant

Perhaps it’s hard to believe, but there are only 5 full days left in the Apogee summer! As our hikers make their way to their summits, our bikers close in on their final destinations, and our friends in Puerto Rico start to wind down their service projects, the crews worldwide seem to be having a great day out on trip!

Maine Coast Junior (MCJ3):

This group has traded in their boots for bikes and now their bikes for kayaks as they hit the water today. They enjoyed a beautiful Maine summer day during a paddle around Casco Bay. Tomorrow the group will do service in the morning with the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program before taking the afternoon off to explore the area and go out to eat for a celebratory final dinner.

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New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC3):

Isa and Pom’s kiddos spent their last full day in the White Mountains hiking Wildcat Mountain, which is primarily known for its great skiing in the winter. The group will have time for a morning hike tomorrow before they head back to Maine where they will spend the next five days rafting, doing community service, and kayaking.


Cape Cod and the Islands (CI3):

This morning Alyssa and Kevin’s group were “hanging ten” as they enjoyed a surfing lesson on one of the many beautiful Cape Cod beaches. They learned about positioning and other techniques before hitting the waves. In the afternoon they soaked up some more sun while becoming even closer with some trust building activities before heading back to camp for a relaxing evening.

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Vermont to Montreal (VM3):

Oh Canada, our home and native land… VM3 has crossed the border into Canada! Which means they have only two full days of biking until they reach their final destination of Montreal. Today they rode through quintessential Canadian farmland while they daydreamed about maple syrup, poutine (a Quebec classic compiled of french fries, cheese curd, and gravy!), and baguettes.

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Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX3):

It was another awesome day in the backcountry for these hikers as they enjoyed smooth sailing to their campsite for the night. Tomorrow they will hike back towards civilization where they will enjoy a celebratory lunch before they get ready to hike Katahdin on Saturday. We can barely believe it, but they were able to sneak a picture through the woods to us!

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California Mountains and Coast (CMC3):

Matt and Midge’s crew was in the Yoesmite backcountry again today, with plans for a magnificent day hike around the Ten Lakes Basin. Tonight they’ll cozy up at camp and plan another fun day off the grid. Unfortunately, their fun in the backcountry means no pictures for us, but we’re looking forward to getting some good ones when they reconnect with cell service in a few days.

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA3):

CSA had a change of scenery today as they hopped on a ferry to the island of Vieques. They’ll spend their next couple of days on Vieques working with an organization called Reach for Success – who works to identify resources and create opportunities for youth in the Vieques area. The group will volunteer and learn about the local community before they head back to San Juan for their end of trip celebrations.

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Montana Service Adventure (MSA2):

Despite a few unexpected route changes, we are happy to say these adventurers still got to ride the Going to the Sun road today. This truly incredibly ride was the first roadway to be designated both a National Historic Landmark and a National Civil Engineering Landmark. Annika and Christian’s group enjoyed some spectacular views.

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Coast to Quebec A (CQ2A):

CQA’s ride today was filled with gorgeous farm fields, quiet back roads, and the River Chaudiere, as Rosa and Kirk’s team make it closer and closer to Quebec City. The group is excited for tomorrow’s ride into the city and their chance to celebrate their achievements and explore together.

Coast to Quebec B (CQ2B):

Bienvenue! CQB has also crossed the border and made it to our neighbor up north, Canada! The group faced a long hill before customs, but these lean, mean, biking machines where more than ready to face it. Only one more day of riding, which means the group will be entering Quebec City tomorrow! Where has the time gone?

Northwest Explorer (NWX2):

This group traded in their hiking boots for paddles today, as they set off to spend the next three days kayaking around the San Juan Islands. They’ll spend their nights at gorgeous beach campsites, do trail maintenance on one of the islands, and hopefully see lots of wildlife including seals, bald eagles, and starfish.


It’s clear they don’t like watermelon…

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Pacific Coast A (PC2A):

Today West and Abby’s crew had an absolutely gorgeous ride with lightly rolling hills and fantastic views of the ocean as they travel closer to San Fran (just over 70 miles now!). Tonight is their final night camping on the coast. The service to send pictures isn’t plentiful but the excitement is, so we’re sure they’re busy getting ready for their jam-packed next few days.

Pacific Coast B (PC2B):

It was a big challenge day for PCB today as they conquered their longest day of the trip – 66 miles! They had beautiful weather to usher them along some of their final rolling coastal hills. Only 100 more miles to San Francisco!


The happy bunch eating their lunch!

Alps Explorer A (AX2A):

Another border crossing today! A short, steep walk up to Col de Grande Ferret got the group to the Swiss border where they enjoyed some amazing views over the terrain they’ve covered the past few days. After finishing their hike through an idyllic Swiss valley, the group settled into their campsite for the night overlooking some epic glacial views.

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Apogee prom?

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Alps Explorer B (AX2B):

Over 100 miles of hiking later, the group has completed the Tour du Mont Blanc! After some celebratory pictures at the end, they took a bus and train to Fiesch where they will set up camp, have the chance for an afternoon swim, and enjoy a big dinner to commemorate their awesome accomplishment. Tomorrow they’ll explore the famous (and epic) Aletsch Glacier.

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America Coast to Coast (ACC):

After the endorphin rush that comes with crossing the country (we can’t even imagine!), the group spent the day relaxing and relishing in the amazing feat that they’ve accomplished together. They will spend the next few days basking in each others presence and celebrating – West Coast style. We are all so proud of this group, and we hope they enjoyed their day of resting, going to the beach, and eating lots of amazing food.