By: Michael Kravitz
All across the Apogee world today, our students have been busy reaching their goals. Whether it be reaching final destinations, like in Montreal and Boston, enduring multi-night stints in the North Cascades and Yosemite backcountries, or working hard to help their respective communities, our groups have made a difference – and they’ve had a blast doing so. So, without further ado, cue the Mission Impossible theme song, and read on.
Cape Cod & the Islands (CI1): Having spent the morning in Provincetown, Henry and Grace’s group boarded a ferry this afternoon and arrived to Boston, their final destination. They’ll enjoy a roof over their heads for the last few nights of the trip, as they explore all Boston has to offer by day. Has it really already been 10 days together?
New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC1): Our first NEMC trip of the summer is off with a bang! After meeting up in Massachusetts this morning, the crew headed up to Maine where they got acquainted with the camping lifestyle and played some classic Apogee get-to-know-you games. And what better way to begin the bonding process than with a day chalked-full of team-building games and achievable challenges at their ropes course tomorrow.
Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA1): CSA had a big day today that included both service and kayaking. They spent the morning working with local students with Reach for Success, and then the gang headed to one of the most scenic coves in the Caribbean for an afternoon of paddling.
Vermont to Montreal A (VM1A): Bonjour Montreal! The VMA crew arrived at their final destination today. They rode through farmland in the morning, which quickly transitioned to the second largest urban center in Canada. Today’s ride also included a few laps on a Formula 1 track, and after nearly two weeks of riding, we can only imagine they were setting track records. Tomorrow, Red and Ariel’s team will enjoy a well-deserved day-off and explore Montreal.
Vermont to Montreal B (VM1B): After a monster 50-miler yesterday, today’s final 33 miles into Montreal was a breeze for Chandler and Anna’s Vermonsters (or, dare we say it, Montrealsters?) They’re safely into the hostel, enjoying warm showers, real beds, and dreams of exploring Montreal tomorrow.
Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEX1A):Today the DEX1A group hiked out of the backcountry and transitioned to Baxter State Park. With some time to recuperate and stock up on food, the crew entered one of the largest unadulterated protected areas on the Eastern Seaboard. Unfortunately, the beauty of Baxter comes at a price: no pictures tonight, but we’ll eagerly await them tomorrow. Tomorrow’s schedule: Mount Katahdin.
Maine’s Downeast Explorer B (DEX1B): The DEX1B group began their last big adventure of the trip today as they hopped aboard their kayaks and paddled their way to an island campsite where they will be staying the next two nights (they’ve deemed tonight’s accommodations “our own private isle”). Shannon and Jared’s team will also be combining this excursion with community service; at each island they paddle to, they will stop and collect any trash or debris, leaving this beautiful coastline even more pristine than it was before. Thanks for keeping Maine beautiful, guys!
Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS1): The CRLS1 group got an early start this morning as they transitioned to Manuel Antonio National Park, an animal kingdom filled with sloths, monkeys, toucans, lizards, and lots more. And if this truly amazing place isn’t enough to make you wish you were there, the pictures of the beautiful Pacific Ocean beaches (posted in the days to come) will do the trick. Their service work involved two days building an aquaponic system. The goal of the system is to be a model for local communities to show them that healthy foods can easily be grown locally without much deforestation.
Coast to Quebec A (CQ1A): The CQ1A team checked “cross the Canadian border” off of their To-Do-List today. While the steep hills of the final fifteen miles from the campsite to the border wasn’t easy, Emily and Kadin’s group was welcomed to Canada with a largely flat cruise to camp. This is their second-to-last night of camping of the trip, as they’re now just a day and a half’s ride from Quebec. At this point, they can probably smell the poutine. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait another day or two for pictures, as the Canadian service won’t allow for the sending of photos.
Coast to Quebec B (CQ1B): Today the CQ1B group completed their longest ride of the trip so far, devouring the 55 miles and heading deeper into the Maine wilderness, just south of the Canadian border now. Riding on some of the most remote roads east of the Mississippi, we wouldn’t be surprised if the group saw more moose than people today.
California Mountains & Coast A (CMC1A): The CMCA crew enjoyed a short hike out of the Yosemite backcountry this morning, although it did not lack beautiful views. Afterwards, they had a big transit back to the coast, where they’ll “hang loose” tomorrow morning during a morning of surfing. Now, enough talking; see for yourself what they’ve been up to the last few days in Yosemite!
California Mountains & Coast B (CMC1B): The CMC1B crew woke up on an island this morning, and how many of us can say that? After breaking camp and fighting the winds back to the mainland, they loaded the van, headed down the coast to Santa Cruz, and resupplied for the last few days of their journey together. Tomorrow they will spend the morning surfing in some of the top surfing spots in California. Tonight, they’ll sleep among more Redwood giants.
Montana Service Adventure (MSA1): Freddy and Anna’s crew had a “casual” 40-mile day of riding today as they made their way towards Glacier National Park. Now on a Native American reservation, the group is excited to be volunteering tomorrow with members of the Blackfeet tribe. Balloons were aplenty today as they celebrated a birthday, too – what a treat! Oh, and how could we forget? Photographic evidence of the fashion show that occurred last night – enjoy!
Northwest Explorer (NWX1): The NWXers spent their first full day in the backcountry today in the beautiful North Cascades National Park. With one third of all glaciers in the Lower 48 located within the park, we can only imagine the incredible views the group is enjoying. Unfortunately, we’ll have to be patient to see their photos, but we know that it will be worth the wait!
Pacific Coast A (PC1A): Having made it to Eureka yesterday, the crew had the day off to rest, recuperate, and enjoy Eureka. Preparing for a long 60-miler tomorrow, they’re happy to have the chance to rest their legs on such a gorgeous day. Bonnie and Mike report that spirits are high! See for yourself.
Pacific Coast B (PC1B): Lindsay and Spencer’s team arrived safely and happily to their destination tonight after a challenging 54-mile ride today. The crew is sure to enjoy the pool and hot tub at the campground as they gear up for their day of community service tomorrow.
Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX1):The SHXers enjoyed a change of pace as they hit the water for a kayaking adventure today. They paddled along the Arisaig archipelago, a region known to have the most beautiful beaches in Scotland. Tomorrow, they’ll strap their boots back on for another big hike. Keep up the good work, friends!
Alps Explorer (AX1): Will and Becca’s AXers began today’s 10-mile day with a 600 meter climb. From there, they dropped in elevation, trekking through quaint french towns (sampling local goat cheese, perhaps?). They had a beautiful day of hiking, and, per usual, if you’d rather not be jealous of our friends in the Alps, we recommend you skip past this next photo. Tomorrow should prove to be one of their hardest days of the TMB, but we know they’re up for the challenge.
Europe Coast to Coast (ECC): Tim and Mia’s team took a well-deserved rest day in the Dutch city of Bruges today. Historically, Bruges was a portal to The Amber Road, a trade route to the East that began in 1600 BC. Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam and Stockholm, it is sometimes referred to as “The Venice of the North.”
America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): Due to a long afternoon of bad weather, our ACC1 team has made some slight itinerary changes, but they’re safely in for the night. After a strong morning of riding, what began as a short break turned into a long afternoon of well-deserved rest thanks to some southern storms. Tomorrow, they’ll get back at it for a big century ride. Parents of ACC1 families, you’ll find an updated itinerary sent via email, but if you have any further questions, please reach out to Kevin in the office.
America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): Dixie and Lucy’s ACC2 awoke early to a foggy morning before completing one of the hilliest days of the trip. They definitely earned their dinner tonight! They’re into camp tonight, safe, sleepy, and happy. Keep up the great work, guys!