Day 12: The Twelve Days of Apogee!

By: Jack Messerly & Izzy Janzen

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE): It was the first full day together for our MCCEer’s, and they wasted no time jumping right into things. This morning they met with the Director of Admissions at Bowdoin College to hear about college essays from an admissions perspective, and the gang spent the afternoon working on topic development exercises with Jaed, our master instructor. Later tonight they’re looking forward to a campfire together, too! Miles and Rhia reported nothing but great things today – and their crew can’t wait to get back at it tomorrow!

Here’s the morning workshop, brainstorming “not-so-common topics for the Common App”

New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC): It sounds like Pom and Isa’s group had as great of a first full day together as they could have imagined. This crew spent the day getting to know each other through fun and challenging team-building exercises, and even got the opportunity to try a few of the high ropes activities! What an awesome first day for NEMC, and we can’t wait to follow these guys as they head to the White Mountains of New Hampshire tomorrow.


Cape Cod & the Islands (CI): After 10 days, our Capers have arrived at their destination and had a full day to explore Boston. They had a long to-do list of things to see, and it looks like they really filled up their last full day together. They visited Frog Pond in Boston Commons, the State House, Faneuil Hall, and Quincy Market… all before lunch! Finally, in true Apogee fashion, they are looking forward to a delicious final dinner out together on the town. After speaking to their fearless leaders, Kevin and Alyssa, it sounds like it’s going to be a very sad goodbye tomorrow, because the group has gotten so close over the last thirteen days.

Good lookin’ breakfast in the hostel!
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Lobstah hats in Bahston!
This may be the winner for the office’s favorite picture of the day…

Vermont to Montreal (VM): After some delicious homemade pizzas last night, our recent Quebecoisians (pretty sure that isn’t a word….) took Montreal by storm today. They spent the day exploring together and generally basking in each others’ presence for one last day. They treated themselves to an incredible dinner in the city tonight before heading back to their hostel for a final “A’s and P’s.” (A’s and P’s stands for Apogees and Perigees- Apogee’s version of “Highs and Lows” for the day.) Hats off to Freddy, Anna, and our entire VM crew for such an amazing journey these two weeks!


California Mountains & Coast (CMC): Before our Californians spent the afternoon and evening in San Fran, they put in a full morning of community service work with the Rangers at Half Moon Bay State Beach on habitat restoration. Matt and Midge reported that the morning was hard work, but everyone was in great spirits and extremely excited to spend the rest of the day in Fisherman’s Wharf – specifically Ghirardelli Square (mmmmm……chocolate sodas…..)! They’re also very much looking forward to a great final dinner together on the water in San Francisco, and wishing they could forestall tomorrow’s flights by at least another week or so.



Good lookin’ shirts there!


Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA): After last night’s bio-luminescent paddle, we received a text from Blau that read, “Kayaking was as magical as you could have hoped for.” For CSA’s last full day together, they took a ferry back to the main island and spent the afternoon exploring Old San Juan, which, in our director Chad’s words, is a place “with a colorful history and an equally colorful present.” Thomas and Blau reported an amazing day, with inside jokes bringing laughter throughout the day. Tonight, they’ve got a big night out in town planned before tomorrow’s flights home.


Coast to Quebec A (CQA): Today was the big day for CQA- they crossed over into Canada! This evening they will reside in Saint-Rene, in the province of Quebec. In the words of our Assistant Director Shem the area they will be in is a beautiful, verdant green, fresh-farming valley. Sounds magical! Unfortunately the border crossing is not conducive to blog pictures so we weren’t able to get a group shot from them today.

Coast to Quebeb B (CQB): After a huge 55-mile day yesterday, our CQBer’s were certainly ready for a day off the saddles. Today the crew spent the day white water rafting on the Kennebec River in The Forks, ME. Now they’re gearing up for their big border-crossing tomorrow!

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Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEX A): Today DEXA came back to our neck of the woods. Tonight they will camp in the Freeport area and celebrate by heading into Portland for their final dinner to enjoy every last minute together before parting ways tomorrow morning. It looks like both DEX groups have had an amazing day and will certainly be sad to say goodbye tomorrow. It’s been a fabulous trip!


Maine’s Downeast Explorer B (DEX B): Like their DEXA compatriots our DEXBers are back in Freeport for their final evening and are spending their last dinner out in Portland for a festive farewell bonanza! They may even cross paths and high five on the streets of Portland. We were able to see this group as they passed through Brunswick today and they were having a blast, to say the least. It will be tough to say goodbye tomorrow but some great friendships have been made and the memories will be there forever!  dex1b

Montana Service Adventure (MSA): Today in Browning, the Montana service crew stumbled upon a “Youth Day” BBQ and fair – and Smoky the Bear! After their morning of service and community involvement the MSA squad continue on their bikes towards Aspenwood, Montana this afternoon!


msa11Rocking those reflective triangles like nobody’s business!

We sure hope they got to bounce around on those fun looking floats in the background!

Northwest Explorer (NWX): Today is the third day in the North Cascades back country for Will and Becca’s group. Today they are hiking through beautiful wild flower speckled meadows and scenic forest. We can only daydream of how beautiful their hike must be…do try and imagine because unfortunately we won’t get pictures from these guys for a few more days!

Pacific Coast A & B (PCA/B): Now for perhaps the biggest news in today’s blog: PCA and PCB have deemed today the first annual “Doig Day.” Below you will see a picture of Alex Doig (AKA, Doig, the Doigmaster, Doigalish, Doig Doig, etc.), our PC support man, in all of his glory. To both groups’ excitment, A and B had the chance to share the same campground last night and therefore had the ability to not only meet each other, but also plan their opportunity to celebrate Doig! Below is a picture of Doig and “all of his favorite things”: rocks, mushrooms, streamers, and love! (Doig is a GeoScience major at Hamilton with a serious passion for nature: thus the rocks and mushrooms…and who doesn’t love streamers and love?)

Pacific Coast A (PCA): Today PCA is riding through the Redwoods with minimal cell service, hopefully they will get a picture to us soon but we know that both spirits and energy are high today. In the meantime – here’s Doig!


Pacific Coast B (PCB): Today PCB did community service with Food for People, working to help with local food security through the same non-profit PCA worked with yesterday. They also enjoyed a day of well-earned rest for the tired leggies.

Just in case you didn’t see it the first time!

Alps Explorer A (AXA): AXA spent the day doing some epic (how many synonyms can we find for the word epic?) day hikes around Courmayeur. Additionally, they will most certainly partake in some tasty treats while out and about- pizza and gelato are definitely on the agenda!

axa axa axa

Alps Explorer B (AXB): Today AXB hiked through Val Veni to Courmayeur- they will have a day off tomorrow to rest up, explore and also enjoy similar delicacies including gelato and pizza. Below are some adorable pictures of cozy group bonding!

The European Pizza Hut?

Europe Coast to Coast A (ECCA): Today ECCA cycled a monster 112 km!! They made great time and enjoyed taking on the challenge together. This evening the group is camping beneath a chateau in Bar-le-Duc, France which is known for “Lorraine Jelly,” a delectable white or red currant fruit preserve that originated in Bar-le Duc. Yum!


Europe Coast to Coast B (ECCB): Today ECCB had a huge day of hills and, according to Postyn, “crushed it.” Always nice to hear! Today the group crossed back into France and did a border crossing dance as they went. Below you can also see some of the ECCB crew expanding their bike maintenance horizons by helping out a fellow campground kiddo with some technical troubles. Also today on ECCB, to add to the magic, the group stopped to take a tour of a church and a castle where the organ player decided to perform for them. What an awesome day to be an ECCBer!


America Coast to Coast (ACC): Continuing to cruise through Mississippi, the group covered approximately 90 miles of ground today. There was a fair amount of flat terrain towards the second half of the ride, which was a nice change of pace after the hilly days of late. The group is doing better than ever!

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