Day 12: Braving the Elements


Through the chaos of each day, it can be difficult to keep in mind the building blocks of life. However, if you look hard enough, you will notice that each Apogee group has chemistry, and periodically we will shine light on the fundamental nature of each trip and all of its elements.

If you haven’t noticed already, we wanted to make sure that you got your daily dose of science despite the onset of summer vacation, so brace yourself for a heck of a lot of chemistry puns in the following write-ups!

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

While exploring the streets of Boston today, a periodical single tear may have been seen running down the cheeks of these riders on their last day together. This incredible group has a lot to celebrate tonight – they Rhod-ium their bikes all the way down the Cape, they surfed, they made new friends… what a wonderful week and a half!

On the
On the ferry, bein’ merry!
The whole crew!
Story time!

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

Goodbyes are an inevitable element of all Apogee trips. After more than a week of unforgettable hiking, kayaking, rafting, and service, NEMCA wrapped up their trip this afternoon. The gang will look back fondly on their days spent exploring the waterfalls of The White Mountains, nights around their hearty, delicious camp food, and all of the laughs and memories that came along the way.

Final dinner

New England Mountains & Coast B (NEMCB)

Noble gases are some of the most stable elements within the periodic table. They are strong, solid, and often even… silly! However, one result of their impressive stability is that they separate. Similarly, this group – oh so stable and silly in their element together – inevitably had to part ways after an incredible adventure. Sorry to say goodbye, we know they Argon-na miss each other!

Group Hug!
Matching shirts and matching smiles!

Caribbean Service (CS)

All for one and sul-fur all! CS’ elemental name translates to “carbon sulfur,” and while we, here at the office, think that Carbon Sulfur sounds like the name of a failed garage band, our Puerto Rico crew is harnessing their inner chemistry nerd and finding the “solution” to having the best Apogee trip of all time! Team CS had an epic day, completing yet another service project, grubbing out at an outdoor cookout, and exploring the bay via sea kayak.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

To be totally honest, I was looking for a chemistry joke for this post and I couldn’t find one. All of the good ones Argon! You know what’s not gone? DEXA’s love of the outdoors. The crew took to Baxter State park for another day of spectacular hiking; they even summited Maine’s highest peak, Mount Katahdin! Completing the final leg of the Appalachian Trail was a fitting last hike for this crew. The scenic hike (photos below) featured shots of lush valleys, quaint bridges and boundless wilderness.

Started from the bottom, now they’re there!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

Hydrogen is the island of the periodic world. A lone electron orbits isolated hydrogen, a molecule known for its daydreaming tendencies and unconscious reveries. What molecule could be more peaceful than hydrogen? What setting more sublime than an island? DEXB could tell you after enjoying their second day island hopping off the coast of Maine, gently careening between rocky passages and basking in the Atlantic sunlight. They’re now gearing up for another night of shore-side camping.

On Millet Island where DEXB cleaned up trash for their community service project!

Vermont to Montréal A (VMA)

You might zinc that after already biking across the Canadian border, and biking for two weeks straight this group would be tired. But no! This tireless crew crushed their last day of biking today. They made it to their final destination of Montreal and now get to enjoy the last few days exploring this city where poutine is the routine. A dream!


Vermont to Montréal B (VMB)

Here’s the deets on VMB’s miles, oh K? This group Potassi(ed)-all-of-um (read: passed all of them) today as they cruised to their final destination of Montreal. They are sad to be done with the biking portion of their trip, but excited to celebrate their transnational journey in such an incredible place!


Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

The Costa Rican jungle is anything but boron (boring). So many wild animals to be glimpsed. So much interesting flora and fauna knowledge to be learned. Did you know that there is a tree in the rainforest that walks? True. Fact. The natural world is pretty incredible. After their time in the rainforest, no one knows this more intimately than CRMC!

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

Californium, discovered in Berkeley (not to far away from where this group is spending the day in the Bay Area), is a unique element. Similar to the unique elements of this trip (sea kayaking, hiking, general exploring), Californium is special, just like the chemistry between these adored adventurers.

Surfs up smiles!
Who knew service could be so scenic?
I thought surfuing usually took place in the ocean but this seesms fun to!

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

CMCB (or corium carbon boron as we referring to them today) hit the big city today! San Francisco, home to Full House, cable cars and the Golden Gate bridge, marks the final destination for this high achieving bunch. After a morning of service, CMCB is hitting the town for a final night of good eats before they say their last goodbyes tomorrow.

Surfs Up!
Community Service!
New Cover?

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

These folks Ar-gon into the backcountry, enjoying the simple life at Bench Creek. We can only imagine the fun they are having (because they cannot show us due to their lack of service). They are making an epic journey across the park where the views ar-senic, and we can’t wait to see the photos!

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

A rest day on the Washington coast after three days of sea kayaking? That (Puget) sounds amazing! Team NWXB enjoyed a chance to relax and heal(ium) up their hardworking muscles as they settled into their first official rest day of trip.

Pacific Coast (PCA)

Aren’t you just iodine (pronounced for joke purposes here as io-dying) for a PCA update this evening? The good vibes continue to stream from Carter and Jesse’s bike crew as they make their way down the California coast. The gang bagged some more mileage and caught some cool ocean breezes before they were io-DONE with their action-packed day, setting up camp near Mendocino.

Pacific Coast (PCB)

Berkelium (atomic number 97) was first discovered in the city of Berkeley, California in 1949. The excitement from that scientific discovery from more than half a century ago mirrors the overflowing energy PCB displayed as they rocketed through the redwoods en route to the Bay Area this afternoon. You could even say that Jack and Grace’s crew is Ber-killing it these days!

Community service!

Pyrenees Mountains & Coast (PMC)

The PMC crew spent the day surfing up a storm (not an actual storm – that would not be good for surfing). Was the water they were surfing fresh? Na, it had plenty of sodium (get it?). After plenty of fun in the sun these tired kids are looking forward to heading to Barcelona for some city time!

Alps Explorer (AXA)

Team AXA got up and atom (zing!) this morning, packing up their tents and heading further along the French section of the TMB. If you were to look at AXA’s daily miles and atom all up (zing again!), you’d see that this amazing group of hikers has already covered more than 40 miles of the trek around Mont Blanc. The dreamy campsite they are staying at tonight has no service, so no pictures – sorry! 

Alps Explorer (AXB)

Snowflakes are formed through the bonding of minuscule ice crystals in clouds. Glaciers are formed when those minuscule bonded ice crystals fall to the earth and remain long enough and in enough mass to create thick ice. At the elevation AXB is exploring, they are seeing this phenomenon on epic display. Woah.

Is this real?

Europe Coast to Coast (ECC)

The element Europium was discovered in France by the incredible Eugène-Antole Demarçay. Europium is known to be the most reactive of the earth elements. As this incredible group of bikers cruised through the home territory of this element, they couldn’t help but react to the stunning scenery!

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

While Americium (atomic number 95) is known by chemists for its highly radioactive tendencies, ACC1 is quickly becoming known here in the office for their ability to handle any challenge the American roadways throw their way. Our cross country crew bagged some more high mileage today, blazing through the Southern sun for another day full of pedals, pals and persistent progress en route to the West coast. Nice work!


America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

Light travels at 186,282 miles per second… so does ACC2. Plants use light energy to create chemical energy… so does Ezra’s hair. Light can penetrate 80 meters into the ocean… and Apogee will also be going into the ocean at the end of their trip. The similarities are endless! After a lightning fast journey thus far, this crew is making Apogee history in speed and in fun.

Spot the difference?