Day 12 – Outlandish Poses!

Alright, alright, Wide World of Apogee.  Sam is in Deepest Maine today, helping to facilitate a van shuttle, so I’m afraid you’re stuck with Chad again.  I don’t know about where you are, but today is one of the most beautiful summer days I’ve ever seen here in Midcoast Maine.  If you’re able, I recommend hopping in the car and coming up our way for a day or two.  Maine would love to see you!  OK, Chamber of Commerce message complete, let’s make the rounds!

CI: Drew and Shannon called it a wrap today and it was all hugs and Facebook-Friending in Boston this morning.  They had a great day yesterday – and sucked the proverbial marrow from their explorations around the historic center.  And regarding the picture, nothing says “I’ve had a great trip – thanks, Mom!” like flashing a fake gang sign on a merry-go-round – don’t you think?

NEMC: Our White Mountain hikers are trading their hiking boots for paddling – after a last, fun hike up to Winniweta Falls this morning, the group is headed to Maine and will be rafting the Kennebec tomorrow.  Should be fantastic.  And regarding their picture, it’s obvious that their hiking has been paying off in some massive muscle growth!

DEX: Our other New England hikers are headed into the woods today!  Kelly, Garth, and their Fearless Few are joining the thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail’s 100-Mile Wilderness tonight – they’re in for a treat with perfect hiking conditions in store – warm days, clear skies, and cool nights will usher them north towards Katahdin’s mighty peak.  Here they are at the trailhead, putting on their best Woods Ninja.  Very fearsome.

CQA: Susie, Nick and their dynamos are looking forward to a little rafting of their own tomorrow.  It will be a great day out of the saddle as they tackle another stretch of the Kennebec.  But today was a highlight of a different sort – I mean, who wouldn’t want to ride their bikes to Jackman, Maine and put on a neon wig??

CQB: These rock-n-rollers were into camp by 2:00 today!  Yowzas!  While we are impressed with their efficiency on the road, their “send-HQ-a-picture-before-5:00” follow through leaves something to be desired….  We promise to update the blog if we get something from them!

VM: An auspicious occasion for our Vermonsters – they should now go by the somewhat less mellifluous “Quebecsters.”  (Not only is it less mellifluous, but you lose the monster reference, too – entirely inadequate!  But I digress…)  In any case, these guys crossed the international border today and are now making their way through rural Quebec – it’s hard to believe, but they are less than 48 hours from Montreal!

CSA: Way down to our collective south, our CSAers spent their day working with the indomitable Carmen Portela-Weir and her Reach for Success program.  Today was spent baking cakes, etc., in preparation for their upcoming bake sale, and then monkeying around on a 300-year-old Silk Cotton Tree (see below).  They had an amazing, mind-blowing time paddling around the Bio Bay last night – it was a great day kayaking in the mangroves, snorkeling on a coral reef, enjoying a sunset dinner on a secluded beach, and then returning for the grand finale of watching billions of disturbed dinoflagellates light up in the Bio Bay on a dark night.

CMC: Unfortunately, Tim and Jillian are well out of cell-phone range again and we didn’t get another picture from them while they were briefly in civilization yesterday.  We enjoyed a great check-in call with them yesterday – they had a spectacular time in Big Sur.  The 9-mile coastal hike in Andrew Molera State Park was a big hit.  For their next three nights, however, they’re in Yosemite National Park’s high country, exploring the backcountry at about 8500 feet.  We’ll look forward to hearing from them on Thursday!

PCA: Joining the Out-of-Cellphone-Range Club today are McKayla and Micah.  I did hear from McKayla earlier today, however – they were more than halfway through a big 60-mile day well before lunch.  One of the real highlights of today’s ride will have been riding the majestic Avenue of the Giants through ancient redwoods.  We should be able to get a picture from them tomorrow and will update the blog with any sequoia shots if we happen to get one later this evening.

UPDATE 7-10:  Micah was able to send a couple of great shots of their group marveling at the sheer size of the redwoods…

PCB: No majestic Avenue of the Giants for Hannah and Shem’s group today – but they did get to pose at a fake bear cut-out and work in a little mini-golf.  Which is, let’s be honest, almost as cool as 1000-year-old redwoods….  They enjoyed a great ride today and they’ll be following McKayla and Micah’s group away from the coast tomorrow and into the redwoods.

MSA: Josh, Addie and their Front Rangers are on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation today.  When I checked in with Josh, he said that service today was fantastic – they were able to help the Boys and Girls Club on the reservation with several long-delayed chores around the club.  As far as I can tell, in this picture we’re sitting in a tipi, riding a horse, cleaning up after smelly buffalo, and swimming in the river – alternate interpretations are more than welcome!

TSA: We just heard from Laura and Pat over in Italy a few minutes ago – they weren’t able to send a picture today (although we’re promised a good one for tomorrow) – but Laura said that they had an amazing time exploring Florence.  Pizza was eaten, gelato was licked, and the Duomo was climbed.  Sounds good to me.  Tomorrow, they’re back on their bikes and off for the fascinating towers and numerous tour buses of San Gimignano.

ACC1: David and Anna 70 miles into their 90 mile day at lunch today – and they are long into camp now.  They in the below shot from their air-conditioned lunch stop – apparently, the contrast between the hot southern air outside and the cool air conditioned inside makes one do strange things with lettuce.

ACC2: Mike sent in this lovely, decidedly not-outlandish shot of their gang getting on the road today at dawn.  It was only a 70-mile day – and, of course, they were done by lunch.  Nice….