Day 13: Full Circle For Some

By Michael Kravitz & His Helper Elves

With many challenges, the end of an adventure is something that is both anxiously anticipated and bittersweet when it arrives. Once that goal is achieved, that summit reached, or that final mile biked, along with pride and satisfaction there’s very often a feeling of real sadness that the end has come. With our first-round Cape Cod & the Islands, Vermont to Montreal, and Caribbean Service Adventure trips all calling it a wrap today, we are feeling all of those emotions at the office, but we are hopeful that our students will keep in touch and join us again in the years to come! And with all of the trips coming to an end – a new star was born today in MCCE1 (coincidentally, our last first-round trip to start).

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE1): Greg and Eliza gathered their flock today on a warm afternoon and headed down to the seaside. First order of business? A swim in the bay, of course. For the next week the crew will work closely with their leaders and a local English professor to craft the perfect college essay. What better place to do so than on the amazing shores of Maine in a rustic little cabin?MCCE

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI1): After an amazing twelve days together. The CI crew said their final goodbyes today at the hostel in Boston before heading out with their parents in the early morning. Hearing about how great the group was from the leaders, Grace and Henry, we are very hopeful that we’ll be seeing these island explorers in future Apogee trips in the summers to come.

New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC1): Julia and Andy’s crew enjoyed their second day in the White Mountains today, enjoying views of the famed spanning the Presidential range. With base camp located near Crawford Notch, a beautiful break in one of the of most mountainous parts of the Appalachian Mountains, the crew got to witness lovely cascades and waterfalls that sluice down the steep rock into the deep mountain valley.

Chilling on Frankenstein Cliffs by a nearby waterfall

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA1): After exploring the amazing island of Puetro Rico and completing 36 hours of community service, the CSA crew said their goodbyes today as they board planes back to their respective homes. Hasta luego, amigos!

Phone booth game in a 400 year old guard shack! Why not?

Vermont to Montreal A & B (VM1A&B): Our VM crews bid each other adieu today as they finished their incredible journey to Montreal. Conquering some fierce weather, the “Wall,” and the occasionally-confusing signage of a foreign city, the groups made it to Montreal with flying colors! We hope to see these groups again at Apogee!  

The VMB crew hangs out under sunny skies today in Montreal

Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEX1A): After successfully summiting Katahdin yesterday, the DEX1A crew headed back to Freeport today for their final night together. What a great opportunity for the group to finally kick back, relax, and reflect on the amazing experiences they’ve had over the past twelve days.  


Maine’s Downeast Explorer B (DEX1B): The DEX1B crew had their last “island breakfast” today as they packed their things, paddled back to shore, and headed down the coast to Freeport. While tomorrow will mark the end of their journey, we they’re telling stories from this trip to tell for years to come.  


Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS1): Emily, Thomas, and their fun-loving grupo started their final day of the trip with with a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park, a dip in the Pacific and a picnic lunch before traveling to Alajuela this afternoon. Parents will be happy to know that they successfully fought off marauding monkeys, raccoons, and iguanas at the beach… Final Tico dinner tonight – more rice and beans, anyone?  

Don’t mind us – just hanging out in the Pacific!
This little fellow was apparently quite interested in the group’s lunch…
Getting the low-down in Manuel Antonio this morning
A real snoozing sloth!
That’s a real Costa Rican grasshopper right there, folks.

Coast to Quebec A (CQ1A): Emily and Kadin’s crew completed their longest ride of the trip today, riding a stout 51 miles (!) into the heart of Old Quebec (not including the lovely ferry ride over the St. Lawrence…). The group is ecstatic and tired after completing their challenge day, particularly the last precipitous hill they conquered in their very last mile of riding.   

Couldn’t be happier to make it to Quebec!

Coast to Quebec B (CQ1B): Bienvenue à Québec! After a long 65-mile day (even more !), the CQ2 crew completed their own challenge day today, making it through the lovely old walls of Vieux Quebec. We couldn’t be more excited for our CQ groups and look forward to hearing their stories about their rest day in Quebec tomorrow. 


California Mountains & Coast A&B (CMC1A&B): After completing their service projects this morning, our groups headed to San Francisco for a bit o’sightseeing among the sea-lions this afternoon. They are excited for their final dinner (come on now – who wants another sourdough bread bowl?) tonight, but sad to be leaving the great groups that have formed.

CMCA checking out the Redwoods
CMCB crew poses from a quick picture during their morning of service – careful with those pick-axes, guys…
CMCB takes a well-deserved rest where the pavement is “warmer than the air.” Are they spelling something out or creating a ritualistic symbol? We just don’t know…

Montana Service Adventure (MSA1): Freddy and Anna’s Big Sky Buccaneers left the reservation (quite literally) today and ventured into stunning Glacier National Park. Passing from the plains into the mountains, the group conquered a decent climb or two this morning and watched as the prairie brush was replaced by aspens and the aspens turned into lush, coniferous trees. They’re excited to finally be in the mountains and to have the opportunity to volunteer in the National Park tomorrow.MSA

Northwest Explorer (NWX1): Well, friends, there is only so much we can say about this crew without having pictures to do the talking for us… but only two more days of waiting! Tonight is their fourth of five evenings in the magnificent North Cascades National Park.  Just picture hiking past high alpine lakes, playing games, and singing trail songs and you’ve got the picture!

Pacific Coast A (PC1A): Bonnie, Mike and their Coastal Crew conquered (10 points to the blog for outstanding alliteration) 47 winding miles today – making their way further down the coast and past a whole bunch of incredible trees. The crew got an early start to avoid the worst of the day’s heat, making it to camp in plenty of time to explore the beautiful park.  

Which way to San Francisco?
Whoa – don’t look at this picture for two long. Or after consuming ayahuasca.

Pacific Coast B (PC1B): Lindsay and Spencer rode a beautiful 60 miles today into California’s famed Humboldt State Park. With rolling terrain in the morning and some steeper climbs in the afternoon the group was awed by the famous “Avenue of Giants,” a section of road lined with gigantic Redwood Trees. No picture by press time! Hopefully we’ll have a few to share tomorrow.

Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX1): Matt and Midge’s Highland Hardchargers were up early this morning as they pulled on their packs and made their way 13.5 miles to Gairlochy via the Great Glen Way. Spanning 117 km from the North Sea to the Atlantic, the Great Glen Way follows the major natural fault-line of the Great Glen which divides Scotland from coast to coast.

Not a midge in sight! Just a Midge! And we like her!

Alps Explorer (AX1): Benvenuto in Italia! The AX crew crossed from France into Italy via the Col de la Seigne today, hiking 15 km in wet weather, the group made great time and made it in to camp by 2 p.m. — more than enough time to enjoy some tea and hot chocolate. Staying in another refugio tonight, the crew will be enjoying the fact that this lodge serves both dinner and breakfast as they gear up for a big 25 km day of hiking tomorrow. The wifi, unfortunately, was down this afternoon – but we’ll have pictures from Courmayeur tomorrow!

Europe Coast to Coast (ECC): Bienvenue à France! While the Tour de France is currently riding in the Pyrenees in the south of France, the people of northern France got to witness their own (equally imressive, if we do say so ourselves) Tour de France as they watched our triumphant cyclists ride 86 km through the border and into the beautiful country, steeped in cycling history.

While not entirely sure, we think they’re pointing to the sign – and we think the sign says “welcome to France.” Probably in French. But again – not exactly sure…

America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): While many trips are ending today, the ACC1 trips are still very much in the thick of it. ACC1 continued their trip with a mere 90-mile ride today, riding deeper into the heart of Mississippi.


America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): ACC2 completed a “century,” or 100-mile, ride today, crossing into Mississippi. Having finished 100 miles, the group is feeling energized by their accomplishment of breaking into a new state.ACC2