Day 13 – Baby Carlos and His Hill-Climbing Buddies

Today, Faithful Reader, is the last day without a trip ending or starting until July 20.  We have a lot of transitions coming up!   It’s been a busy day around the world, lots of hills climbed, lots of peanut butter consumed, lots of trees planted, lots of rapids run, a major metropolitan area entered, an international border crossed, and one pet lizard adopted, if briefly.

KIDS (as a reminder, “KIDS” – i.e. “Keepin’em In the Dark Syndrome” – is our current acronym for trips that have not sent in pictures today…):

VH — We heard from Sam and Jillian today – after an outstanding time on their overnight sea-kayak they are enjoying their last night together in Burlington.   They’re looking forward to their first real non-camp-food dinner in town tonight.   Will Ben & Jerry make an appearance?   Very likely.

VM — Today is the day that Rachel and Mason’s bevy hit the big city.   They are crossing the St. Lawrence and making their way to their hostel as I type!   They’ve got a day to explore Montreal tomorrow before the big drive back to the States on Saturday.

CQB — Hannah and Shem’s crew are rafting the Kennebec today — they’ve got a great Maine summer day to be on the river!   In fact, I just got off the phone with Shem and he said that the rafting was “AWESOME!!”   (That’s exactly how he asked me to type it…) They’ll ride up and over the border tomorrow — O, Canada!

DEX — These guys are still in the woods, still enjoying fried bagels for breakfast (an Apogee backcountry staple — an absolutely amazing butterscotch-y delicacy in the woods, but they definitely lose the magic when you try to duplicate it at home…), and making their way closer to Baxter State Park.   We should hear from them tomorrow!

CQA — That’s not Old Glory up above!  Here’s a shot of Laura and Pat’s group on the far side of the border, having made it into Quebec!   These guys are two short days away from Quebec City…

CSA — Wyatt, Heidi, and their Indomitable Nine worked on the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge this morning — from what I understand, they planted an absurd number of trees as part of an ongoing reforestation project.  This shot, from earlier today, is from the cliffs above the Caribbean Sea in the far south-western corner of Puerto Rico

PCA — Anna and Lucas’ group is racing through the redwoods as I type, with the Avenue of the Giants in the near future.   They did a fantastic job at the Food Bank yesterday and earned the same glowing praise for their cheerful dispositions and willing hearts that Andy and Danika earned the day before.   They sent this shot from the Food Bank this morning.  (I’m not sure what’s with all of the tongues…)

PCB — Here is the day’s briefly adopted lizard, Baby Carlos.   (I know, I know – we ask for pictures, but have very little control over what we get… What can I say, on some days we get lizards in Tupperware…)

MSA — Our Montanans have a transition of their own today, they’re leaving the wide open plains behind them to get into the heart of the hills near St. Mary, MT.   Sadly, they won’t be able to ride the Going to the Sun Road this year due to a 400% snowpack that still has the road closed!   Anna sent this shot from the road earlier today — the mountains loom!

TSA — We received a great note from Cait overnight that said the group absolutely loved their time at Spannocchia — she said the food was amazing, the people incredibly welcoming, and they loved learning about the Cinta Senese, the fancy chestnut-eating pigs that are raised only there and provide most of the meat consumed on the estate.  They’re in Pienza now and will be workin’ on the farm tomorrow.   Amazingly, they only have two more biking days!  (By the way, Cait didn’t say what town this shot is from – does anyone recognize it?)

ACC — A huge day — our guys crossed the mighty Mississippi today!   (Or, if this picture is to be believed, the Missssssisssssippppppi River…)   They’re now in Arkansas and headed for the Apogee-All-Stars in El Dorado tomorrow.