Day 13 – The Gang’s All Here

Sam here, back on the blogging yoga ball from a wonderful day plumbing the depths of Maine. With the whole 5-man crew all reunited in the office for the first time in over a week, it was a awesome day here in Brunswick. The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, and files are being filed! And in the rest of the Apogee world…

VM: Throwing all caution to the wind, Pat and Julie decided to let their kids ride Canadian tigers this afternoon, but they report back that the kids had a great time doing so – look how happy they are in that picture! They have biked through cornfield after cornfield and are getting used to “parlant Francais,” as they say – loving Canada all-around so far.

CQA: This group got a day off the bikes to hit the Kennebec river! It was a cool 74 degrees in Jackman today, perfect weather to see some rapids. They had a great time rafting, and they are looking forward to being the second group to have to start practicing French as they cross the border tomorrow.

CQB: Their longest ride yet was today, and 55 short miles later they are in to Jackman. Here they will get to relax a little and swap stories with the other CQ-ers (and, if they are feeling impish, steal their tent poles…), as they are staying at the same campground tonight, which is guaranteed to be fun! Tomorrow their weary legs will turn into sea legs as they get to raft the Kennebec.

NEMC: With perfect weather over them, the NEMC trip hit the Kennebec today too, and had equivalent amounts of fun as CQA.  They loved the rafting, but they also had a great time on the makeshift slip and slide crafted from an upside down raft. Here they are looking utterly fierce in their love of rafting. Tomorrow they take off to head back to Brunswick, where they are excited to spend the afternoon doing service!

DEX: Their first day in the backcountry means that we don’t expect to be hearing from Kelly and Garth for several days. I did get a chance to see them yesterday, and they were LOVING their time together! Having had a great time kayaking and in Acadia, they were incredibly excited to get into the backcountry for a few days!

CMC: Jill and Tim’s crew has fearlessly plunged into the Yosemite backcountry, as today is their first full day in the woods.  Like with DEX, this means we hopefully won’t hear from them for a few days, so unfortunately, no new pictures. They are currently exploring Yosemite, in the Polly Lakes area, and hopefully getting acclimated to hiking at altitude!

CSA: The CSA-ers are continuing a string of great days on the magical Vieques Island! They cruised through service this morning cleaning up a park in Esperanza. They were then able to squeeze in a “Golden Goal” tournament to practice for the World Cup in a few years before they spent the afternoon on a gorgeous, secluded beach, where they are loving lounging.

PCA: This group rides the rolling hills along the Eel River today, the name of which is hopefully deceiving, as it sounds like a nice swimming spot otherwise. Tomorrow they cruise to Van Damme State Park, motivated by a day off the bikes and doing service following.

PCB: This group mixed it up by renting some recumbents on their off day yesterday – who needs a break from biking anyways! They had a great time yesterday, between sleeping in, getting lots of tasty food, and witnessing a beautiful sunset (the second picture below). Today they are back on the bikes and riding the Avenue of Giants – with plenty of time to go pick the blueberries you’ll see in the third picture below.

MSA: No word from MSA today either (we did check in with their campground by landline and heard that they had arrived much earlier in the day), but it’s a big day for this gang. They had a beautiful ride today, the end of which gave them their first taste of Glacier National Park.  There they will spend a few days doing service before they bike Going To The Sun road, the “apogee” of the trip, and their high spirits of the past two weeks will soar!

TSA: Gelato may have been licked on the group’s off day yesterday in Florence, but the world’s best gelato was licked today in San Gimignano. After a bike into town this morning, the group explored the quaint city including a trip to Plurapremiata Gelateri, 4 year running World’s Best Gelato winner. The group is truly loving exploring a foreign land and culture and soaking up the beauty surrounding them, and they are headed for Spannocchia tomorrow, a 12th century Tuscan estate turned working organic farm. The group won’t necessarily get the world’s best gelato here, but they will get world-class organic food and hospitality, and for that, they are all excited.

ACC1: Crossing the Mississippi River today, the group charged ahead into Arkansas. Spirits are high, and they feel great about crossing into their fifth state, as well as excited to be approaching their second off day in the one-of-a-kind haven that is El Dorado, AR.

ACC2: Two borders in ACC world were broken today, as this crew made it to Mississippi! Here they are at the border, in a whole variety of beautiful poses.  In high spirits, this group is loving both their time on and off the bike!