Day 15: Adventures in Apoland

By: Alex Brantl

Dedicated readers, worldwide followers of the blog, this one goes out to you. Here in the office, we’ve received countless fan letters, shares on Facebook, and requests to submit baby photos of your kiddos (sorry, the answer is still no). But we can’t thank you enough – it’s what keeps us motivated to put our fingers to the keyboard every morning. It’s what pushes us to find our best puns, our most random fun facts, and our best alliterative streaks. So we thank you, and we dedicate our July 12th blog post to you.


Colorado’s Rocky Mountains A (CRMA)

First night under the Colorado stars for our CRMA kiddos: check! The crew is ready and eager to start trekking through the Rocky Mountains for ten days. Today CRMA spent the day exploring Grand Lake. They broke in their hiking boots with the first hike of many, played lots of games, and ate some yummy food in the great outdoors. Colorado rockstars already!

Love to see that hydration in action!

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains B (CRMB)

This grand group of Apogee hikers started their trip off in Grand Lake – gearing up to start exploring the Rocky Mountains over the next ten days. Fun fact #1: Grand Lake is Colorado’s largest natural body of water. Fun fact #2: Stella & Parker’s gang hiked a whopping 7 miles today – and were rewarded with not one, but TWO moose (meese?) spottings!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

After spending their first night in their home for the week, a lovely cottage on the Maine coast, our MCCE crew took their first full day in stride. Boy, oh boy! The ideas are already flowing for our MCCE writers. Today the group participated in a writer’s workshop – brainstorming galore and narrowing down potential topics to find their focus.

Woa, sick ride!

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

First full day in Costa Rica and the CRLS crew is living the pura vida! The group spent the morning in Spanish classes in Turrialba and enjoyed a surprise fresh banana snack from some friendly folks. Muy bien! In the afternoon, the group went to a children’s and nursing home to start their community service. Fantástico!

That’s a lot of potassium right there.

Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

The inaugural CRMC Apogee trip has come to an end! We are so proud of team CRMC for all the adventuring and exploration they did over the past two weeks. Nothing but new friends and fond memories for the crew to reminisce about as they fly back home!

Sweet shirts, team!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

And they’re out! We know our NWXA families and friends have been eagerly awaiting the emergence of NWXA from the backcounty of the North Cascades. That day, devoted blog readers, has arrived. A full week living off the grid, hiking in the Cascades, and falling asleep under the stars – what a wonderful time. Just check out those photos below! And now our Northwest Explorers will spend the day prepping for their upcoming kayaking adventure – never a dull moment for the NWXA squad!

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

Our NWXB hikers crushed six miles through the Olympic National Park backcountry today. No service means no photos to show off the smiles and beautiful landscapes, but Apogee HQ is confident that there were plenty of smiles and beautiful landscapes today in the Olympics!

Pacific Coast (PCA)

It’s rest day for our PCA riders! After conquering a challenging 60 miles with a ton of elevation change yesterday, we know the crew was eager to sleep in, rest their legs, and just chill, California style, dude. A day in Mendocino, CA, allowed our PCA squad to do just that. After a monster pancake breakfast (we can only imagine what 60 mile rides do to one’s appetite), they explored the charming coastal town of Mendocino.

Happy lunchers, happy munchers

Pacific Coast (PCB)

Let’s get going, using legs, climbing Leggett Mountain! Today PCB conquered their ride, a challenging 60-miler that featured the famous Leggett Mountain, which, leader Jack tells us, is the biggest climb on the Pacific Coast between Canada and Mexico! (Is Jack a reliable source of facts? We’ll let you decide.) Their reward: a rest day in store for tomorrow! Time to catch some zzzs and rest those legs.

PCB replenishing those electrolytes at lunchtime. You go, PCB!
Swimming hole fun along the Eel River!

Pyrenees Mountains & Coast (PMC)

Adios, Barcelona! The inaugural PMC Apogee trip has come to an end, and the PMC squad has made its way back home. Beautiful mountains, multiple countries, and wonderful new friendships to look back on for the rest of the summer! Apparently, the gang was too busy hugging it out on departure day to snap any pictures… but let’s be honest, the photos from the last two weeks probably made up for it. Safe travels, team!

Alps Explorer (AXA)

Ladies and gentlemen, it’ssssss rest day for these Alps explorers – and a well deserved one, at that! This crew gave their TMB hiking legs a break and spent the day exploring Courmayeur, Italy. Courmayeur is an Alpine resort town that sits at the foot of Mont Blanc, and promises some fun exploration and relaxation for AXA before they get back to the TMB tomorrow!

Eating cookie crumbles (not ground beef, as it might appear)!

Alps Explorer (AXB)

Team AXB crossed another border today, hiking from Italy to Switzerland! The Swiss side promises a bonanza of flowering meadows, glacial streams, and wooded hamlets – in other words, a quintessential idyllic Swiss valley! Along the way, our Alps explorers hiked up to 10,000 ft and posed for a representative photo (see below). Well done, friends!

Climbed to 10,000 ft today!

Europe Coast to Coast (ECC)

Hope this ECC group didn’t get used to their rest day lifestyle, as it was back to the bike for a 95 km ride through France today! Team ECC rode through the rural French countryside to Nancy, a medieval riverside city. The real Tour de France might be making its way through France, but Apogee’s very own riders are crushing mileage of their own. GO TEAM! And check out these incredible blog pics from Apogee’s resident photographer Gabe Souza.

(Photo by Gabe Souza)
(Photo by Gabe Souza)

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

50 miles? Practically a warmup for ACC1, and they crushed each and every one of them en route to their evening accommodations in Arkansas. After rolling into camp early, ACC spent some well deserved time by the pool relaxing. And what’s even better: our riders have a full rest day tomorrow (*happy Apogee sigh*).

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

Another 93 miles in the bag for ACC2. Hollandale, Mississippi welcomed team ACC2 after their day of crushing miles. Tomorrow, this squad will cross into Arkansas – new day, new state, new rides!

I, for one, would not look so happy if I had biked 93 miles.