Day 15: Apogroups & their State Animals

Another bustling day in the Aposphere! The 10,000 foot view includes the excited hum of a number of trip starts, some fond farewells, and a healthy dose of our longer trips continuing to cruise right along. As a way of exploring the wildlife our groups may be seeing and giving recognition to the natural spaces we have the privilege of visiting, we’re dedicating today’s post to all of the State and National animals out there. A fun fact that we learned while writing this: The white-tailed deer is the state symbol of ELEVEN states and Costa Rica. Wild!


Cape Cod & the Islands

Like the intelligent and energetic Boston terrier, this stoked crew is just chomping at the bit to start their adventure. CI is looking smart as they unload and settle in after a short ride to their first campsite, excited to get to know each other and adventure on up the Cape for the days ahead! 

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

Starting off our white-tailed deer journey, we have not one, but TWO NEMC trips starting today! These fawns are getting ready to spend the next ten days exploring Maine and New Hampshire through hiking, rafting, sea kayaking, community service, and more. 

New England Mountains & Coast B (NEMCB)

Also starting their journey, this crew spent their first afternoon getting to know each other and settling into their campsite. Like white-tailed deer, who are excellent swimmers, this group will get to spend lots of time on the water. When they’re not hiking the famous peaks of the White Mountains they’ll be found sea kayaking and rafting. Frolic on!

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (CRM)

CRM is starting their journey today! Like bighorn sheep, they’ll travel as a herd for the next nine days, hiking, rafting, and rock climbing as they go. Today is for settling in, getting to know each other, and building excitement for the adventures ahead.

Caribbean Service (CS)

While Puerto Rico doesn’t have a dedicated animal, the coqui frog is an important cultural symbol. After 12 adventure-filled days together, today our Caribbean Service crew is exchanging farewell hugs and hopping on their flights home.

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

Our local friend: the Maine Moose! Moose can grow up to a whopping 1,800 lbs, about a third of the weight of one of our 15-passenger vans. Today this group lumbered into their van for their first full day together. Activities included a session on essay topic development and a local beach exploration.

Vermont & Lake Champlain A (VLCA)

Vermont – this was a head scratcher for us: the Morgan Horse. Morgan Horses are known most for their versatility. Speaking of being versatile, this group swapped bikes for boats today and spent the day paddling kayaks on Lake Champlain. They’ll also hit the town of Burlington tonight for a final, celebratory dinner together!

Vermont & Lake Champlain B (VLCB)

Similar to our versatile VLCA-ers, VLCB also took on a new activity today. As a way of giving back to the spaces they’ve gotten to enjoy, this group did both a beach and bike trail clean up in partnership with Burlington Parks & Recreation. They’ll also gallop on over to Burlington for their final dinner this evening. 

Costa Rica Language & Community (CRLC)

We’re running out of witty remarks for white-tailed deer already and we still have one more to go! This herd, bunch, mob, parcel, or rangale (all appropriate names of a bunch of deer) said goodbye to each other today after nine days of Spanish learning and community exploration together. Adios!

A photo from their last night in Vista Serena!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

“Nuzzling, playing, chirping, feeding together; the Olympic marmot is quite possibly one of the most social and gregarious mammals on the peninsula” ( Though continuing to play as a group, our NWX A marmots are actually stepping away from the hustle and bustle of society and into the quieter life, embarking today on their five night backcountry section in North Cascades National Park! While we probably won’t get photos from them for a few days, we can picture them hiking amidst fields of wildflowers with all of their marmot friends.

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

These social butterflies…err marmots… spent their last day in Port Angeles preparing to head into the backcountry tomorrow and sneaking in a gorgeous hike. Meal planning, bag packing, and more, as the excitement for the days ahead continues to build! 

Making donuts!!

Northwest Explorer (NWXC)

Similar to our B group, but in another beautiful part of the state, this gregarious group is also preparing to head into the backcountry tomorrow, where they’ll be for a glorious five nights. Today involved lots of packing, organizing, and shopping fun (not to mention creative blog pics).

Pacific Coast (PC)

These grizzly riders are channeling the strength of their state animal and riding an impressive 47 miles today. With mostly rolling hills, the group cruised along the Eel River and into camp for the evening. Check out yesterday’s redwood views below!

America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1)

In our final white-tailed deer state of the day, apparently, “under the right circumstances (e.g. running in a group), you could outrun a deer in 3-4 hours, if you were able to maintain at least a pace of 8.5min/mile (7mph)” ( Why is this on the internet?! Well, we can all rest easy knowing that ACC1 is definitely moving faster than a white-tailed deer and pedaled a whopping 93 miles into their resting place for the evening. Go team!

America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2)

Black Bears, on the other hand, can run an impressive 35 mph and would probably give ACC2 a run for their money. However, this group still traveled the impressive distance of 68 miles today, right on into their next Alabama accommodation. And to cap it all off, a birthday celebration! Way to go, ACC 2!

“Can you put this one up on the blog for my mom?” – Leader Nicole Greene. Why yes, Nicole, we can!