Day 17: H.A.G.S

By Willard Vietze

Howdy, friends! Today is a bittersweet day at Apogee – I will be relinquishing my blog duties for the week to enter the field! In the meantime, enjoy the wordsmithery of Ezra and H.A.G.S (have a great summer). I will surely miss updating you on our trips whereabouts and all the fun being had around the world. Today was a day of notable milestones: several trips started up again, ACC1 reached the lone star state, AXAB completed the Tour du Mont Blanc, multiple trips crossed borders, and one group attended prom. So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen goodnight!


Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

The Cape & Islanders gathered in Wakefield to begin their nautical adventure. Leaders Ben and Rachel are excited to belt sea shanties into the salty air, quote Spongebob extensively, and show their group the myriad wonders of the deep blue sea. Stay tuned for pictures tomorrow!

New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC)

NEMC rafted the Kennebec in West Forks Maine today! They safely shredded the white water and finished the day with grilled steaks, rice, and beans. Yum!

There’s only one way to finish a rafting trip: steaks (or a nice vegetarian dish)

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (CRM)

The mountaineers partook in a gorgeous hike along Lumpy Ridge – aptly named for its (you guessed it) lumpy ridge line. Overheard while hiking: “Why is it so lumpy?”

What do I do with my hands?

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA)

CSA convened at the San Juan airport before heading into Puerto Rico’s lush central mountains. Expect: service, pristine beaches, majestic creatures (maybe manatees?), winning smiles, and mofongo (Guy Fieri’s favorite Puerto Rican dish).

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

Our essayists spent the day hiking and taking inspiration from mother nature’s raw beauty a la Henry David Theroux. Don’t worry – they won’t come back looking like hermits!

Very dynamic group we’ve got here!

 Vermont to Montréal (VM)

The Vermontrealers gathered in Manchvegas before rolling over to Vermont to begin their quest through Shire-esque landscapes. Fun fact: leader Carter does an exquisite Samwise Gamgee impression.

Hydrating in Manchvegas! Can’t wait to see those rolling green mountains.

 Montana Service Adventure (MSA)

MSA had a lovely Saturday of service in Glacier National Park today, after biking the iconic “Going to the Sun Road,” featured in Stanley Kubrick’s fun family film The Shining, yesterday. The word “magical” has been thrown around quite a bit these last few days. We have some great pictures of yesterday’s gorgeous views!

Aspiring park rangers!
Whatcha looking at?
Nothing quite like a nice grouping of safety flags!
Overheard: I wish I could live as a mountain goat and stay here forever
What a splendid view.

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

NWX Alpha donned their best thrift store attire last night for “Apo Prom” – safe to say they are one stylish bunch. Today they rode in their van (on a ferry) to the San Juan Islands to begin their sea kayaking adventuring.

In a van on a ferry on the ocean in Washington among friends
New trends for Prom SZN (season) 2k18
Great collection of steeze pieces (stylish articles of clothing)
Overheard: Woah
Dynamic and fun group picture
Ready to give those legs a rest

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

NWXB continued their exploration of  Olympic National Park’s epic backcountry. They can’t wait to send pictures of Hoh Rain Forest’s lush flora and share their newfound love of moss.

Pacific Coast (PCA)

PCA was undoubtedly treated to gorgeous views and delicious meals along today’s route – but sadly, no photographic evidence of it made its way to our little ol’ HQ here in Maine. Fingers crossed tomorrow brings more great riding with a side of cell service!

Pacific Coast (PCB)

PCB had a record breaking day – 66 miles! – and enjoyed a lovely lunch on the beach. Sadly, service was spotty so pictures are elusive, but we can’t wait for them to arrive in the coming days as they approach their final destination!

Scottish Highland Explorer (SHX)

The highlanders finally had their chance to search for Nessie on Scotland’s Loch Ness. Their lives will now center around an endless quest to find Nessie. They also explored Urquhart Castle, a Scottish classic.

The clan about to raid (explore) the castle!
Can you hear those bagpipes!
If you look closely, you can pretend some inanimate object is the Loch Ness monster

Alps Explorer (AXA)

AX Avocado made the short, steep trek to the Swiss border and the Swiss side of the Val Ferret. It was a bonafide bonzanza of flowering meadows, wooded hamlets, glacial streams, cheese dreams, and mediocre yodeling.

Looks pretty similar to my current whereabouts
Dave brought a movie strength fan just to capture this shot

Alps Explorer (AXB)

AX Bravo arose with the sun to complete the Tour du Mont Blanc after 17 tough kilometers. They took a fun picture in front of Trient’s pink church before making their way back to Fiesch. It was a day of tremendous apogees and apoges (Nick Cunetta joke)!

A group of seasoned yodeologists
“How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains” -Uncle Rico (of Napoleon Dynamite fame)
Strange camera angle or extreme incline?
Spotted: the iconic Pink Church
WAHOOO! You made it!

Europe Coast to Coast (ECCA)

ECCA crossed the Rhine into Germany today, getting their first taste of the Black Forest- home of some really delicious ham. Word is: Red will trade out his eccentric biking uniforms for traditional lederhosen.

Europe Coast to Coast (ECCB)

ECCB rode into Strasbourg today after 75 rolling kilometers. Fun fact: Strasbourg, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the official seat of the European Parliament, is the sister city of Boston, home of baked beans and Matt Damon.

Team work makes the dream work!
Hey B! Hay bale!
Woah! Looks heavenly

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

Newsflash: photo evidence of an ACC tradition has just trickled in. ACC1 left their mark on the Walls family’s table two days ago, followed by ACC2 today. Today they crushed 90 miles to reach Texarkana, a town split between which two states?

Getting their hands painty!
First day in the Wild West- looks like a literal ghost town


America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

ACC2 was greeted in El Dorado Arkansas (named after Disney’s beloved The Road to El Dorado) by ACC1’s colorful paint hands. They are excited to have a relaxing day of rest tomorrow and ride into Texas on Monday.

The whole group and one prominent finger
The biggest of smiles and the longest of miles- that’s what ACC is all about
S’many pool activities. Looks lit fam (what the kids are saying these days)