Day 19: Destination Driven

by Olivia Box

Every trip we have is in the field today except Coast to Quebec and Maine Coast Photo – so needless to say it’s a busy one! Many of our trips have made it to final destinations such as Geneva, San Francisco, Edinburgh, and Seattle. Regardless of where our trips are in their itineraries, every day is a big day at Apogee – but just to name a few: Pacific Coast trips biked across the Golden Gate bridge, Alps Explorer A finished the Tour de Mont Blanc, Maine’s Downeast Explorer took on their first hikes, and Costa Rica Language & Service started their Spanish lessons. Generally, we’re all about the journey – but today is a big “destination day”!



Maine Coast Junior (MCJ2A)

Our second round of MCJ kicked off today! The group met in Massachusetts and moved north to Freeport, ME for the night. They’ve spent the day settling into Apogee life and playing games – just gearing up before they head to Acadia National Park tomorrow.

Day 1 and ready to go! MCJ A – A for awesome!

Maine Coast Junior (MCJ2B)

MCJB also did their meet-and-greet today. With lots of excitement, camping tutorials, and games under their belts, they’ll certainly be ready to take on Acadia tomorrow!

Vietze cannot contain his excitement. MCJ B – B for Besties!

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

CI had their full day on the Vineyard today and they dove right in! Today they worked at The Thimble Farm, a hydroponic farm that grows greens for local island schools. In addition to helping out with this awesome organization, the group also hopped on their bikes and explored the island and all it’s beauty.

Learning the ropes!
Working hard doing something likely important!!
Ready to roll!
A picture perfect Cape crew!

New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC)

NEMC spent their last day together kayaking the Maine coast, leaving from Orr’s island and exploring through Casco Bay. After a nifty day on the water, the group headed down to Portland for their final dinner, to celebrate their new friends and everything they’ve accomplished together!

happy kayakers!
Intimidating paddlers! … sort of
Hermit crabs and seaweed: so nautical
Smiles all around!
*sigh* Wish I was there!

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (CRM)

The Kolorado Kids headed straight up today! They spent the morning rock climbing some of the best walls around and soaking in the epic Colorado views from a slightly different perspective. Tomorrow is a little less vertical, but the views should be just as sweet.

All smiles for the climbing crew!
Reaching the top!

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA)

CSA continued with their rigorous service project this morning – spending time raking, setting a stone path, and digging steps – phew, sounds like hard work! The crew also tried Caribbean pears (woah!) and spent the afternoon playing cards. We wonder what the pear tasted like…

Morning service!
Playing cards!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

Today’s the big day! The writing crew was hard at work this morning doing some final edits. It all culminated this afternoon as they presented their final essays out loud to each other. To celebrate this accomplishment and all that they’ve done this week, they went out to a celebratory dinner in Portland. Kudos, MCCE!

Essays! What’s better than essays? see below…
Essays AND Jack, that’s what!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

It’s the first full day together for DEXA! This morning they did a day hike to warm up their legs in the Camden Hills and then migrated downeast where they’re preparing for some Island camping. Sea kayaking is on the horizons!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

The first full day for DEXB included a day hike up Mount Megunticook in the Camden Hills. From here, legs happy and tired, they hopped in their van and transitioned to Acadia National Park – one of the most glorious places for summertime in Maine. More mountains to come!

DEXB on their first hike!

Vermont to Montréal (VM)

VM was cruising today and made it into Middlebury with plenty of time to relax, play games, and get ready for their big ride tomorrow. After “The Wall” yesterday, their 17 mile ride probably felt like a walk in the park. Tomorrow they’ll be heading towards Burlington!

A long, luxurious lunch break
Sunbeams streaming during the ride- can’t be beat!
Packed and ready to go!

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

CRLS is kicking off their trip with Spanish classes, exploring Turrialba, and eating empanadas! Today really began their “Spanish by the river” portion, taking Spanish immersion head-on. They’re headed to the Hogar de los Ancianos!


Empanadas! Yum

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

CMCA began their two night kayaking excursion at Point Reyes National Seashore. On the menu: elk sanctuary, ocean life, and singing lots of sea shanties (shout out to NE Support, Vietze). What a way to see California!

Hang loose is for surfing, Shannon! But great selfie team!
What a seashore– enjoy!

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

Our CMCB crew hiked in Calaveras State Park today amidst the majestic Sequoias. They’re getting their legs warmed up for the bigger hikes to come – exploring this area is a perfect taste of what beauty California hiking has to offer!

First hike of the trip!


Montana Service Adventure (MSA)

It was the last day of riding for MSA today! Our Big Sky explorers finished their biking portion with a smooth 29 mile ride from West Glacier to Whitefish. Tomorrow is a 0 mileage day, where all they’ll have to do is celebrate and explore the mountain town on foot!

Sweet arrival!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

After some glorious paddling around the San Juan Islands and a bittersweet goodbye to island life, NWXA moved inland to Seattle. The views this morning were full of blue’s of all shades and sizes: a rich blue ocean and clear blue skies. The crew also hung out on the shore for some golden hour scenery – some of the most beautiful lighting we’ve ever seen!

Sweet island kayaking!
Soaking up the last of the Pacific!

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

Out of the back country and into the city they go! Today NWXB hiked out of Olympic State Park after an epic 5-night back country segment. Sean said that as they re-emerged into civilization they were, “covered in sweat and dirt, sporting big smiles” – a sure sign of a successful hike. Those showers will be most welcome we’re sure… well done, NWXB!

Pancakes in the backcountry- What?!
It’s bear country!

Pacific Coast (PCA)

Today was the big day for our PC trips! They pedaled their last pedals to their final destination: SAN FRANCISCO. It ended with the epic moment of crossing the Golden Gate bridge and realizing how far they’ve come over the last three weeks. Tomorrow they’ll ditch the bikes and explore the city on foot. Congrats, PCA!

very amber waves of grain
Love the paint- Eugene to San Francisco!
Ready to roll!
Only words: WOW

Pacific Coast (PCB)

From a different direction, PCB also had the reward of crossing the Golden Gate today – after three weeks of views, hills, and laughs – they’ve made it to San Francisco! What an accomplishment! Tomorrow they’ll celebrate and explore in their final destination.

Looking out towards SF and a nice evening at a hostel!
What a co-pair!

Scottish Highland Explorer (SHX)

SHX took a train from Inverness to Edinburgh, roughly following back along the scenic route they just trekked through! They spent the afternoon settling in to and exploring Edinburgh – tomorrow they’ll have the full day to check out the capital and look back on how far their legs were able to take them together. Hopefully we’ll get the much anticipated kilt photo shoot tomorrow!

Walking without packs– awesome!
Such a lucky crew- they brought the sunshine to Edinburgh!

Alps Explorer (AXA)

AXAmazing finished the Tour de Mont Blanc today! What a feat (feet?!) – that’s for sure: 110 miles, 3 countries, and one amazing crew! They then headed to Geneva where they’ll stay the night (beds <3) and explore tomorrow. Way to go, AXA!

What a group of hikers!
The iconic church in the background!
What a way to say goodbye to the TMB!
So many cows on this portion!

Alps Explorer (AXB)

AXB enjoyed their final hike as a group and then hit the road to Geneva via an incredibly scenic train. Incredibly scenic? The Alps? No way! In Geneva they’ll explore and rest up, and soak up every last moment together.

A cuddle puddle
Apparently you can see the mountains from everywhere!

Europe Coast to Coast (ECCA)

It was an impressive 100+ km ride for ECCA today on the lovely farm roads into Austria. Tomorrow they’ll get an enormously well-deserved day off the bikes, to explore the small city of Bregenz and do some good-old fashioned hanging out!

flags and a mountain view? I’ll take it
Biking by the water? Makes the km go by quick!

Europe Coast to Coast (ECCB)

ECCB continued on through Germany and the Black Forest today. It was a hilly one – but those hills had nothing on these tough riders. One of the harder rides on the ECC route – an important thing to remember about biking: what goes up must come down! They (and their legs) will be rewarded soon.

Biking machines! Gazing into the sun!
Tough hills but happy riders!

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

Au revoir Paris, it was 82 miles to Whitesboro today! ACC spends a little over a week in Texas, as the Lone Star state is the biggest in the lower 48. Ride on, dear friends, ride on!

Long Texas roads
Howdy y’all!

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

With a rejuvenating rest day behind them, ACC2 hopped back on the bikes for a casual 90 miles to Texarkana today, everyone’s favorite border town. They’re getting close to Texas now! So close they can taste the BBQ…

Texas, here they come!
A classic Sherry selfie!