Day 19: Updates From Around the World!

The number of activities going on in the Apo-world today is mind blowing! In the last 24 hours we’ve had folks: hiking in Acadia, volunteering on the Cape, putting the first mile behind them as they pedal through Vermont, paddling sea kayaks, soaking in sunsets, and even reaching their final destination – ~600 miles later!! With trips just beginning and others wrapping up their days on the move, the circle of Apo-life continues. Read on to take a peek into the lives of Apo-students around the world…


Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

Nothing but great reports coming from our friends in Acadia! They may have worked up a sweat on their hike today, but they cooled off with an ice cream and a dip in the pool when they got back to camp. Spirits are high on MCJ – almost as high as the two peaks they summited!

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

Today our Cape Codders were all about giving back to the community they’re exploring. At Thimble Farm they helped clean strawberries, sort lettuce, and even interacted with some swiftly swimming trout! Tomorrow they’ll pack up camp and hop on their bikes, headed for their next destination.

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

NEMC bagged a peak in the White Mountains today – no small feat! The crew crushed Wildcat Mountain on this sunny and beautiful day before celebrating with ice cream at the Pinkham Notch Lodge. They reportedly made trail names for one another en route – wonder what they could be…

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains A (CRMA)

CRMA got to go rock climbing at Jurassic Park today!! (Yes, you read that correctly. JURASSIC. PARK.) What a blast! The only thing better than the climbing was the weather and, as you can see, the clear blue skies served as today’s backdrop. We hope everyone got some cool pitches in today. Send itttttttt!!!!! [Editor’s note: Glad we have Assistant Director Jane, our resident rock climber, here in the office to write this blurb… who knew all this climbing vocab?]

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains B (CRMB)

Another day, another (day) hike. CRMB hit the trail today for a trek up Deer Mountain and it was well worth it – check out that view! They’ve been working their way up to their big challenge day, and tomorrow, they’ll be ready. Any guesses as to where they’re headed?

Caribbean Service (CS)

The recipe for a great day on CS? Breakfast, service, lunch, games, salty air, and… sunscreen (of course)! The CS’ers put the “service” in Caribbean Service today and look forward to doing so again tomorrow. Until then? They’ll continue to settle into their accommodations with this luscious green backdrop, and we are green with envy!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

The studious MCCE bunch spent their day at Bowdoin College practicing their best interview skills. Together, they learned the magic of power-posing (a little confidence-boosting trick, thanks to psychology) and “ba! ba! ba!” and “ma! ma! ma!”-d their way through some vocal exercises (nothing like making some funny noises to get these rising seniors enunciating and speaking clearly)! After several hours introspecting and mock-interviewing, just one heavy question lingers in the minds of our intellectual MCCE-ers: Where is Waldo, really?

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

DEXA spent their first full day exploring Maine by foot, hiking Camden’s own Mt. Battie and exploring the tower on top. After the hike down they headed for the coast where they’ll prep for their upcoming time camping on an island and traveling by kayak. Too cool!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

DEXB stretched their legs with a hike up Maiden Cliffs in Camden, breaking up their transit to Acadia with a dose of fresh air and ocean views. They then put the “tetris” in grocery shopping (I know, that’s not a thing) with an unbelievably efficiently packed cart. Did they really fit food for the whole group in there?! We may never know.

Vermont to Montréal A (VMA)

VMA crushed 22 miles on their first full day of riding today! Youpi! We hear it was a challenging ride – to reach their destination, these bikers had to conquer the “Wall,” one of the toughest hills on their itinerary. But conquer it, they did and with flying colors. The group made it to camp in great time, taking a dip and still having time to perfect their heel clicks!

Vermont to Montréal B (VMB)

First full day of biking: check! VMB is off to a great start today and cruised through 15 miles of rolling Vermont hills like it was nothin’ – they were into camp before lunch and got to spend the afternoon at the pool! I don’t know about you, but we’re feeling pretty great about this group of cycling enthusiasts. They’ll be riding along the vibrant roads of Montréal before we know it! Allez-y, les amis!

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

It’s day six for our soon-to-be-fluent Spanish-speakers, and the group is up to some Costa Rican fun! We hear they’ve got their hopes set on spotting some sloths as they adventure through Manuel Antonio National Park together. I bet Kristen Bell would be majorly jealous. (If only one person ever could love a sloth, ‘twould be Kristen Bell; here’s a video to prove it).

Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

Check out those smiling faces! This crew has landed in Costa Rica and are excited to start their adventure. Should they hike? Zip-line? Snorkel? Surf? No need to choose… they’ll do it all over the next 11 days!!

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

Sea kayaking, hiking, and beaching all in one day – what more could an Apogee group want? After kayaking, they even made a blubbery friend named “Phyllis” (see photo below). With tired arms, sore legs, and sun-kissed skin, CMCA should sleep soundly tonight.

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

CMCB is off on an overnight kayaking adventure! This morning, after grabbing spray skirts, paddles, and PFDs, this group packed their boats and took off for a secret island – you can ask, but we won’t tell (shhh). Today, they paddled along the shore, exploring Tomales Bay State Parks up to the National Seashore. If they’re lucky, maybe they can get in a night paddle for bioluminescence, too! (I, kid-at-heart that I am, like referring to the bioluminescent phytoplankton endearingly as “sea sparkles”). Sea sparkles are not only magical, they’re the best!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

There’s a lot of beautiful photos coming out of the PNW – from the deep blue of the ocean to the warm orange of the setting sun, NWXA is thoroughly enjoying all of the views island life has to offer. They spent their day paddling around, keeping a close eye out for bald eagles, peregrine falcons, sea stars, and the endless wildlife enjoying the San Juan Islands alongside them!

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

Speaking of beautiful photos from Washington… this is it! The moment you’ve all been waiting for!! NWXB is out of the backcountry with a ridiculous load of breathtaking photos to prove it. From wildflower fields to hiking over snowpack, they’ve seen a lot over the last 5 days and, lucky for us, were willing to share!

Pacific Coast (PCA)

What’s that we see in the distance? Could it be…? Why, yes! By golly, it’s The Golden Gate Bridge! PCA crushed 32 miles today to reach their final destination and we couldn’t be more proud of them. Their hard work over the last 17 days has paid off and they now get to trade in their bikes for a pair of sneakers so they can explore San Francisco by foot. What a day!

Pacific Coast (PCB)

Not only did PCB get to take a photo with a statue of Yoda in San Anselmo, but they also made it to their final destination of San Francisco today – we can hardly tell which is more exciting! But in all seriousness, this group completed their final 37 miles and made their way across The Golden Gate Bridge, sealing their long journey with a group hug and a well coordinated jump. Amazing job, PCB!

Pyrenees Mountains & Coast (PMC)

We can hardly believe it, but our second round of Pyrenees Mountains & Coast is officially underway! The students made their way over to Barcelona, eager start exploring Spain and France with their fearless leaders, Arie and Red. We can’t wait to see them hike, backpack, and surf over the next two weeks!

Scottish Highlands (SH)

I don’t understand why, but every keeps shushing me every time I ask about SH. It’s like they’re trying to keep this trip a secret from me or something. I mean, I work here. I know it exists – I even hugged our leaders goodbye. I hear the other Assistant Directors talking about SH behind my back all the time. But any time I even mention the Scottish Highlands, everyone’s all like “SHHHHH!!!” Anyway, we got this beautiful photo from our friends in Scotland today. From the hushed whispers around the office, it sounds like they hiked 7 miles along Loch Lomond! Ohhhhhh, is that what all the shushing is for?! It’s because we don’t want to wake the Loch Ness Monster! … Right? [Editor’s note: one day we’ll tell Jane that “SH” is short for Scottish Highlands…]

Alps Explorer (AXA)

AXA wrapped up its final 17 km on foot today through the breath-taking, but challenging, Fenêtre d’Arpette route, thus finishing the Tour de Mont Blanc. Félicitations, les ALPinistes! (Pun intended). In an exclusive interview for the blog, the group reported today, “FINISHED THE TMB!!!!!!!!! Hiked about 11 miles and over 1,000 meters of elevation. Started hiking in the dark!” I don’t think they could have described it better.

Alps Explorer (AXB)

We told AXB to check out one of the day hikes in the area if they were feeling good today. Considering they just hiked the TMB and Aletsch Glacier, though, we wouldn’t be surprised if they took the day off… After covering more than 180 km on foot, who could blame this sturdy crew for sleeping in and enjoying a casual morning? Regardless, this group enjoyed a full day in Geneva together.

Europe Coast to Coast (ECC)

17 days in, ECC went for a lighter ride today and biked a scant 86 km (as opposed to their not-atypical-120). It sounds like this rowdy bunch’s hard work paid off! An anonymous ECC rider reported, “We made it through the Black Forest!!! This is us on top of the first (absolutely brutal) hill as the morning fog was still burning off. Stunning!”


America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

ACC1 is crushing miles, per usual. This bike gang rode 82 miles today from Paris (Texas, not France – allez les bleus!) to Whitesboro today. Another day, another city for ACC, but they spiced up today by making time to stop for a photo with their new friend, Sebastian The Donkey!

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

ACC2 eats miles for breakfast. After a rare rest day in The Golden City yesterday, ACC2 mashed some major chain through 90 miles today! Wowza! My jelly legs are wobbling just thinking about it! What a speedy bunch.