Day 20: New Friends Day!

By: Tim Gruber

Happy National New Friends Day! Today we strengthened relationships with new friends and said “see you soon” to old friends. Near and far across the land, our Apogeers bike, hike, and serve hand in hand! So many fun adventures on a Tuesday – did you know our ACC1 group is already midway?!  Enough prologue into all these adventures, let’s dive in to all of today’s treasures!

Maine Coast Junior (MCJ2): What better place for an arcadian day than Acadia National Park? Harmonious and peaceful hikes while reveling in the beauty of nature, ah! The name really says it all. Our MCJers weren’t quite able to paint a rendition Thomas Cole’s The Arcadian State, but they got some pretty sweet pictures (thank you photography, circa 1834).
Maine Coast Junior Hiking Maine Coast Junior Hiking Maine Coast Hiking


Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE1): Oh to be young again! Over the past 8 days our Maine Coast College Essay writers have been sharing their personal stories with each other,discussing post high school graduation plans, and exploring the great Maine outdoors. Last evening our aspiring Thoreau’s shared their perfected essays one last time and enjoyed a lovely dinner in Portland. Let’s give kudos to this group as they look forward to writing their next chapter this fall and starting their senior year of high school!

MCCE1 Departure


Cape Cod & the Islands (CI2): It was another day in paradise for our CI-ers. The had a short nine mile ride (with a ferry ride in between) from Martha’s Vineyard to get to Nantucket today. After getting an early start, the group filled their afternoon with a trip to beach and exploration around town. The group looks forward to having a full day to explore Nantucket by foot tomorrow!

CI Outside Gazebo CI Out on the Cape CI By the Water CI By Gazebo


New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC1): Though tears streamed down many a face while saying goodbye today, like Celine Dion, our NEMCers’ hearts will go on and remember their time together fondly. And with that folks, we’ll close the books on another incredible week+ full of hiking, sea kayaking, and whitewater rafting!

NEMC Final Goodbye


Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA2): When our service coordinator was unable to work with our students today, it was time for Plan B. What’s the back-up plan, you ask? A gorgeous trip to the beach, and exploration through a small, coastal town! The group traveled to the northern coast of the territory today, and learned the true meaning of “Island Time.”  They are looking forward to a relaxing day before transiting to Mayaguez and Cabo Rojo tomorrow.

CSA Enjoying The Beach CSA Soccer CSA in Sand


Vermont to Montreal (VM2): Our Ben & Jerry’s to Montreal trip (or Vermont to Montreal trip, whichever you prefer – oh boy, now I want ice cream) crushed a 28 mile ride today! After exercising their legs the past few days, they’ll exercise their upper bodies (insert Arnold Schwarzenegger voice) tomorrow with a bit of kayaking.

VMA Being Photogenic


Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEX2A): It was a truly magical day for DEXA – not only did they get to enjoy sea kayaking off the coast of Maine, but this evening they’ll curl up in their sleeping bags and spend their first night island camping! A first for many, we have no doubt that the group will love falling asleep to the sounds of the sea and waking up to find themselves greeted by the sun rising over the ocean horizon. Needless to say, we are jealous back here on the mainland. Service is a bit spotty on the island, but we hope to have a picture of this bunch tomorrow!


Maine’s Downeast Explorer B (DEX2B): Our DEXB group also had a great sunshine-filled day exploring some of Maine’s finest features. Not only did they explore Acadia National Park – with its gorgeous hikes and refreshing swims – as their playground, but they also got to walk around Bar Harbor! We have no doubt that an ice cream cone was on the menu at some point today…

Fearless DEXB Leaders DEXB On Top of the World DEXB Hiking DEXB All TogetherDEXB Pack Hiking


Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS2): Our CRLS crew had another amazing day in the heart of the central Costa Rica today with their second morning of language classes followed by service work with a local nursing home in the area in the afternoon. The group is already developing their language skills as they practice with both their teachers and the locals.

CSA Poses CSA and a View CSA Spanish Class


California Mountains & Coast A (CMCA2): What could be better than spending a day on the ocean, sea kayaking off the coast of California, and then camping out on the beach? Not much – and that’s exactly how Isa and Dave’s group spent their day! With their biceps built up from yesterday’s paddling, the group had a blast soaking up the sun and breathing in the salty air. Pass the sunscreen, please!

CMCA en route to Kayaking CMCAers CMCAers Kayaking CMCA Kayaking!


California Mountains & Coast B (CMCB2): Isn’t nature neat? Check out this Sequoia tree our CMCB2ers found yesterday! Fresh off of their arborary explorations, our fearless Californians spent their day meticulously prepping for their impending backcountry trek. Thanks to the work they did today, tomorrow they’ll head into the Yosemite Backcountry with heavy packs and big smiles, ready for the adventure that lies ahead.CMCB


Montana Service Adventure (MSA1): It’s the final rodeo for these Montana cowboys and cowgirls today as they spend their last day exploring the amazing town of Whitefish. After their final ride yesterday, the group was eager to explore Whitefish by foot today. The group slept in this morning, enjoyed a big breakfast, and made their way into town where they treated themselves to ice cream and a big meal out on the town! It will be a bittersweet goodbye tomorrow as they have to say farewell to their new friends.

Montana Last Day!


Northwest Explorer (NWX1): Having covered every piece of territory in the Northwest (well, close) our NWXers took the day to explore the lovely city of Seattle. I’m sure our NWXers found the hole-in-the wall coffee shop, “Starbucks,” during their adventures today. They also found the flagship REI – we just can’t keep these kids out of tents… welcome back to society, hikers!



Pacific Coast A (PC1A): After riding over 700 miles to get to the long-anticipated San Francisco, the group had an amazing day playing “tourist” through the beautiful city. After a scrumptious breakfast at the hostel, the group was ready to take the city by storm – exploring Fisherman’s Wharf and making a pit-stop at Ghirardelli Factory. The group is looking forward to celebrating their last night as a group by going out to dinner!

PCA In San Fran PCA Photogenic


Pacific Coast B (PC1B): What a way to end an amazing adventure! With many long days in the saddle, after 19 days of biking this group has clearly become a family. They spent the day walking through Chinatown and hopping around Fisherman’s Wharf in the afternoon. What better way to finish the trip than dinner out in the City by the Bay?

PC Last Day!


Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX1): The Queen’s schedule and our SHX1er’s schedule conflicted a bit too much today – hence they had to cancel their tea together. Instead our Apogee-ers ventured to the National Museum, Scottish Parliament, Tom Riddle’s grave (shoutout to all you muggles out there), and Calton Hill for the sunset! As promised, fearless Apo-leader Matt Cooper kept to his word and let the kids decide how he would shave his facial hair for the last day (I’m sure his mother approves of his new look).

Coops Shaven FaceSX Final DinnerSX Royal GardensSX Exploring Edinburgh Scotland in EdinburghSX in Edinburgh


Alps Explorer (AX1): The hills are alive with the sound of our Alps Explorers enjoying Geneva on their last day! End of trip festivities included some community service at the Botanical Gardens, swimming in Lac Leman, and buying mom and dad some souvenirs. Tomorrow Will and Becca will have to bid so long farewell to this incredible group of Apogeers, but until then, carpe diem!

Last day for AX in Geneva Lake Geneva AX AX in Geneva


Europe Coast to Coast (ECC): Our ECC’ers are headed for the hills – the French hills, that is! Once out of the city, the crew is bound for the Vosges Mountains where they’ll not only enjoy sweeping landscapes dotted with green hills and polished boulders, but will also begin to see hints of German architecture infiltrating the buildings they pass by. With the German border so close, they’ll have to be ready to say “Bonjour” and “Guten Tag” to those they cruise by!

ECC and Sunflowers!


America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): Will you eat green eggs and ham? I will eat green eggs and ham! I will eat them after long days of biking, I will eat them like a viking! Oh boy did our ACC1 group eat green eggs and ham, what a breakfast, it sounds grand! Oh and did I mention “Woah they’re halfway there. Join my pod we’ll make it I swear…” Keep up the good work guys! PS, invite me to breakfast next time?

ACC1 RestingRest Day for ACC1Rest Day here we come ACC1


America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): It was a “casual” 82 mile ride today for our ACC2 group as they cruised from Paris, Texas to Whitesboro. It was a hot day out there, but they’ve already got their next rest day in sight on Thursday. It’s going to be another early night tonight as they prepare for a 90+ ride tomorrow. They’re mean, lean, fighting machines at this point!

ACC2 Biking Along