Day 20: Blue Shirt Tuesday

By Chad Olcott

Through an unfortunate fluke of scheduling, our beloved Annika is out tonight and tomorrow night – goodbye, irrepressible cheeriness, hello, jaded old guy! The good news is that we’ve got a lot of celebrating to do today – and you’ll see a lot of blue shirts in the pictures below, meaning that trips are concluding with the signature “Handing Out of the Apo-T” ceremony. Blue tees = happy, proud kids in California, Montana, Washington and Switzerland. Awesome.

CQ: PREVIEW!  Here are two trips that haven’t even started yet – our Coast to Quebec leaders were hard at work today reviewing student files and making phone calls here at HQ before starting their trip down the coast tomorrow.  Looking good, guys! photo (6) CI:  Nantucket Challenge Ride?  Check! Will and Emily’s fearless few crushed their 30+ miles today.  Back to the Cape tomorrow!IMG952732 IMG954459 IMG954736

IMG_3795Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy biiiiirrrrthday to yoooouuu, happy birthday to you!

NEMC:  Great day on the trails today that included a visit from our own Photographer Extraordinaire Garrett – beloved of leaders and kiddos alike. The group climbed up Mt Surprise this morning on misty trails and emerged at the top above the clouds. That’s just plain cool.

IMG_8056Would-be backpacking photographers – check out Garrett’s super-cool camera holster. As the kids say (or at least said 20 years ago…), “rad.”

IMG_9440 VM:  With weather coming expected this afternoon, these guys rode up to Middlebury and are now happily tucked indoors for the night. They rode through some gorgeous countryside on the way there, then explored town.  And then they shrank.  No – really – check it out!IMG957742 IMG952966 IMG_2614 IMG_1180 IMG_1182 IMG_1173 CMC:  Well, hellllo there, CMC! Dylan and Emma came off of the water this morning and are now well-inland in preparation for tomorrow’s white-water rafting adventure. They sent a veritable smorgasbord of pics from the last few days – enjoy! IMG_4697

IMG_0372Now that’s just a downright purty sunset…

IMG_3405 IMG_0994 CSA:  Our amigos to the south put in the hours today!  They were working in the fields and then, this afternoon, worked on a permanent mural that we’re putting in to our accommodations to spiff the place up. Apogee Adventures – leaving our mark! IMG_7472 IMG_0597 IMG955970

IMG951968Our master-oeuvre in progress…. Seriously, though – that’s a really cool palm tree “P”!

MSA:  Blue Shirt Trip #1 (none of the aforementioned blue shirts are visible, but that’s beside the point).Way out west, in Whitefish, Montana – Hannah and Chris’ cowboys and cowgirls enjoyed a last day together – a portion of which included a picnic by this lovely lake… IMG_6588

IMG_6913 IMG_9171 IMG_4681 IMG_2831 NWX: Blue Shirt Trip #2 (more invisible blue shirts) – John, Izzy and their Phenoms celebrated their last day with birthday doughnuts and then, this afternoon, a trip to Seattle. John said a trip up to the top of the Space Needle was on order…. Home tomorrow – what?? 20140715_080842

20140715_072103Nothing says “Happy Birthday” like a big-old box o’doughnuts and a bottle of Martinelli’s!  Happy Birthday!

PCA:  Blue Shirt Trip #3 (and you can see the shirts!) – Matt and Jeanne’s Temporary San Franciscans enjoyed perfect weather for their stroll around the city on their last day together.  And they looked darn good, don’t you think?IMG_9841PCB:  Blue Shirt Trip #4 – Also exploring the City by the Bay, Trevor and Kate’s group found their way to a certain intersection this afternoon. Very hard to believe that just about everyone is going to be home by this time tomorrow!

IMG_6752   IMG_2427.JPGWaaaaiiit a second – Trevor is in this picture twice! I think they spent a little too much time in the Haight…..

AX:  Blue Shirt Trip #5 – And reporting in from Geneva, these guys spent the first part of their morning giving back – working at a food bank and sorting enough food for 1000 people! Nicely done, gang. Then it was time for some posing by Lac Geneve and the famous Jet d’Eau. These Blue Shirters are bidding each other “au revoir” tomorrow morning!


AX8 ECCA: They tried, Mom & Dad – they really, really tried! To send pictures, that is. Mia and Jeremy’s group had a great ride into Molsheim, France (their final French campsite, by the way) and were into camp by lunch. They went all over town looking for the wifi juice to send us pictures, but found none. But – pictures or no pictures – I’m happy to report high spirits as they look forward to a sleep-in morning and a trip to Strasbourg in the afternoon during tomorrow’s day off of the bike.

ECCB: Meanwhile, about 60 km to the west, however, way up in the Vosges Mountains, Nick and Christine did work a bit of wifi into their day.  Nick reported the nicest day of the trip so far as the group rode up to the charming village of Celles-sur-Plaine. It’s downhill (umm, mostly…) to the rest day tomorrow!

photo 4 (1)Both ECC groups overlapped this year’s Tour de France route at several points over the past few days. Le Tour! Le Tour!

photo 3 (3)Blue sky! And we didn’t even Photoshop it!

photo 2 (4)   image (8)Album Cover? “Neon Jones and the Tan Lines…” What do you think?

ACC1:  Wait just a second – these guys get another day off? What kind of challenge ride is this? Back out onto the Texas grasslands tomorrow!IMG_4208

IMG_3883Ain’t no breakfast like rest day breakfast!  

IMG_8369 IMG_4112 IMG_1438 IMG_4304 ACC2:  Have you noticed the trend over the last few weeks? We should vote on “Best Imitation of Small Town Statue.” Frankly, I think just about everyone is giving it a bit too much elbow here. Statue imitations aside, these guys obliterated their miles today and are now enjoying the many delights of Whitesboro, TX tonight.IMG_7499 (1)