Day 21: Same Same, But Different

It is nigh impossible to sum up an Apogee day in just a few sentences. How do you say that we have trips on the water and flying through the trees? Trips winding through valleys and trips summiting mountains? Trips volunteering with service partners while others raft down rivers? Perhaps our best hope is to focus on the commonalities of shared experiences, new challenges, and stunning locales. With a healthy reminder that all of the above is happening at the same time new friendships are formed and grow as we learn from one another.


Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

Our junior explorers headed out to sea today. Dipping one paddle at a time, they pushed off from Orr’s Island and took a scenic journey around Maine’s Harpswell Sound. After that wonderful nautical adventure they are looking forward to tomorrow’s fulfilling service project and a final dinner out on the town.

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

After a hearty breakfast, CI they went for a lovely ride around Nantucket today before hitting the beach for a bit. They’ll be leaving the island tomorrow to return to the Cape and continue their push towards Boston.

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

NEMC tackled perhaps the biggest challenge of their trip: summiting Mt. Washington. Katherine reports that they shopped for fun outfits at the thrift store yesterday to get everybody excited. It appears to have worked based on the photos below! They celebrated their accomplishment with pizza, ice cream, and warm showers this evening.

Pre-hike orientation.
Almost there!
Successful mountain climbers showcasing fashionable hiking attire!

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains A (CRMA)

These Rocky Mountain Explorers a good part of their day on the one and only Cache Le Poudre (‘Hide the Powder) River. We can only imagine that the smiles featured below were even wider (and spray-soaked) as the deftly maneuvered down river with their professional guides.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains B (CRMB)

CRMB strapped on harnesses, tied up some figure eight knots (with guidance, we’re sure), clipped on their belay devices, and set off for the wall today. Climbing with professional guides, they gained yet another stunning perspective of the Rocky Mountains standing stoically around them.

Caribbean Service (CS)

To take unashamed advantage of surfing’s spectacularly descriptive lingo: “CS took their boards to the open ocean and carved up some waves.” “They got totally tubular with some gnarly drop-ins and cutbacks.” “Needless to say their experience was far out!” Or, in more general language, CS enjoyed a surfing lesson in the sand and sun.

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

MCCE got up at the crack of dawn this morning to drive one of their own to the airport because they couldn’t bear to say goodbye before the last possible moment. Nick and Alex say a heartfelt goodbye to their second crew, and urge them to continue chasing their dreams.

Writing each other goodbye notes

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

Our most down east explorers are continuing to explore the always alluring coast of Maine. A second magical night island camping likely includes some excited talk about their next adventure: exploring the world-famous Acadia National Park.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

After a beautiful sunrise hike up Cadillac Mountain to say their farewells to Acadia National Park with style, DEXB headed north. They camped for the night near Holden, ME to stage themselves for their backcountry hike along the world famous Appalachian Trail. 

Vermont to Montréal A (VMA)

Our A squad in Vermont (A in name only) bumped up the mileage a smidge today, bringing their daily total to almost 30 miles. They took a beautiful route from Middlebury north towards Shelburne. They arrived in camp with ample time for a water fight to cool down and celebrate the added miles.

No pool? Not a problem for VMA, who doesn’t mess around when it comes to water fights!

Vermont to Montréal B (VMB)

Our Very Merry Bumblebees (VMB) continued north along the rural roads of central Vermont today, passing through the quaint college town of Middlebury before arriving at their river-side campground for the evening. Tomorrow’s ride brings them nearly to the shores of Lake Champlain!

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

CRLS spent their final full day together experiencing the wonderment of the forest canopies of Manuel Antonio. We can imagine few things more exciting than flying through the trees as monkeys call in the distance, perhaps inviting you to take a glimpse into their arboreal lives.

Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

Picture this: The wind tugs at wisps of hair peaking out of the sides of your helmet as you soar through the canopy of one of the most iconic rain forests in the western hemisphere. How can you not help but relish in the magnificence of life? This is the sensation that CRMC experienced today as they bid farewell to Manuel Antonio with a zip-lining adventure.

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

The CMCA group laced their hiking boots up tight and took to exploring the trails of Calaveras Big Trees State Park today. That looks like a moderately-sized tree to us. We can only hope that they found the eponymous big trees as well.

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

CMCB also explored Calaveras Big Trees State Park today. To give you a sense of just how big some of the sequoias in the park are… you could stand two blue whales straight up, gaping maw to thrashing tail, and they would still fall 50 feet short of the height of the Agassiz Sequoia (the biggest tree in the park). What’s more, this tree is so thick it would take fourteen people with six-foot wing spans to wrap themselves around it.

Northwest Explorer (NWX A & B)

Nicholas, Emma, Addie, and Clark bid adieu to their first groups of Northwest Explorers this morning. No pictures can do justice to the heartfelt goodbyes had by all this morning.

Pacific Coast (PC A & B)

After over 600 miles of biking all the way from Eugene, OR to San Francisco, CA, our Pacific Coast adventurers have regretfully returned to their respective homes. Here are a smattering of pictures highlighting their fun-filled final twenty-four hours together.

PCA final night birthday celebration
PCA final dinner
PCB’s quintessential SF trolley ride, pre-pizza-and-gelato-feast final dinner

Pyrenees Mountains & Coast (PMC)

Our Pyrenees aficionados took their hiking up a notch today – logging almost 15 kilometers with 1000 meters of ascent and 1000 meters of descent on the other end. This gang has that sense of satisfaction that only a long day of hiking with stunningly gorgeous views can bring. [This editor would add that their sense of satisfaction is probably enhanced by being technologically isolated enough from the outside world to not be able to send us blog photos today.]

Scottish Highlands (SH)

SH had a wonderful rest day today where they replenished their stock for the days ahead. They coupled their resupply with an exploration of the lovely port town of Oban, made complete by partaking in some fresh caught, delicious fish and chips at a local hotspot. They are looking forward to a trip across the famous Bridge of Orchy tomorrow.

Alps Explorer (AX A & B)

The Alps are going to miss these humble adventurers who brought with them joy and excitement for life and nature. Jared, Jeanne, Sam, and Zach (heck, the whole Apogee blogosphere) are going to miss these humble adventurers, too.

Europe Coast to Coast (ECC)

ECC took to the Lake Constance beach in the town of Bregenz, Austria. Their goal: to make it a little more enjoyable for others. A very successful beach clean-up was followed by a dip in zee Bodensee! They’ll remount their metal steeds once again tomorrow and begin their journey towards the heart of Austria and the mighty Alps.

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

Aaahhh, the mid-trip rest day. One can only imagine the satisfaction that comes from taking a full day to relax on day twenty-one of a forty-two day cross-country bike trip. Especially after biking 95 miles the day before! Tomorrow starts the second half of their journey – California here we come!

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

These speedsters are blowing through Texas like a tumbleweed in a sandstorm. They pulled into the tiny town of Whitesboro this afternoon after a cool (though not necessarily temperature wise) 82 miles. They are looking forward to another 95 mile day tomorrow thinking “Bring. It. On.”