Day 21 – The Cheese Factor

Well, Dear Reader, my “desh-tiny” line from yesterday fell a little flat at home — my wife has threatened to move out unless I tone down the cheese factor in this blog. What’s that bumper sticker? “Man, I’m gonna miss her” — or something like that? Because cheese, friends, is the only thing I know how to do — it got me through college, dang it (I once wrote a ten-page paper in a religion course about an imaginary frog — and got an “A,” thank you very much…). Alright, enough about me, let’s get to it.

A busy, busy day across the wide world of Apogee today. Still in the prep phases, our Pacific Coast and Northwest Explorer leaders have been preparing to descend on Eugene, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, respectively, over the weekend and are excited to meet their kids on Monday morning. Our second iteration of the Coast to Quebec trip kicked off in Freeport today — it was the now-familiar scene of anxious/excited students, parents looking perhaps equally anxious and excited, and leaders hustling around making sure gear was properly packed and rigged, that flags were duct-taped to racks, and that passports were collected. But the seemingly chaotic scene quieted, name games were played, safety rides conducted, and the trips got on the road. Andy & Corley were kind enough to send me a quick shot of their group making their way to their first campground tonight.

Drew and Rachel checked in from Belfast, Maine today, on their way to Stonington this afternoon. They got in a great preliminary “teaser” hike this morning in Camden — and will spend the next few days on the water in and around Isle au Haut Bay. We’ll try to get a picture or two from them if we can find the cell reception — otherwise, we’ll hear from them as they head to Acadia on Tuesday.

On the Cape, more good reports: Lucas, Danika & Co. had a fantastic time surfing in the fog this morning — the picture below is post-wave riding (you can tell because they’re all doing the “hang ten” hand signal, known only to experienced surfers). Similarly, Wyatt and Chrissy enjoyed riding their own waves, from Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard for community service on the farm. The second shot below is of their group on the MV jetty. Astonishingly, both of these trips will be in Boston tomorrow night!

And over in the Whites, David and Anna conquered Kersarge Mountain today — and found enough cell waves floating through the ether to beam the below picture from the summit (I don’t know whether it was that misty on top or David just had that much pocket lint on his phone…). They have one more day of hiking in the Whites before heading to the Coast for a community service project and sea-kayaking.

Down in Texas, our guys had a fantastic night out last night in Jacksboro, feasting on authentic Mexican courtesy of Greg, a parent who flew down to Texas to see the gang as they made their way through the Texas heat. The burritos must have done the trick, as Nick texted me at noon their time to let me know that they were done with their 75 miles for the day!