By Grace Wright & the Hardworking Apo HQ
‘Twas the night before Apo Christmas, when all across the world
Apogee-ans were preparing for another (or first!) day out in the field.
Their gear was securely packed tight the night before with great care,
In hopes that dropped bags of bagels wouldn’t leave their bellies bare.
These hikers and bikers will soon be nestled together all snug in their outdoor beds
While visions of doing A’s and P’s round the fire fill their heads.
For fun times will be had, with boots, work gloves, bikes, and maps,
But before this poem goes on too long, let’s check things out, we’ll give this a wrap.
Here’s to the Apogee trips out right now and those beginning tomorrow (get psyched!)
Merry Apogee Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE2): These writing elves are tinkering away on some innovative work far beyond the simplicity of Christmas poems. We think we have some future Thoreaus on our hands! The churning of the ocean, the buzzing of the bees, and the stunning views from Morse Mountain put these scholars in the right mood to ponder some essay topics on their morning hike to the salty coast. Last night they stayed up to watch the sunset on the water while doing some introductions – we wonder if they also caught a sight of Santa on his training trip across the ocean? He’s only got 5 months until the big day after all…
Cape Cod & the Islands (CI2): Provincetown, the historic home to the anchoring of the Mayflower, was the pitstop for Grace and Henry’s sleigh of reindeer today. After passing by Pilgrim statues abound (and acknowledging the fact that Christmas was an illegal holiday for the Puritans) these bikers let out a jolly “Merry Thanksgiving!” once they reached camp. They had lots to be thankful for today after completing 24 miles (their highest mileage yet!) on this Apogee July Eve.
New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC2): This crew should be the first on call whenever Santa has trouble clambering out of a chimney because they gained some serious skills out on the ropes course today. After learning the ropes (literally) Andy and Julia’s little helpers transported to their campsite in the White Mountains – too bad the “white” isn’t referring to snow!
Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA2): Ever wonder where Santa vacations during the offseason? Well, these service Samaritans could probably tell us as they ferried across the Caribbean today to the island of Vieques. After shaking off their sea legs they settled in to where they’ll be volunteering over the next few days – they’ll be working with youth on the island and spreading some loving Apogee cheer!
Vermont to Montreal (VM2): Bump up the volume to Michael Bublé’s Christmas album, cause this newly inducted Canadian crew just hightailed it through the farm country. Upon an early arrival into camp in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (not to be confused with our dear friend Saint Nicholas) , they had plenty of time to deck the halls with boughs of fun and games – fa la la la la la la la la!
Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEXA2): Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree! These explorers were reunited with these piney forest friends as they set out on the AT today. They kept themselves busy while navigating the backcountry by singing a capella versions of this Christmas carol and collecting sprigs of holly and mistletoe to adorn their campsite. Not only green when summer’s here, thy leaves are so unchanging!
Maine’s Downeast Explorer B (DEXB2): Instead of a visit to the North Pole, these DEX2ers decided to make the even more impressive trek to the highest point in all of Maine – MOUNT KATAHDIN! The excitement of the day’s challenge motivated their early wake up (just like the Christmas morning jitters) and they fueled up on milk and cookies before hitting the trail, a recommendation straight from Santa himself. They had a full day of climbing rocks and shocking views, but we’ll have to wait until Apogee Christmas morning to see the pictures!
Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS2): Hoe, hoe, hoe! These Costa Rica comrades did this and more as a part of their volunteer work at the Ecolodge this morning. After gardening away in the lots right on the rainforest property they earned themselves an exploration of adventuring in the afternoon. Santa has duly noted all of their hard work, they certainly don’t have to worry about getting coal in their stockings this year!
California Mountains & Coast A (CMC2A): These hearty hikers were on the lookout for the perfect Yule Log as they began day number two in Yosemite. They made their way into Cathedral Creek Valley and, having already been acquainted with the giant sequoia forests, knew which tree would be the perfect to choose from for their ceremonial log burning. Along the way they also got to soak up some beautiful views of the basin as they descended down some granite slabs. Can’t wait to see the pictures and quality of their chosen Yule Log when they get out of the woods in just a few days!
California Mountains & Coast B (CMC2B): I saw three ships come sailing in on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day, I saw three ships come sailing in on Christmas Day in the mornin’. And what was in those ships all three? Well, turns out they aren’t ships and there are more than three, cause these CMC2ers were in some kayaks today as they began their two-day trip on the water! Instead of Santa hats they donned sunhats and sunscreen to beat the burn out on the water. There will be no rosy cheeks for these hikers-turned-paddlers!
Europe Coast to Coast (ECC): A Christmas feast was consumed by these relaxed reindeer during their rest day in Austria, featuring foods from all across the globe! Breakfast featured French toast with a roasted hazelnut twist of Nutella (makes us think that Santa will want to stray from his basic milk and cookies diet!) An exploration of the German/Austrian border left them ravenous for some pretzel bread, gelato and Chinese food, and yes they consumed all three for lunch. After waiting approximately thirty minutes for proper digestion they took a dip in Lake Bodensee and headed back to camp to prepare the dinner menu. Black bean scramble, what a treat!
America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): No snowstorm warnings were in effect for this biking bunch, but they found other ways to cool down as they crushed 75 miles before noon in New Mexico. They explored Roswell, made some extraterrestrial friends, and celebrated being in the dairy capitol of the Southwest with mozzarella caprese sandwiches for lunch. Christmas cacti and gallons of Gatorade may have replaced the typical holiday evergreen trees and mugs of hot cocoa as seen in the movies, but we all know these ACC1ers are living the dream as they make their way closer to the Cali coast.
America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): Today may as well be Christmas and New Year’s all wrapped up into one for these ACC2ers – they got to check off the big resolution of biking more than a century’s worth of miles today! After cycling through the top 100 Christmas carols of all time during the first 100 miles, they spent the last five trying to find some golden rings (then listened to the sweet melodies of four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.) It’s their last full day in the huge Lone Star State, perhaps the best Christmas present of all!