Day 26: Eye of the Tiger

By: Jack Messerly

Rising up, back on the street. Did my time, took my chances. Believe it or not, after 25 days of blog posts, we sometimes have to get creative when it comes to the blog’s theme. Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet. Just a [group] and [their] will to survive. Fortunately, a quick internet search of, “this day in history,” however, provided all the inspiration we needed; on July 24, 1982, Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” from Rocky III hit the top of the US pop charts. So many times it happens too fast, you trade your passion for glory. As our groups across the world log heavy miles, climb monster mountains, and get their hands dirty serving their communities, is there any soundtrack more fitting? Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past, you must fight just to keep them alive.

So please, cue the Rocky III theme song, and enjoy reading about the huge day in the Apogee world. (Side note: Eye of the Tiger has over 300 million views on YouTube.)

It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight. Rising up to the challenge of our rival. And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night. And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger!


Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

After a (rainy) morning exploring Provincetown, MA, the waterproofed CI team made their way across the Cape Cod & Massachusetts Bays to Boston. They’ll certainly enjoy the refuge from the rain as they’re staying indoors for their final two nights of the trip!

Rain means snuggles!
It’s a good thing we have a lifeguard on duty!

New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC)

Some showers didn’t stop our intrepid NEMCers from conquering their first Presidential peak of the trip (on their first hike at that!). They trekked through the rain up to 4,310′ to the peak of Mt. Pierce.

Peak bagging!
Lots of rain, even more smiles (metaphorically speaking)

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA)

Our friends down in Puerto Rico certainly earned their keep today; they spent the morning volunteering at a local greenhouse, weeding and mixing dirt and fertilizer. And if that wasn’t enough for a day’s work, they also made their way back to the beach to continue the clean-up with a local organization, Reach for Success, in the afternoon. Fortunately, they left some gas in the tank for Salsa dancing classes tonight!

Mix that dirt!
Face to face, out in the heat.

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

True to their name, Jack & Jane’s gang of essayists spent the morning working on their essays (specifically outlines and early drafts) and exploring the rocky Maine coast. This afternoon, they met one of the Associate Deans of Bowdoin College for a college admissions workshop.

So pensive! So pensive.

Maine Coast Photo (MCP)

Today, our photographers went on a day hike in search of some sweet views to photograph. With the other half of their day, they spent time giving back to the community that they’ve lived in for the past week by doing service with the Boothbay Land Trust

All smiles!
…and now goofy!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

Clark & Addie’s squad of DEXers continued their way along the famous Appalachian Trail today for night two of their backcountry expedition. We’ll await photographic evidence of their adventure tomorrow!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

DEXB rocked their challenge day and summitted the highest peak in Maine – Mount Katahdin! We’ll let the pictures do the talking…

Vermont to Montréal (VM)

The final day of riding for our Vermonsters was also their longest; 37 miles into the final destination today, and they made it to their hostel with plenty of time to enjoy the afternoon in the historic French Canadian city. Congrats, VM!

Nothing says, “Welcome to Canada” like a water break in a Tim Hortons!
Twist cones: the best of both worlds.
Ice cream is the best way to bring out genuine smiles!

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

Another full morning of service and afternoon of exploring the wonders of the Costa Rican rainforests, another day we normal folk have to live without pictures. I have a feeling you can expect to see smiling faces, dirty hands, and maybe even some wildlife when the photos return tomorrow!

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

Our resilient Yose-mites continued their exploration deep into the wilderness of the Tuolumne Meadows. Today was their third and final full day in the Yosemite backcountry, so it’s now appropriate to begin eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s pictures!

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

Today marked the last full day on the water for CMC Bravo team. Tomorrow, they’ll make their way back to dry land en route to Santa Cruz!

The whole squad!
The whole squad… again!
And finally, the whole squad… goofy edition.

Montana Service Adventure (MSA)

Not entirely sure what’s going on here, but I can say it’s the most interesting first-day blog photo I’ve ever seen.

Fearless leaders Emily and Nicholas have corralled the group in Bozeman and, according to Nicholas, “the stoke is high” to get started on their three-week adventure!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA & NWXB)

The epic Mt. Rainier welcomed both NWX groups into Seattle today, and just like that, they’re off! Stay tuned for three straight weeks of beautiful hikes, gorgeous ocean vistas, and enough FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) material to last well past the trip’s end! In their post-arrival excitement, NWXB forgot to send us a photo, but we are happy to report that they have all arrived and are starting their group bonding!

Thumbs up for the Pacific Northwest!

Pacific Coast (PCA & PCB)

Upon arrival to Eugene, OR, both PC groups made their way to the coast to start the get-to-know-you process… Complete with donuts! Tonight, they’ll dream of elk, beautiful coastal panoramas, and the Golden Gate Bridge… just a quick 600 miles and three weeks of riding away!

Smiles and donuts… can’t get any better than that!
PCB is on the bus and headed to the campground for the night!
…as is PCA!

Scottish Highland Explorer (SHX)

Upon arrival in Edinburgh today, our Scottish Highlands Explorers spent the day getting to know each other and taking in the beauty of Loch Lomond. Cross your fingers that sun sticks around!

Our worldly travelers
Very artsy.
Fortunately there are no conspiracies regarding the existence of lake monsters in Loch Lamond.

Alps Explorer (AXA & AXB)

Our Alps Explorers, the Alpha team led by Isa & Dave, and the Bravo squad guided by Jessi & Nick, arrived safely and soundly into Geneva this morning and enjoyed (or slept through) the scenic train ride to their home for the next three nights in Zermatt.

AXA reporting for duty!
AXB with the “classic train pic” in leader Jessi’s words.

Europe Coast to Coast (ECCA)

ECC Alpha completed a hilly, 90 km ride today to the town of Caldonazzo, Italy. Their efforts were rewarded today with stunning views and a picturesque camping spot next to Lake Caldonazzo, which, fun fact (or fun opinion, I suppose), is said to be one of the warmest Alpine lakes!

Hanging tough, staying hungry. They stack the odds, still we take to the street.
Look this way for the picture!
Now this way! So adorable.

Europe Coast to Coast (ECCB)

In true rest day fashion, ECC Bravo awoke to the smell of freshly baked pastries from the nearby town of Laives. They spent the rest of the day playing games, swimming, and thoroughly relaxing before a delicious dinner out and an early bedtime.

Freshly baked pastries!
Odds that the pasta was homemade? Very high.

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

We’re happy to report that a) ACC1 finished their 75 miles today by 1PM and b) they were not abducted by UFOs in Roswell, New Mexico (not yet, at least). They did, however, visit the International UFO Museum and Research Center.

Spotted: UFO
If only the sky could just stay that color for a liiiittle bit longer.

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

For ACC2’s 105-mile day today through Texas, we’ll let Survivor provide them with all the (very relevant) motivation they need:

Rising up, straight to the top. Had the guts, got the glory. Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop. Just a [team] and [their] will to survive. It’s the eye of the tiger…

Long, lonely stretch of highway.
Ready to roll.
That shirt maybe should read: Life, Love, Bike?