Day 27 – Aliens, Interpretive Dances, and Peak-Bagging – Another Day in the Life

It’s a veritable Apogee smorgasbord out there today, my friends!  Greetings from Brunswick, Maine – Chad here today as Sam enjoys a couple of days away from the helm of the good ship Blog, or something to that effect…  We’ve got lots of great shots today – let’s make the rounds, eh?

We’re missing pictures (Pictures Absent Today – PAT? – as an aside, we’re still looking for the perfect acronym for trips missing pictures. Please post any good suggestions on our Facebook page.  But I digress.) from two groups today:

CMC: As many of you know, this is the first year that we’ve run CMC and we feel like it’s gone incredibly well to this point.  When planning the trip, however, we failed to adequately consider the effect that the lack of cell phone coverage might have on the blog.  The trip goes from the Channel Islands (no cell phone service) to Big Sur (no cell phone service) to Yosemite’s backcountry (no cell phone service).  The places the trip explores are undoubtedly fantastic, but maybe we should switch this to the “Fresno Explorer” next year – great cell reception there!  What do you think?  All kidding aside, we can expect to hear from, and receive pictures from, Jillian and Tim’s group when they head over to Yosemite on Thursday.  They were positively bubbling over with excitement about the sea kayaking portion when they checked in on their way to Big Sur yesterday, though.

TSA: Due to the finickyness of campground wifi in the hills of Umbria, we don’t have a picture to share from our amici in Umbria today.  I did hear from Laura and Pat, though – they were delighted to welcome a late arriving student today, enjoyed a beautiful orientation ride through Assisi and Spello today and are looking forward to their first “real” ride to Gubbio tomorrow.  Oh, and they ate gelato.  You’ll find that the eating gelato part is a pretty consistent part of the daily TSA update…

VM: Our Vermonsters enjoyed Vermonsters today – as they tackled Ben & Jerry’s eponymous, huge, and stomach-defying bucket-o-ice cream this afternoon after a short ride up to Burlington.  After enjoying a couple of hours exploring town, they’ll be donning their community service gloves tomorrow morning before making their way ever closer to the border in the afternoon.

CQA: Nick and Susie’s group had their own community service hats on today – they worked with the local land trust near lovely Camden village.  You can see by the blueberry fields around them and hills and harbors in the background that this was service with a view.  It’s back in the saddle tomorrow as they leave the coast and make like bandits for the border – pausing after a few days, as every bandit should, for some white water rafting.

CQB: Mia and Alex’s hearty crew will join Susie and Nick in Camden for a rare night of overlap tonight.  Will hijinks and shenanigans ensue?  Who can say, my friends, who can say…  There is definitely a lot going on in the picture below – I’m just not sure what it is.  We’ve got folks turned around, bandannas, and then some folks doing a more “normal” group shot pose.  We’re accepting interpretations on our Facebook page.

NEMC: Kelly, Garth, and their Fearless Few took a couple of hours to explore the many delights of North Conway, NH this afternoon.  They also paused, as every group visiting North Conway should, to build a two-peaked group pyramid.  They should have great weather for their last full day of hiking in the Whites tomorrow.

DEX: It was a big day in Acadia for our Dexterous DEXsters, my friends!  They conquered not one, not two, not three, but four peaks today!  That’s right, these guys left most of Acadia National Park in rubble today as they ascended, and descended, Mt Sargent, Mt Gilmore, Mt Parkman, and Mt Bald.  We’ve got the pictures to prove it below.  They’ll have the sore legs to remember it tomorrow…

PCA: Way over on the west coast it was, well, interpretive dance time with McKayla and Micah’s group today.  And then they did some riding, too…  Look at all of those layers?  Most of the country doesn’t remember what it was like to wear a “jacket” at this point in the summer.  How cool.  Literally.  And figuratively.  Whoa.

PCB: Several miles to the north, Hannah and Shem’s group was concentrating on crushing their miles today – their first real ride of their trip towards the Golden Gate.  Hannah reported high spirits and and a great ride when she checked in.  We appreciate their good use of perspective in the picture below, but apologize to the families of the students in back.  They’re smiling – we promise!

NWX: Also just beginning their journey way up in the Pacific Northwest, our Northwest Explorers laced up their hiking boots for the first time today after making their way to Olympic National Park.  Josh and Addie report having a “stellar” start to their group’s adventures among the high pines and peaks of the Olympics.

CSA: Well to the south, Mason and Maddie’s group were on trash detail in El Yunque National Forest.  They hauled several hundred pounds of trash out of the otherwise gorgeous La Mina Falls area of the Forest.  They’re back in their bunkhouse for the evening – and the coqui frogs are just starting their nightly chorus.  It’s like a lullaby every night.  Sung by 100,000 frogs.  At jet-engine decibel levels.  But otherwise just like a lullaby.

ACCA: It’s a rare day in the life of a cross-country bike trip when you get to stop in at one of your fellow-tripper’s homes – but that’s just what happened for Dave and Anna’s group in Socorro, NM.  These guys feasted on home-made enchiladas and fresh salad.  In his note to me, David said it was the “Best.  Day.  Ever.”  Sounds pretty good to me.  And it’s a rest day tomorrow…  Of note, this is the second to last rest day before the group gets to San Diego.  Yikes!

ACCB: And a bit to the east of David and Anna – I’m sorry to report that Mike and Danika are in the hospital.  The alien hospital, that is.  Everybody passing through Roswell, NM has to check out the most famous patient in town at the UFO Museum.  Aside from the requisite visit to the little blue people, these guys, too, enjoyed a great day of riding today and are inching ever closer to the salt air and sea breezes waiting for them in San Diego.