Day 27: Everyone’s feeling Em-azing! (or, The Tell-Tale Twos)

By: Emily O’Connell and Emily Sturtevant

They say two is better than one and today we have just that – two Emily’s! O’Connell and Sturtevant have taken the wheel, or keyboard we should say, to bring you another adventure filled edition of the Apogee blog.


[Ed. Note – Astute readers will note that this marks the second day in a row that our dear Emily’s have co-authored the blog (another notable two..), and is as good a time as any to give them a shout-out and a big “Thank you” for all their hard work. Thanks, Ems!]

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE2):

After a morning spent receiving input and guidance from Jaed as they work towards their final masterpieces, MCCE took a break this afternoon to prove they aren’t all work and not play. Rhia, Miles, and their crew enjoyed some beautiful weather as they paddled Maine’s coastline near Harpswell. Plans for tonight included a picnic dinner and more time spent polishing their essays.



 They are looking like pro-paddlers!

Cape Cod and the Islands (CI2):

They’ve made it to Boston! After a short bike ride and a fast ferry, CI has arrived at their hostel and are relishing in all that they have accomplished over these past two weeks. Tomorrow will be spent exploring the sights of the city before enjoying their last meal together as group.

CI2 Beach

CI2 Hats

New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC2):

Another day, another White Mountain’s summit! Isa and Aaron’s kiddos cruised and were at the top of Mt. Washington by lunchtime, where they enjoyed a picnic lunch before heading back down. Tomorrow will be their last big day of hiking in the Whites before driving to Northern Maine for a whitewater rafting adventure.


A little blurry, yes, but this is a truly exceptional summit selfie. 

Vermont to Montreal A (VM2A):

Bienvenue à Montréal! This group conquered their longest riding of the trip and made it to the city. Tonight they’ll enjoy the comforts of beds in their hostel before exploring the city together tomorrow. Where did the past two weeks go?

VM2A Border VM2

Staying dry!

VM2B Birthday

Happy Birthday, Ellie!

Vermont to Montreal B (VM2B):

“Félicitations!” – that’s “Congratulations!” for our fellow English speakers, which means that VMB made it to Montreal! Thanks to an early start, Freddy and Anna’s team made it to the city with time to spare. They’ll spend this afternoon and tomorrow exploring old Montreal and enjoying each other’s company.

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A sunrise start!



Maine’s Down East Explorer (DEX2):

After nearly 4,000 ft of vertical elevation gain (and loss) the group has conquered the beast that is Mount Katahdin! Maine’s tallest mountain, and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, Katahdin’s summit is quite the accomplishment, and a great way to end their trip. It looks a little chilly up there, but well worth it – hot coco and one last camp-gourmet dinner are just rewards!


Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA2):

Thomas, Emily, and the group spent their last day with Reach for Success in Vieques helping with a beach clean up. To mark the conclusion of their service efforts, CSA will spend this evening kayaking on one of the brightest bio-luminescent bays in the world, which will surely be a treat.

CSA2 Beach Cleanup

California Mountains and Coast (CMC2):

CMC brought their trip full circle today – returning to the beautiful California coast for some fun in the surf and sun. They took a surf lesson in Santa Cruz this morning, where they proved that wetsuits make every picture more radical! They’re planning on spending tomorrow morning working with park rangers on a beach restoration project, before heading into San Francisco to explore and reminisce over a final dinner.

CMC Surfing

Montana Service Adventure (MSA2):

Annika and Christian’s group spent their first full day together crushing 32 miles in beautiful Montana. Their views today are only a taste of what’s to come – wild horses, open plains, big skies, incredible sunsets, and glaciers!


Beautiful rainbow on a slightly cloudy day

Northwest Explorer (NWX2):

Our friends in the Pacific Northwest woke up and headed straight to Olympic National Park, where they had a delicious looking lunch before hitting the trails with an afternoon hike up to Hurricane Ridge to get use to their packs.


Pacific Coast A (PC2A):

PCA jumped right into biking today, riding 31 miles through beautiful coniferous forests, crossing some cool bridges, and marveling at every glimpse of the coastline along the way. They spent the rest of the day getting to know each other better and settling into Apogee daily life. Their leaders say that “everyone is loving it” so far!

PC2A - Pacific

Pacific Coast B (PC2B):

Mike and Sherry’s crew rode 25 miles down the Oregon coast today, their first on the bikes. A great first day’s ride, with a few hills thrown in for good measure, to get everybody used to cycling with weight and Oregon’s breathtaking coastal scenery. Three weeks and 600 miles a pro rider doth make!

PCB Safety Ride

Alps Explorer A (AX2A):

Our friends in Switzerland got to spend their first full day exploring some truly spectacular heights. Noah and Emma’s group hit the trails this morning for a day hike in the Zermatt area – meaning we can now officially christen them as Alps explorers! The alpenhorn doesn’t hurt either…

AX2A lunch

AX2A - zermatt

AX2A - Horn

Alps Explorer B (AX2B):

Tim and Ally’s Alps Explorers had a fantastic first full day together hiking around Zermatt and soaking in the beautiful vistas of the southern Swiss Alps. These guys were getting settled into their new European lifestyle as they enjoyed fresh bread, awesome hiking and great conversation. Not enough WiFi to get us a pic, unfortunately, but we should get one tomorrow as they spend their last full day in Zermatt.

Europe Coast to Coast A (ECCA):

Jeanne and Kirk’s gang completed 110 winding kilometers today, taking them through many quaint Italian towns, before ultimately landing them on the shores of Lake Caldonazzo. They are getting so close to Venice – two days to go! They had some pretty steep climbs, but the views made them worth it.


Europe Coast to Coast B (ECCB):

Last rest day! Posie and Postyn’s crew took a well-deserved day off the bikes for a little R&R in Merano, Italy before their final two days of riding! Sadly, their restful activities did not take them to any WiFi, so no pictures from these guys either.

America Coast to Coast (ACC):

Mia and Chris’ gang continued to sail through New Mexico today, completing another 74 miles. They woke up early this morning to watch a truly incredible sunrise over the Valley of Fires (that’s two glorious sunrise pictures in a row, for any folks out there counting). They’re making truly incredibly progress and spirits are high!


Look at that sunrise!