Day 27: To the Top Tuesday!

Brought to you by: APO HQ (fueled by free tacos).


Today we salute you Benjamin Franklin, our first Postmaster General and all our Postmaster Generals. On this day in 1775, the United States Postal System began running mail on new and improved colonial roads as tension mounted during the Revolutionary era. With the improvements of roads, transportation, and technology in the many years that followed, communication and connectivity has become a cornerstone to our society. Thanks to the World Wide Web and email, we can revel in the adventures of our fellow Apogeers whether they be separated by mountains or oceans – or often, both! My apologies, this introduction and blogpost isn’t as riveting without rhymes but I’m sure the memories of today’s adventures will last a lifetime!


Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE2)Get up, get going, go, see, do. Our MCCE2ers hopped on over to Bowdoin’s campus for a little practice interview session. Interview nerves? No such thing for our MCCE2ers! Post-interview festivities included a nice hike at Wolff’s Neck State Park before an evening of writing with Professor Jaed Coffin (a Bowdoin College English Professor).  

MCCE outside Massachusetts Hall

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI2): While Big Papi’s been crushing home runs in Boston, our CI2ers have been crushing miles, waves, and views on their Cape Cod adventure. Our heavy hitters converged in Boston today for a little exploring – unfortunately there was not a Big Papi sighting, but our group did run into the visiting Italian football team AS Roma! Looks like our crew is setting fashion trends in Boston these days with those dazzling unicorn slippers; where can I find a pair?

The Boston Life
AS Roma in Boston
AS Roma in Boston, and Unicorns!
CI "anchored" in Boston CI in Boston Boston CI! Final day in Boston

New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC2): Not one, but two 4,000 foot mountain climbs in a day? A twofer for our NEMC2ers on their challenge day today! Lovely Maine sights and sounds accompanied our Apogeers on their adventures today, and something tells me we’ll have some heavy sleepers tonight…

NEMC En route to Mt. Pierce Pre Mt. Pierce Pic NEMC Looming Views NEMC At the Top!

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA2): It was a long day of both service and adventure for our CSA-ers! Our crew started off the morning volunteering with local teenagers to clean up a school on the island – painting both the inside and outside of the school a bright, cheery yellow. After getting their paint on in the morning, it was time to hit the water! This crew spent the afternoon kayaking and snorkeling through some of the most beautiful bays the Caribbean has to offer, and are looking forward to their last night on Vieques before heading back to the mainland tomorrow.

CSA Kayaking CSA Painting More CSA Painting CSA Kayaking

Vermont to Montreal A (VMA2): Hello Montreal, hey, hi, how ya doin? All that biking didn’t faze our VMA2ers – in fact, they ventured on up to Mont Royal (a series of three peaks) just inside the city of Montreal! One final family meal, A’s and P’s, and then tomorrow morning our VMA2ers will be making their way back stateside.Ten days went by way too quickly, so who’s ready to bike back?! Kidding, of course… 

Montreal at Mont Royal Montreal Hike!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEXA2): Today this upbeat group of Downeasters emerged from their two days in the back country on the Appalachian Trail. They celebrated their re-entry into civilization with some down time and tasty treats. Today they’ll rest their legs and prepare for their biggest hike yet –  tomorrow it’s onward and upward to Mount Katahdin! *Pictures are making their way through cyberspace and will be posted ASAP*

Maine’s Downeast Explorer B (DEXB2): Trading packs for paddles today, this group gets to give their legs some well-deserved rest after hiking the tallest peak in Maine yesterday. They’ll spend the final portion of the trip camping on a gorgeous island off the coast of Stonington, Maine and exploring in their kayaks while also giving back to the community by cleaning up some of the islands as they go.

DEX2B Kayaking DEX2B Takes on Kayaking

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS2): Are we out of the woods yet are we out of the woods, are we out of the rainforest? Yes! After tree days in the rainforest our CRLS crew is en route to Manuel Antonio and boy did they have a cracker of a time in the rainforest! The group lent a hand, helping make a model hydroponic system to help local communities learn about growing fresh veggies. From gorgeous waterfalls and nature, to making chocolate by hand, this group has done it all!

Afternoon hiking Learning about the rainforest Look who we found Waterfall Trip Out of the rainforest!

California Mountains & Coast A (CMC2A): Fresh (in chronology – not in scent) out of the backcountry, Dave and Isa’s team emerged from Yosemite’s wilderness and gave their legs a rest. En route to Santa Cruz, they stopped for a back-to-civilization treat, and they’re now a stone’s throw of the other CMC gang at their campsite in the Redwoods. Tomorrow, cue the Beach Boys, because everybody’s going surfing, surfing USA.

Open Space CMC Lake CMC CMC Hiking Geology!
Alpine Apple!
The sacred Alpine Apple! Mother of all back country fruits!
Hiking under the California Sun CMC2 hiking

California Mountains & Coast B (CMC2B): After a few days of kayaking the calm, blue waters of Tomales Bay, Jessi and Nick’s gang are ready to pump their adrenaline back up. So they headed down the coast to Santa Cruz this afternoon in preparation for a morning of surf lessons so they can “shred the gnar.” What a ride it’s been so far – it’s hard to believe it’s already Day 10!

The Colors of the Kayaks!
Kayaking with PCB
Water or glass?

Montana Service Adventure (MSA2): Going! Slowing and stopping! Our MSA2ers hit the road jack on their way to Three Forks and learned the ins and outs of safe biking (hence the phrases). They undoubtedly soaked up the sights and sounds of Montana on their ride today.

MSA2 on their way! Gorp Break!

Northwest Explorer (NWX2): Northwest Explorer navigated to their first major destination of the trip – their home for the next four days will be Olympic National Park. Today they settled at camp and were able to squeeze in an afternoon hike to give them a glimpse of the majestic peaks they’ll be exploring over the next few days.

NWX Psych Level

Pacific Coast A (PC2A): Onto Sunset Bay for their first day of riding! The two Pacific Coast groups met up in the airport yesterday for a quick group photo before they split up for the first portion of riding. Our PC2A-ers had a 31 mile ride today, taking their first day to get used to the weight of their bikes along the gorgeous Oregon coast. And so the adventures begin!

PCA Eh Oh! Day 2 for PCA

Pacific Coast B (PC2B): It might be their first day of riding down the Pacific Coast, but these mean, lean, biking machines are already making record time – making it into camp before noon! Not a bad way to start their journey down the coast.

PCB On Track!

Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX2): No Peter, our SHX group did not climb Solsbury Hill but Conich Hill, a nice little hike to shake the legs out after yesterday’s travel. Oh I can just hear the bagpipes warming up as our SHXers also spent some time out by Loch Lomond dreaming of the West Highland Way they’ll conquer in the days to come! Freedom (had to insert a little Braveheart)!

Conich Hill Lake Chilling SHX at Conich Hill

Alps Explorer (AX2): Seas of snowcapped mountains blurring snow and sky? What a backdrop for Will, Becca, and the AX2 crew! A hike full of games, laughs, and good times accompanied our AX2ers up to Rifflealp this afternoon. Looking ahead, our AX2ers will explore the local sights and peaks in Zermatt, Switzerland for the next few days. Oh, oh Switzerland, you’ve taken away my breath once again!

More views more smiles AX axing hills AX Doing Big Things

Europe Coast to Coast (ECC): A smattering of pictures of our ECC crew from yesterday and today! The Tour de France may be over, but the jury is not yet out on which group of bikers reign supreme in Europe. Today’s biking escapades through the Alps proved one of epic proportion with breathtaking views as they conquered some of Austria’s biggest climbs!

Celebratory ECC Group ECC! ECC on the Road ECC at Signpost ECC Hits the Alps! ECC Biking

America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): Well I think we need to begin by seeing an instant replay of last night’s sunset (consult picture below) – woo, what a beauty! That sunset was coupled with a ride into the Rockies (not many trees atop those mountains). Luckily, our ACC1ers get a bit more time to behold those Rocky Mountains with a rest tomorrow. Based upon the last rest day’s menu, we can expect lots of eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns. My invitation to brunch must have gotten lost in the mail somewhere…

ACC1 Chasing Sunsets ACC1 with a New Mexican Sunset PC onto the Rockies Rockies Loom Ahead Rock n Roll Rockies

America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): Now on to our ACC2 group! Nature shined it’s lovely eyes on both of these groups the past two days as our ACC2 group beheld a rainbow this morning on their ride into Roswell. Roswell, NM, with a UFO museum as its claim to fame. What a summer it would be if our ACC2ers snag a UFO pic and our SHX group snaps one of Nessie on Loch Ness!

ACC2 under the rainbow! ACC into New Mexico Rainbow for ACC