Day 28: Smell the Roses

By Chandler Smith

While meandering through the scented candle section of your local Bed, Bath & Beyond, you receive a text message canceling your next engagement that you weren’t really looking forward to anyway. Suddenly realizing that you are truly “just browsing”, you take the time to smell the Roses (a BB&B best selling candle scent) and close your eyes, allowing the memories to flood in as you move down the isle…

You exhale slowly and open your eyes, all of a sudden you realize that you are lost in the “beyond” section. This is a blog dedicated to our Apogee adventurers taking the time to smell the roses all across the globe while on trip.


Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

Candle Scent: “Maine’s Balsam Forest”

Today our brave adventurers left their hiking boots behind them and set forth on two wheels. MCJ took Bar Harbor by the bull horns! (It’s a bike handlebar type.) They had a fabulous day on two wheels and loved how much they were able to see! Nothing like a group of friends, some bikes, and a private carriage road nearly to yourself!

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

Candle Scent: “The Sweet Smell of Victory”

CONGRATULATIONS! A bittersweet day full of celebration and looking forward. Saying goodbye to our friends is never easy but remember, “Friendship is like standing on wet cement. The longer you stay, the harder it is to leave, and you can never go without leaving your footprints behind.” -Anonymous

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains A (CRMA)

Candle Scent: “Rockin’ Rockies”

CRMA Gets rockin’ and rollin’ in the Rockies with some scenic hiking, name games, and personal stories as they got more acclimated to the mountains and to each other. Stoke levels are high for all of the wonderful hiking that is coming CRMA’s way!

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains B (CRMB)

Candle Scent: “Freshly-Laundered Hiking Socks”

Like one of those purple colored glue sticks our group of CRMrs are clearly sticking together. Enjoying the heights and scenery of a beautiful alpine meadow and taking a dip in some refreshing water sure seems like a great way to start their Colorado adventure to me.

Caribbean Service (CS)

Candle Scent: “Sun & Sand”

Simply put, kayaking in one of the brightest bio-luminescent bays in the world has to make your heart glow. Today, following a morning of service, our adventurers ate well, kayaked hard, and, we’re sure, are about to sleep soundly – after a shower of course.


Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

Candle Scent: “Fresh Parchment & a Quill”

Our MCCE adventurers fine tuned their interview skills today, navigating how to shake hands with their inevitably slightly sweaty palms. They also made some serious progress on crafting not only their college essays but their friendships as well!

Maine Coast Photo (MCP)

Candle Scent: “Secret Beach”

Our young photographers took to the beautiful Botanical Gardens of Boothbay as they worked to perfect the relationships between aperture, shutter speed, and each other! This morning saw them focusing on macro shots with their photo instructor: focusing in great detail on subjects like flowers, caterpillars, butterflies, and bees. The afternoon brought the group to Morse Mountain for a hike into a hidden beach.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

Candle Scent: “Peaks Perfume”

Mount Katahdin is the plan today and as Maine’s tallest mountain it would be quite the feat…well it would actually be over 5,000 feet, but you get the point. Sadly, as we expected, there was not enough service to send over a blog photo from Baxter State Park but we look forward to seeing their marvelous views tomorrow!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

Candle Scent: “Breathing with Gills”

Our Aquatic friends on DEXB are back at it again and took to the ocean in their floating chariots for the second day. Unfortunately the sea foam must intercept cell waves, as they couldn’t quite sneak their photos across the water to us. Sounded like a beautiful day!

Vermont to Montréal A (VMA)

Candle Scent: “Sweet & Salty”

The group is sweet but the meal was Salty. Our VMArs strutted the streets of Montreal today as they left the bikes at home and took off on their victory lap around old Montreal before they enjoyed a celebratory final dinner. With full bellies, they returned for a final round of Apogees and Perigees (highs and lows) before bed.


Vermont to Montréal B (VMB)

Candle Scent: “What’s That? I’m Clean?”

Nothing like a good old fashioned rainy day for our VMB friends to frolic around in and explore Rue St Catherine and Old Montreal. Our young adventurers were loving the liquid sunshine before eating a hearty final dinner on the town, the perfect preparation for the bittersweet goodbyes of tomorrow.

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

Candle Scent: “Waterfall”

As the song goes, Don’t go chasing waterfalls…unless you’re on CRLS! Our adventurers had a wonderfully productive morning in class and followed it up with a trip to the local waterfall in the afternoon. It wasn’t only the water molecules that were displaying adhesion and cohesion properties but the group as well!

Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

Candle Scent: “The Little Mermaid”

Truly embodying the spirit of the beyond, our CRMC adventurers returned to their aquatic roots as they snorkeled the beautiful Isle Cana. Clearly demonstrating the more positive definition of chummy, here’s the crew having a little fun with their life jackets before the boat ride out.

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

Candle Scent: “Organized Acts of Kindness”

See you later invasive species. These pesty plants were no match for our CMCA heros who braved this service day bearing nothing but gloves, sunblock, and high ankle socks for protection. Also behind them, a delicious Iron Chef competition! Our stuffed CMCA group is all smiles on their final evening!

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

Candle Scent: “Sweet Smell of Service”

As you can see, our CMCBrs had to put their hair up (in style!) for this great day of service. Clearing invasive species out of this beautiful area of the world is a great way to learn about the local ecosystem in California. Tonight’s agenda: a celebratory dinner; tomorrow’s: bittersweet farewells!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

Candle Scent: “Summer Snow”

Ever had a snowball fight in shorts and t-shirt? Well…NWXA did after finding some summer snow on their day hike in the stunning Olympic National Park. Now that they are Olympians, our adventures feel strong and excited as they prepare to enter the backcountry.

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

Candle Scent: “Wicked Wetsuits Wafts”

Two penguins are rafting in the desert and Penguin One says to Penguin Two, “Where’s (wears) your paddle!” and Penguin Two says “Sure does.” (Get it? Get it?) As you can see, today was a glorious day of triumph as our NWXB adventurers conquered the Sauk River.

Pacific Coast (PCA)

Candle Scent: “Deep Fog”

Our PCArs braved the foggy fog to continue to make their way up some hills and down the coast. With their first day of riding already behind them, there was nothing to stop this fabulous group of adventurers from conquering the Seven Devil’s hills!

Pacific Coast (PCB)

Candle Scent: “The Sand Between my Toes”

Lookin’ like a summer breeze, PCB cruised over bridges, up and down hills, passed the Oregon Dunes, and all the way to camp. Now PCB is rockin’, rollin’ and ready to conquer the rest of Oregon.

Oh my goodness gracious – LOOK AT THOSE UPS!

Pyrenees Mountains & Coast (PMC)

Candle Scent: “Surf’s-Up”

With the hiking behind them, our PMC adventurers embraced their aquatic side and took to the sea for a wonderful day of surfing. As we begin to wind down this incredible Pyrenees experience, the group is excited to explore Barcelona tomorrow!

Scottish Highlands (SH)

Candle Scent: “A Wee Bit of Sunshine”

Just like the Scottish-English union of 1707, our brave adventurers dined with glory and unity upon the conclusion of their incredible Scottish Adventure. Blessed with a wee bit of sunshine as they explored the beautiful city of Edinburgh, our SHers enjoyed their last full day together before the bittersweet goodbyes of tomorrow.

Alps Explorer (AXA)

Candle Scent: “Alpinneapple”

“Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid”  (Little by little, the bird makes its nest)

You won’t believe it but today contained even more trampolining! With the first day of hiking under their belts, our Alpine Adventurers conquered today, laughing the whole way. With the confidence, energy, and joy AXA showed today, there is no doubt that little by little, they will conquer the Alps.

Alps Explorer (AXB)

Candle Scent: “Can’t Take It For Granite”

Today was absolutely stunning for our glorious AXB group. As you can see, they conquered the rock without taking the alpine beauty for granite (or granted). Our adventurers are ready and excited for another big day of hiking tomorrow!

Europe Coast to Coast (ECC)

Candle Scent: “Asiago Bagel”

As we reach the end of our European Adventure, its seems like nothing can phase this resilient ECC group. Conquering their second to last day of riding, our adventurers are ready to roll right on into Venice.

“Le grandi cose non sono fatte d’impulso, ma attraverso una serie di piccole cose messe insieme.” – Vincent Van Gogh

(Great things are done by a series of small things brought together)

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

Candle Scent: “Chamois Butter”

Arm in arm, our fabulous group of adventures are sweating, pedaling, eating, and laughing their way to San Diego. As they get another step closer to their final goal, it is easy to see that the horizon brings something special for our ACC warriors. Tomorrow – the sweet taste of a rest day!

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

Candle Scent: “Burnt Rubber”

Roswell, New Mexico, home of the UFO festival. Word is that ACC2 was ever-so-briefly abducted by aliens earlier today. However, the group promptly escaped while the aliens were trying to figure out how best to get rid of that ACC smell. [This editor calmly advises you to take this tale, along with all tales of the extraterrestrial, with a grain of salt.]