Day 28: Thanks a Leap, Chad!

By: Emily O’Connell & Sturtevant

Today, here at Apogee, we celebrate the second annual “Thanks a Leap, Chad” Day. Our leaders have a longstanding tradition of sending in Chad’s favorite (read: least favorite) type of picture – the jumping picture. We’ve combined the jumping picture with “Thanks a Heap, Chad” – our favorite way to express gratitude to one of our beloved Directors, Chad Olcott. As such, we bring you seventeen gleeful groups, nine blissful bikers, six happy hikers, a silly service squad and witty writing wordsmiths who are almost all jumping for joy!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE2):

These guys are ecstatic to have completed some great college essays! Our brilliant writers spent the day putting the final touches on their essays and then sharing them with the group. Tonight they are heading to the big city (aka Portland, ME) for a final dinner together. Seven days fly by when you’re writing great essays and making great friends!

MCCE Essay

You can’t jump when you are this cerebral…


But you can jump when you are dressed up this nicely!

Cape Cod and the Islands (CI2):

Our Cape kids sure love Boston! After two weeks of riding, four ferry rides and many beaches, Kevin and Alyssa’s group is off of their bikes and touring the city of Boston. They checked out some of the classic sights such as going to Fenway Park, home of the Red Apogee Shirts Sox.

CI2 Fenway CI2 Jump CI2

New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC2):

After conquering Mt. Washington yesterday, Isa and Aaron’s hikers were incredibly proud! Today, these guys were ready to master any hike they faced. They decided to hike up to Thompson Falls earlier today and have a talent show in the works for this evening.

NEMC Jumpin


NEMC2 - jumping

Hands in the air: a safe, fun, and worthwhile alternative to jumping when on uneven ground

Vermont to Montreal A (VM2A):

They guys adore Montreal! After completing their northern trek from Vermont, Jonathan and Jessi’s group got to become tourists today. They spent the day wandering the beautiful streets of the city and get to enjoy a great final dinner tonight.

VM2A  Hostel VM2A Arm in Arm

Vermont to Montreal B (VM2B):

We are sure these guys are jumping for joy in Canada – unfortunately they couldn’t find wifi to get us pictures in time. Freddy and Anna’s crew also gets to spend today enjoying some luxuries of Montreal. They explored some of the winding streets and will be getting a taste of authentic French-Canadian cuisine tonight at the dinner out on the town.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX2):

They crushed Katahdin yesterday and are proud of it! Today John and Erinn’s gang made their way to their final campsite of the trip. In celebration of all of their accomplishments, these guys are heading to Portland for an ocean-side dinner.DEX2 jump

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA2):

Saludos, San Juan! This morning, our amigos in the Caribbean traveled back to the main island and settled into their hostel. They spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the beautiful cobblestoned streest of old San Juan. Our guys are taking time this afternoon to appreciate the city’s 500 years of history (and work in a sweet jumping picture) before they head out to enjoy some authentic Puerto Rican food for dinner tonight.CSA


California Mountains and Coast (CMC2):

This morning, Matt and Midge’s group helped the Rangers at Half Moon Bay State Beach for community service. Then they hit the road and headed into San Francisco to explore the city. Tonight they will enjoy a dinner out and then reminisce about their incredible 13 days together.  We know that in their hearts they are leaping!

cmc cmc CMC water

Watch out for the edge!

Montana Service Adventure (MSA2):

Another great day of riding for our Montana group as they enjoyed a ride through what can only be called quintessential high plains. The group got into camp before lunch, giving them plenty of time to walk around town and even get a chance to go swimming!MSA



Northwest Explorer (NWX2):

This crew is getting ready for their first backpacking trip – this one in Olympic National Park. Today they prepped for their three-day excursion in the morning, giving them the afternoon to enjoy a local day hike – stretching and strengthening their legs for the tomorrow.

NWX Rainbow Jump

10 additional points for arranging the gang in rainbow formation!

Pacific Coast A (PC2A):

One day, twenty miles, seven hills. Abby, West, and their fearless riders conquered one of the Pacific Coast’s most infamous rides, aptly named the Seven Devils. These superstars crushed their ride, getting into camp before lunch – which is definitely something to jump about!

PC2A - Jumping

Pacific Coast B (PC2B):

Another beautiful day of riding for our West Coasters! Today the group will spend the ride continuing to get used to their bikes and weight as they enjoy cycling through Oregon. Tonight’s campsite is by the ocean, meaning ample opportunity to dip their toes in the mighty Pacific!

PC Jumping

Alps Explorer A (AX2A):

Today the Alps group enjoyed their last day hike in Zermatt, climbing up to Sunnega which offered beautiful views of the Matterhorn – so naturally they jumped for joy. Tomorrow they will move to Fiesch where they will continue to prepare themselves for the Tour de Mont Blanc.

AXA Jumping

AXA Lake

AXA - Handstands

We think this says something, but we’re just not sure what….

Alps Explorer B (AX2B):

Tim and Ally’s crew spent today doing another day hike near the Matterhorn as they prepare for their time on the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). They will leave Zermatt tomorrow, spending the day preparing themselves their journey and getting excited for two weeks of hiking along one of the most beautiful trails in the world.

AXB - Jumping

Europe Coast to Coast A (ECCA):

Happy second to last day of riding, ECC! This group is getting close to Venice and everyone is very excited! Jeannie, Kirk, and their bikers are in for an easier day of riding today, which is definitely something to jump for (even on the inside).


We didn’t jump, but doggonit, we have bendy straws – and that’s pretty awesome, too.

Europe Coast to Coast B (ECCB):

After resterday (rest and yesterday, get it??), the group is back in the saddles for their last two days of riding, and man are they some big ones!  Today they will face some hills in Trento, but nothing that these rock stars can’t handle after their 25 days of riding together. The promise of a lake at camp will keep spirits up as they bike today!

ECCB ECCB Group ECCB Planking

ECC! I ECC it!

America Coast to Coast (ACC):

As it is another well deserved rest day for ACC, they did not do any jumping. After doing all of their errands, the group was able to sit back, relax and enjoy a day off the bikes. Tomorrow they will head to Pie Town (yes that is the town’s real name) where they will, of course, enjoy a piece of pie.ACC rest

From all of us – Thanks a leap, Chad (and Kevin, too)!