Day 29 – 25 Trip Starts

How about a virtual round of applause for Chad’s blog entry yesterday and for Mike’s clever prank on Chad (for details see   It certainly gave more than a few of us here at the office a chuckle.

Could it really be July 23rd?   The summer has absolutely flown by.   Today marks the 25th and last trip start (CI3) of our 2011 Apogee season.

In the FAIL (Fotos are in limbo) category for today, we, unfortunately, have more than usual.   Our Northwest Explorers are on a backcountry hike until tomorrow and are out of cell phone range.   Both of our Pacific Coast groups texted me this afternoon to say all was well, but that cell phone reception was spotty at best. Anna from PC2B did send in a picture of the group on the beach this morning, but the backlighting was so strong, no one is recognizable.   And no word from our Tuscan Service Adventurers today, but they should be checking in tomorrow (hopefully with more photos) as they have a day off to explore Florence together.

Now to the non-FAIL trips…

VM2 — Our Vermonsters have left Lake Champlain and the green pastures of Vermont for the relative flat lands of Quebec and Canada.   I got a text from Rachel & Mason around 3:30 PM EST saying they had successfully crossed the border and had made it to their camp for the night.

CQ2A — Laura and Pat’s crew today faced what historically has been one of the trip’s toughest rides…but they got up early to beat the heat and made it to camp by 1 PM!   Laura said spirits were high across the board, and they were enjoying some down time this afternoon.   Well done, guys, well done.

CQ2B — And Shem & Hannah’s group were also into camp before 1 PM.   I spoke to Hannah briefly this afternoon, and she said they were absolutely LOVING their kids (and I’m not sugar coating that statement a bit).

CI3 – Peter & Julie got underway this afternoon with their new crew down on Cape Cod.   I had to include this classic, awkward first-day-together image (notice the spacing between kids).   This scene and their comfort with one another should look drastically different by tomorrow.

CSA2 — I didn’t speak with Wyatt or Heidi today, but from everything we’ve heard over the last few days, they are having a blast with their group.   Wyatt did have a chance to send the below picture of our Caribbean crew lending a hand to paint a school on Vieques today.

DEX2 — Nora and Josh sent in this early morning picture from the top of Mt. Acadia.   Tomorrow they head north to start their backcountry hike portion of the trip.   We’ll touch base with them before they get started for some news updates.

NEMC2 — Sam, Jillian & Co. had a busy day on and off the ropes course in New Hampshire.   Jillian reports they did high and low elements on the course (see pics below), and did some community service landscaping afterwards.   All and all, a great first full day together.

And a shot of a couple of the kids on the highest course element…

ACC — Our Coast to Coasters arrived at camp by 2 PM MST.   Temperatures today were in the high 70’s.   Gotta love that after 100+ temps less than a week ago.   Ace Assistant Director, Mike Lessard, was with the group on their ride across eastern New Mexico earlier this week and snapped the below pictures.   They give you an idea and appreciation for the challenge this group has undertaken over the last 4 weeks…