Day 29: Trivial Pursuit Thursday

By Grace Wright and her Many Minions

It’s Thursday, and we can’t help but be mulling about the Apogee world. How many pounds of summer sausage does our DEX trip go through? What’s the average speed that our ACC bikers travel at while they’re whipping across the country? How many Spanish words do our service trips learn during one class? It might take us a while to tally up these statistics, but have no fear, we still have some trivia knowledge to drop on you (thanks to the wide world of the internet). Today, it’s not #throwbackthursday but Trivia Thursday! We got some detailed updates from our trips out all across the world, so read on to discover the latest adventures (and some fast facts) that our Apogee trips have been up to!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE2): Pencils hit the paper this morning for these summer scholars, but then it was off to Orr’s Island where paddles were slapping the sea! They were on the hunt for some constructive feedback from conferences today as they will be polishing up their writing masterpieces by tomorrow. Letting loose on the water with an afternoon of kayaking was the perfect break to a productive morning for these MCCE2ers. Kool kayaking fact: The largest raft of kayaks/canoes was deemed “flotilla” and was 1902 boats strong. Anyone want to switch essay topics?MCCE2IMG_0671MCCE2


New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC2): These hikers just can’t satisfy their hunger for the White Mountains! They squeezed in a morning trek in the Whites before piling into the van to their next destination: to the rivers for rafting! They’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get to test the waters though – allowing for the proper amount of time to digest after chowing down on all of that hiking before diving in! First aid fact: A cure for cramping can be to squirt down some mustard, which has acetic acid to replenish depleted levels of acetylcholine in the body. Too bad mustard plants aren’t typically found in the White Mountain forests…



Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA2): In the heartfelt words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Hasta la vista, baby.” Goodbyes were said amongst CSA2 today, but the ties made in this Caribbean crew will not be estranged for long. They ended trip with a memorable exploration of rustic Old San Juan and El Morro, a fort which is over 400 years old. We predict that the Apo-love in this group will last this long, if not longer! Riveting Puerto Rico “ribbet” fact: The unofficial national symbol for Puerto Rico is the native coqui frog, which is known for its male mating call and whose “ribbet” has been featured in a Caribbean boy band’s song called (wait for it), “Coqui.”  CSA2 CSA2 CSA2 CSA2

Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEXA2): Buckle up and get your game face on (counting license plates from all 50 states? I spy? 20 Questions?), it was the last long van ride for these explorers before they part ways tomorrow. The drive from Baxter (bye, Katahdin!) back to the coast landed the group at camp in Freeport before taking the evening to explore and enjoy dinner together in Portland. Road trip trivia: The most popular wanderlust car ride song is “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson.

Proof after yesterday that the whole group made it!

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Maine’s Downeast Explorer B (DEX2B): These island explorers were pried away from the open water and landlocked legs in Freeport for a last night of camping together. Before nestling under the night sky, they mosied around Portland to find the perfect selection for dinner and watched the sun set slowly on the horizon. Soaking up all of the good times before all of the goodbyes tomorrow. Surreal sunset fact: Astronauts witness almost 16 sunrises and sunsets every day, spaced out about every 90 minutes or so.IMG_7314

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS2): As hard as it is to believe, today was the final, full day for our CRLS-ers. And they couldn’t have had a more amazing final day in Costa Rica! The whole crew was up very early and was picked up at 7:00 AM for a whole morning of zip-lining (including the longest zip-line in Central America – almost a MILE LONG!). After spending hours floating through the canopies, the group transited to Alajuela where they’ll spend their final night enjoying a delicious meal out on the town. Que perfecto, and a little fun facto: Ziplines were popularized because of wildlife biologists in Costa Rica, they needed a way to navigate the rainforests without disturbing the animals!CRLS2

California Mountains & Coast A (CMC2A): Time to trade those California climbs for the steep streets of San Francisco! Last day together for these CMC2ers consisted of a bumping ride across the Golden Gate bridge, power walking intervals up the streets of San Fran, and enjoying a final family dinner before some emotional A’s and P’s. An astonishing fact about San Francisco hills: The steepest hill in all of San Fran is Bradford St., which has a 41% grade. Gravity alone would accelerate a one ton car from zero to sixty in 7.2 seconds. Wowza!

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California Mountains & Coast B (CMC2B): After weeding (ahem, “mitigating invasive species…”) their way through some habitat restoration this morning, this crew dusted off and headed to the bright lights in the city of San Francisco! Having become well-versed in the flora and fauna of California, these CMC2ers enjoyed an afternoon of identifying the few flower and tree species growing in the city, stopping for a bite to eat, and watching the golden sun glow behind the Golden Gate bridge. Flower fact: It is against the law to pick poppies, the California state flower, on state property. This includes public highways!  

A view of Alcatraz


Montana Service Adventure (MSA2): Time to say “Hello!” to Helena for these Montana motorers. Not only did they crush a fair share of climbing today, these MSA2ers also worked on their upper body strength by carrying leader Anna in their arms to the top of every climb (we have a hunch that they might be stretching the truth on this one though..) Either way, they earned themselves an off day tomorrow of doing some volunteer work tomorrow in Helena. Who woulda known: It’s illegal in Montana to throw an item across the street. Keep those frisbees out of the road!


Northwest Explorer (NWX2): And they’re off to the Olympics!! The Olympic backcountry, that is. This NWX gang hit the trail for two days in the Washington woods, where they’ll encounter the largest temperate rainforest in the continental U.S. – the Hoh Rainforest. We can’t wait to see the beauty behind their beholding eyes when they return to service! To put the size of Olympic National Park into perspective, here’s a fun fact: The park itself is 922,651 square acres, which is just around the size of Rhode Island. Lots of space to adventure in!


Pacific Coast A (PC2A): PC2A doesn’t need paparazzi following them anymore to document their biking endeavors, they recently discovered how to use the “self-timer” function on their cameras. No need for a selfie stick for these swift seaside riders, who promptly arrived at their California ranch home for the next two days. After saying howdy to their horse friends they spent the night going over shadow angles in preparation for their escapades in photography tomorrow morning when they go surfing in Crescent City! Trivia tidbit: Today, the number of photographs taken every two minutes is the same as the number of pictures captured by mankind in the the 1800s….our Apo-blog probably accounts for 50% of that increase.


Pacific Coast B (PC2B): Seven Devils Day was no problem today for the PC2Bers. They hit the hills hard and reaped the rewards by biking to a beautiful Oregon beach with an iconic lighthouse. They are loving all of the adventuring so far! A little known lighthouse fact: The first unofficial lighthouse was in Alexandria, Egypt, that is! Made from a fire on a platform to signal a port entrance (of the Great Pyramids, perhaps?)


Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX2): Not only were these highland hikers all a blur today as they motored from Inversnaid to Beinglas Farm, they were also indistinguishable in their wide array of Halloween disguises – it was “Costume Day” for Matt and Midge’s Highlanders! In light of saying goodbye to Loch Lomond and sinking their shoes into the true highlands, they celebrated Hallow’s eve by exploring their creative sides. These Scotsmen and women should now be referred to as a conglomeration of a tourist, a turtle, Captain Underpants, Rosie the Riveter, a ninja, superwoman, a pirate, and some jedi – see if you can find them all below. Tricky trivia:  Instead of pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns are carved out of turnips in Scotland. Wonder if they know about the wonders of roasted pumpkin seeds….


Alps Explorer (AX2): This well-balanced group is gearing up for a glacier hike tomorrow! Today they transitioned to Fiesch, where they helped celebrate one explorer’s birthday with some cake from a local bakery. They made do with the fact that the European grocery stores didn’t carry her favorite Annie’s White Cheddar Shells with some homemade mac n’ cheese in bread bowls for dinner. Kudos for getting creative in the kitchen! A cheesy fact to chew on: Though not the beloved Annie’s macaroni and cheese brand, Kraft sells about 1 million boxes of its yummy cheesiness every day.

Keepin’ it balanced.

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Europe Coast to Coast (ECC): Picture this: a descent on a winding bike path through apple orchards as the sun rises over the Alps in front of you… Yup, such a lovely breathtaking scene was a reality for our ECC crew today! They climbed up the side of the Adige River valley through picturesque villages and coasted right into their final rest day in Bolzano. To celebrate their Italian day of rest beginning tomorrow with caprese sandwiches in camp. With legs feeling strong and morales high, Bolzano promises them a lovely day of exploring! But, speaking of sandwiches, did you know: The longest recorded sandwich was made in Italy in 2004 and was 2081 feet long…that’s more than half a kilometer!


America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): The smell of steamy cinnamon apple, sweet strawberry rhubarb, and spicy pumpkin pies was wafting toward ACC1ers on the road today as they biked to Pie Town, NM. They cruised through 84 miles of mile markers, including the Continental Divide and the Very Large Array with thoughts of pies dancing through their minds as they were warmly welcomed into “America’s Friendliest Little Town.” Posing a pie question: Who makes the best pie? According to surveys Mom comes in first, with store bought convenience pies close by in second, and Grandma’s homemade pie in third.

“Umm, can you beam me to San Diego?”

America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): As the sun rose over the Valley of Fires this fine morning, so did our dear ACC2 friends on their final push before a day of rest in New Mexico. They cranked out nearly 75 miles today and are now settling down in preparation for a full day of napping, eating, sleeping, chowing down, and did we mention snoozing? They only have one full day left of riding in New Mexico before it’s onto Arizona! As we all catch up on our zzz’s tonight, get a load of this: Ever since Benjamin Franklin invented the lightbulb in 1879, the average nighttime sleep for Americans has dropped from nine to less than seven hours of sleep every night. Those lucky ACC2ers will be well above average after their rest day!IMG_2579 IMG_2563 IMG_2580