Day 30: Hello, Hola, Bonjour, Ciao, and Howdy!

Whether you’ve been reading the blog since the beginning of the summer (Hi, ACC & ECC parents!) or are new around here (Welcome, NEMC aunts, uncles, neighbors, and friends!), there’s something for everyone in the photos and write-ups below. From new beginnings (Anyone ever been to New Hampshire?) to final destinations (Ciao, Venice!), our students are exploring the world with hiking boots, bike shoes, sneakers, and/or watershoes afoot. Whether you only read the blurb you came here for or find yourself taken catching up on all of today’s activities, we hope this brings a little ray of sunshine to your day (or evening)!


Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

Our youngest Apogee-ers filled their day with two keystone activities for any Maine trip: service and sea kayaking. After a morning of working together with local State Park Rangers, the MCJ crew put on their finest life jackets and spray skirts to hit the high seas. Sunshine, service, and sea water?! Sign us up!

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

Our NEMC group may have gathered only yesterday, but they put their newly formed bonds to the test as they tested themselves with team-building activities on both low and high elements of the ropes course. Word on the street is that they passed with flying colors – and did a bit of flying themselves! Always great to start a trip on a high note (pun intended).

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains A (CRMA)

CRMA made the most of their first full day on the eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park, as exhibited by the beautiful photos below. We can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store (hint: more sweet views).

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains B (CRMB)

Rumor has it the CRMB crew is one of the speediest we’ve ever seen. They went up to Lake Haiyaha (at over 10,000 feet!) and barely broke a sweat getting there (metaphorically). Nonetheless, the crew braved the undoubtedly frigid temperatures of the alpine lake for a dip. Way to go!

Caribbean Service (CS)

After a lot of heartwarming service to the communities of Puerto Rico, this group took to the skies today to head home. They may be going their respective ways, but they will always have memories of their time together in Puerto Rico.

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

Our favorite essay writers put their pens down – err, laptops away – and picked up work gloves and gardening tools instead. After spending nearly a week in the Mid Cost region of Maine, the crew joined forces with the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program to help clean and organize the facility from the inside out! Nice work, essayists!

Maine Coast Photo (MCP)

Not only did MCP share a photo from last night’s sunset shoot, but they also sent along pictures from their oceanic mission today – what a beautiful 24 hours! While paddling along, the hot debate of the day was whether the sky or the sea appeared to be a truer blue. We’ll let you be the judge…

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA & DEXB)

Both DEXA and DEXB enjoyed every last minute together, but it was finally time to part ways this afternoon. After a lot of wonderful new experiences in the outdoors and in the backcountry, our DEXers left with more than just cool new t-shirts!

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

CRLS hit a gorgeous waterfall this morning that they found yesterday after community service! After a refreshing morning dip, they gave their final presentations today before transitioning to a local nursing home to lend a helping and social hand. As if that wasn’t enough action for the day, they followed-up their big day by going out for pizza and cake for a birthday celebration!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

The bad news is that this was the only group we couldn’t get photos from today. Rats. However, the good news is that they can’t send photos because there is no service in the unimaginably beautiful and remote area they’re trekking through. We think that exchanging cell phone towers for wildflowers and nearly untouched wilderness is a worthy trade!

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

After breaking in their boots with some day hikes, this squad is ready for their first challenge – the backcountry! They were all smiles as they packed up their bags and headed into the forest with everything they’ll need for the next two days. Very impressive, and we can’t wait for more photos once they emerge on Sunday!

Ready for the backcountry

Pacific Coast (PCA)

We heard nothing but sunny reports from this crew today – both in weather and overall enjoyment! Carter and Jessie’s group of cyclers checked off their fourth day of riding and have a little extra motivation to crush day five tomorrow… a rest day on the horizon!

Pacific Coast (PCB)

Apparently the PCB crew either ate some jam from the region they were biking through, or had a dance party to tunes made by folks from the area. Which type of local jams was it?! We may never know. However, when they weren’t jamming locally, they were biking down the beautiful coast, working on their bike short tans (but with lots of sunscreen, of course). What a day!

Pyrenees Mountains & Coast (PMC)

How can it be possible that PMC had their final dinner tonight?! We don’t want this adventure to end! Nonetheless, the crew in Spain thoroughly enjoyed their day exploring Barcelona and a bittersweet evening filled with memories of all they’ve accomplished as they look forward to flying home tomorrow.

Alps Explorer (AXA)

Straight from AXA leader extraordinaire, Jeanne, “What a day today was. First we took a cable car up a mountain a ways. Then we hiked up to marvel over the edge of the Aletsch Glacier, known in these parts as “the greatest glacier of the Alps”. A fabulous lunch of freshly baked bread, mozzarella, prosciutto, salami, tomatoes, arugula, jam, and paprika chips was consumed as we looked down at the glacier. From there we continued to hike down and made our way back to Fiesch!!”

Alps Explorer (AXB)

Could it be? The first day of the Tour du Mont Blanc?! Why yes, it surely is, as noted by the iconic pink church. Over 3,000 feet of elevation and nearly 10 miles of rugged terrain couldn’t slow down these mountaineers. Spotted: Mount Blanc in the background. Not spotted: crossing the border from Switzerland into France (but they did it, we swear).

Prom pic!

Europe Coast to Coast (ECC)

Venice has been on their minds for so long – whether you count by days or miles – that this group was in awe as they explored the city today! After such a journey, they relished the rewards of their final destination. We have no doubt that it was a bittersweet night, as they look towards heading back home tomorrow.

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

If there’s one infamous place on this itinerary, it has to be Pie Town, USA (also known as Pie Town, New Mexico). The ACC1 crew rode with a new distraction today: discussing the endless flavors of pie they may try when the reached their destination for the day. Did they go with pumpkin? Or blackberry? Cherry, perhaps? Or maybe this blogger’s favorite, lemon meringue? We’ll have to cross our fingers for answers tomorrow!

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

ACC2 crushed their mileage today (per usual) and found themselves in camp with plenty of time to start their upcoming rest day early. Not only did they look good (per usual) in their matching jerseys, but they feel good! The crew looks forward to a well-deserved (per usual) day off of their trusty steel steeds tomorrow. Keep up the good work, team!