Day 31: Today by the Numbers

By: Jack Messerly

Admittedly, I realize that I’m probably not utilizing my math undergrad degree to its fullest extent while working in the Apogee office. But while my knowledge of topology (fleeting as it might be) isn’t especially applicable to the job, I still get daily fixes for my analytically-minded brain in the form of spreadsheets, trip logistics, and (lots and lots of) numbers.

So when I’m called upon to write the blog, it should come as no surprise that it would result in a numbers-driven theme today. Whether it’s miles biked, pies eaten, borders crossed, or elevation gained, there are countless ways to quantify the impressive feats of our Apo-crews across the globe. Without further ado, I present to you: today by the numbers!


Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

MCJ’s number for the day: 6

For many of our MCJ kiddos, this might have been their first (and second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth) night ever camping. After six nights of sleeping under the stars, not to mention seven days of hiking, biking, community service, bowling, kayaking, and campfires, it’s time to big our farewells – fortunately, real beds await everyone at home tonight!

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

NEMC’s number for the day: ~1,000,000

The (very, very) rough estimate of how many trees Katherine & Michael’s squad of intrepid hikers saw during their first hike in the White Mountains National Forest. Today, they romped up to Bald Spot for some gorgeous views and some spectacular photos to boot. We office folk are jealous.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains A (CRMA)

CRMA’s number for the day: 11,007

The elevation of Estes Cone, which Rachel & Teddy’s gang conquered today. Holy moly, that’s a big mountain! The pictures speak for themselves, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that this is one happy group! And who wouldn’t be when you’re eating elevation gain for breakfast on days like this?

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains B (CRMB)

CRMB’s number for the day: 126 

Though the Cache la Poudre River covers 126 miles, Parker & Stella’s squad will only raft a slightly smaller portion of the river. And if some sweet whitewater wasn’t enough, there were some beautiful views to boot! Fun fact: the Poudre is Colorado’s only nationally designated “Wild & Scenic” River.

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

MCCE’s number for the day: 3000-7800

The total word count range for Nick & Alex’s gang of essayists (based on the Common App requirements, that is). Today, they presented their final essays to each other before heading to Portland, ME’s Old Port for a celebratory final dinner out on the town. Word is: the essays are “straight fire”. [Editor’s note: this means “very good”.]

Maine Coast Photo (MCP)

MCP’s number for the day: 1/250

One of the many shutter speeds that our group is learning to operate as they shoot exclusively in manual mode on their cameras this week. Today, Claire & Pedro’s photographers took the ferry to Monhegan Island, where they went for a hike and explored the area’s cliffs and an old shipwreck! And the fog made for some epic blog pics.

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

CRLS’ number for the day: 10

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being picked from a tree outside), the freshness of the fruit Mark & Eliza’s group ate for breakfast was indeed a 10. After a huge breakfast including pancakes, bananas they picked themselves, and other fruit from the local farmer’s market, the gang packed up and made haste to Manuel Antonio National Park, where they’ll spend their next few nights. Heads up: monkey and sloth pictures might be coming soon.

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

NWXA’s number for the day: 715

[Full disclosure: this number is just an estimate.] The combined volume of all of NWXA’s backpacks is 715 liters. It seems like a lot of space when you put it that way, but between clothes, tents, food, cooking gear, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads, I imagine that there were some pretty full packs when they began their three day, two night backpacking trip in Olympic National Park. Today, they emerged out of the woods much lighter backpacks (but unfortunately no photos by press time).

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

NWXB’s number for the day: 21

As NWXB made their way through the North Cascades National Park for the second day of a three night, two day backpacking expedition, their number today represents the number of hiking boots that have been powering them through this trip. Nine students, two leaders, 21 hiking boots. [Just kidding – all 22 boots are accounted for.] Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait one more day for photographic evidence of the backcountry!

Pacific Coast (PCA)

PCA’s number for the day: 101

Today, the gang rode on both the Oregon Route 101 and the California Route 101. That’s right – with their border crossing today, Jessie & Carter’s squad has one state down and one to go. It was a gorgeous day of riding along the coast today. I can pretty much smell the salty sea breeze from here.

Pacific Coast (PCB)

PCB’s number for the day: 0.8

Since their ride today is technically 49.2 miles, they just need to find a way to add 0.8 miles to their day to hit the half-century mark. They seemingly had no problem conquering their biggest climb of the day up over Cape Sebastian, so maybe they’ll want to ride it twice? Either way, 49.2 or 50, that’s one heck of a day of beautiful Oregon coastal riding for Grace & Jack’s team.

Pyrenees Mountains & Coast (PMC)

PMC’s number of the day: 11

The number of boarding passes for the second and final PMC group of the summer. Red & Arie were sad to see everyone go after an adventure-filled two weeks. Safe travels, amigos!

Alps Explorer (AXA)

AXA’s number of the day: 9

Nine freshly-baked loaves of bread – that should get Jared & Jeanne’s group through at least two lunches. They spent the day in Martigny, Switzerland doing laundry, packing their packs to the brim, and buying lots and lots of food in preparation for tomorrow’s commencement of the Tour du Mont Blanc. Not pictured: breakfast for dinner.

Alps Explorer (AXB)

AXB’s number of the day: 4

That’s how many courses of authentic French cuisine they’ll be treated to for their evening meal tonight as they enjoy the first of three rifugios over the course of the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). Sam & Zach’s team is two days into the TMB and feeling good, as even a rainy day can’t prevent some epic views. Word on the street is that they saw a lunar eclipse last night!

Europe Coast to Coast (ECC)

ECC’s number for the day: 4,148

There were a number of choices for ECC’s number today: it could have been “7” for the number of countries they visited, “2,000” for the number of kilometers they rode this past month, “14” for the number of bikes that Sam heroically boxed yesterday – the list goes on. But as Miles, Jen & Sam bid their group farewell today, we chose 4,148 – the number of of miles between Venice and home (well, that’s to New York, but you get the idea). Safe travels to everyone!

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

ACC1’s number for the day (well, yesterday): 5

The number of full pies consumed by Tim & Emily’s team last night in Pie Town, NM. That’s a lot of pie, folks. In reality, we maybe should have chosen a number like “71”, the number of miles they rode today, or “3”, as they crossed into their third time zone for the trip, or, maybe the number “8”, as their border crossing from New Mexico into Arizona marks the 8th state of the trip (so far)!

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

ACC2’s number for the day: 0

Maybe the most glorious of numbers when it comes to ACC mileage; a “zero” day for Tina & Ezra’s team means sleeping in (past 4 AM, anyways), burritos, mail, and more sleep!