Day 33 – Oh, What A View!

Oh, my friends, if you are anywhere near the northeast today – particularly the great State of Maine – you know that today is what summer is all about.  Temps in the high 70s, low 80s – low humidity – and low-bush blueberries for sale at the local Farmers Market.  If you have an ocean to jump into – all the better!  Ohh, yes!  And the Apogee trips are going very well, thanks very much!  It’s Chad, Kevin, Michele & Ally here, making a rare, collaborative blog appearance.  Chad is starting us off right now, Kevin is finishing, Michele named the Blog post, and Ally uploaded all the pictures.  Go team!

Now, let’s make the rounds:

First to our MAPers (Missing A Picture, for those of you not keeping up with our ever-changing acronym scheme…):

CMC: Our CMCers are back on track after their adventures in the backcountry – we don’t have a group shot from them today, but when we talked to Jillian, she said everyone was in very high spirits after a lakeside barbecue and a viewing of the immortal “Ice Age 4” at a local outdoor movie theater.  They’re hiking this afternoon before a morning of service tomorrow and a transit back to the coast.  Hard to believe, but the end is very much in sight (as will be the Golden Gate Bridge here in about 36 hours…).

CI: Here’s our Capers, enjoying the same beautiful day we are up here down on Martha’s Vineyard.  A perfectly nice spot for a picnic!  They’re headed to Nantucket (or ACK, according to the bumper stickers that started the oval-three-letter-“in the know” craze a few years ago…) this afternoon – but mechanical difficulties with the ferry have them enjoying the many delights of the Vineyard for another couple of hours.

VM: Enjoying their last full day together, our Vermonsters are living the urban chic dream in Old Montreal.  They’ll be headed out to enjoy some “poutine” – a French Canadian challenge to the digestive system – this evening before saying “au revoir” tomorrow.

CQA: And down the road apiece, Nick and Susie’s merry band are just trying out their “bonjours” for the first time today as they crossed into rural, French-speaking Canada today.  They’re only two days away from Quebec city!

CQB: By the way, I don’t have any results to give you from last night’s highly anticipated Ultimate Frisbee game between CQA and CQB, but I’m sure it was a doozy.  OK – in this picture, we have bike-trip-as-rafting-art, brought to you courtesy of Mia and Alex’s group.  The girls, you see, are rafting, the boys (minus one Mr. T.) are the raft itself.  And the same Mr. T is being thrown from the raft.  Wow.  We’re so proud.

DEX: Big day for our DEXsters.  The first shot shows the group at the bottom of Mount Katahdin – the second shows them at the top.  Ohhh, yeah.  Well done, my young friends.  Well done.

CSA: And down on the magical isle of Vieques, this is going on….  Actually, what you see here is our guys working with local kids at the Vieques high school.  They were cleaning out this room (and making the occasional paper airplane) before painting it this afternoon.  The group had an amazing time at the biobay yesterday – but then again who wouldn’t like a trip through the (Glowing) Blue Lagoon?

PCA: McKayla sent this picture along earlier this morning, referring to it as the “Post-Breakfast, Pre-Ride Scene Shot.”  Personally, I dig the princess balloon…

PCB: Surfs up dude!s  The cloudy skies of northern California couldn’t keep Hannah and Shem’s crew from squeezing into their tight wetsuits to paddle battle for waves.  Actually, there was no paddle battling…just some good wholesome surf fun.

NWX: Josh and Addie’s crew spent the day shopping, doing laundry, collecting mail, and prepping for their next hike into the backcountry tomorrow – the north cascades!  Beautiful mountains with stunning scenery – they’re in for a treat.  We won’t be hearing much from them until Saturday when they emerge.  Below are some shots taken over the last couple of days.

TSA: Laura is a great writer.  And rather than having us summarize their day, we’re taking it straight from her email.  “Writing from Firenze after a wonderful day of exploring. We started off with a typical Italian breakfast at the camping site, where we bought chocolate croissants and ate them while looking out over the city. We then took off for the day, walking across the river, through the Uffizi and various Piazzas, making our way to the Duomo, which everyone scaled to look out over the city.  We then wandered to the Accademia, which unfortunately was closed 🙁 but we had lunch and continued to explore. Found AMAZING gelato, some people shopped and mostly we wandered and made our way back to the other side of the river.  Played group games in a quiet square for a while and then found a pretty pizzeria in a quiet neighborhood for dinner. We then went to the Plaza de Michelangelo to watch the sunset, where we were serenaded by several live artists playing guitar. There may or may not have been a Michael Jackson sing-a-long, followed by an epic A&P under David. It was an amazing day. Kids are super happy, which makes us happy. The group is really gelling and enjoying just hanging out together and being goofy.”

ACCA: When I spoke to David 45 minutes ago they were only 8 miles from Prescott, their destination for the night.  Their last rest day of the trip (at least while riding) is tomorrow.  One week from today they should all be running into the Pacific…

ACCB: Finally, Mike, Danika and Co. are closing in on their destination in AZ for the night.  I spoke to Mike this afternoon, and he said everyone was firing on all cyclinders.  They also will enjoy a day off in Prescott on Thursday…