Day 33: You learn something new every day

By Chandler Smith

After a thorough deliberation, you have determined that you are in need of a beverage from your local coffee shop and head on over. After being slightly confused by the push-pull situation of the front door, you enter, order your favorite drink, and wait patiently. You turn to take a seat in your favorite nook and/or cranny when all of a sudden you see a book with a note on it. The note reads:

To whom it may concern,

In the spirit of National Paperback Book Day, may this book serve as a reminder that we learn something new every day. 

Warm regards, 

The book contains a series of facts that are scattered throughout this blog.


Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

Our adventurers headed over to Martha’s Vineyard today. With high moral and wonderful energy, it took everything the leaders had to keep this cohesive group from swimming over to the island, they were so excited! Did you know that the first square-bottomed paper bag was invented in 1872 by Luther Childs Crowell in the Cape Cod town of Dennis?

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

Did you know that the White Mountains were once called the “Crystal Hills” by early settlers due to their granite faces, which reflected sunlight in the valley below? What’s more, NEMC conquered the highest of them! Summiting Mt. Washington today before celebrating with showers and pizza.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains A (CRMA)

Did you know that the name of the mountains is a translation of the Cree Indian name “as-sin-wati“, given because when seen from across the prairies, they looked like a rocky mass? The first mention of their present name by a European was in the journal of Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre in 1752, where they were called the “Montagnes de Roche”.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains B (CRMB)

CRMB hiked to Timberline falls today! Leader Stella reported to us today, “Beautiful views!! (…) Kids did great!” All in all, looks like CRMB had a stellar day. Did you know that the popular Pikes Peak, the second most-visited peak in the world (behind Japan’s Mount Fuji), is only the 31st highest, rising 4,300 meters (14,110 feet) above sea level?

Maine Coast Photo (MCP)

The first color photograph was taken in 1861 by James Maxwell, a British physicist. A mere 157 years later, our budding photographers put their art on display with a public showing in downtown Boothbay Harbor this afternoon.

Vermont to Montréal A (VMA)

And they’re off! VMA is rocking and rolling up to Vermont to begin their wonderful journey through the green mountain state. Fun fact: did you know that in ratio of cows to people, of all the states, Vermont has the greatest number of dairy cows?

Vermont to Montréal B (VMB)

The anticipation is over – let the good times begin! Our fabulous VMB leaders are welcoming their students with open arms as the team arrives, ready to rock and roll all the way to Montreal. Did you know that Ben & Jerry’s gives their excess ice cream to local Vermont farmers, who feed it to their hogs? Apparently, the hogs seem to like all flavors except Mint Oreo. Unfortunately, our VMB group doesn’t have great cell phone service at their first campsite tonight. Fingers crossed for some verdant riding pictures tomorrow!

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

Did you know that Costa Rica only takes up .03% of planet’s surface but holds 5% of its biodiversity? Hard to say goodbye to such a packed experience, though Mark and Eliza’s crew will have to. Here’s one last picture of the happy gang.

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA, CMCB)

Trip start day! After a long day of travels for our CMCers today, all students have arrived in the Golden State and are in the care of their loving leaders. Did you know that California is home to 12 of our nation’s 98 fourteeners (mountains peaks with at least 14,000 ft of topographic elevation) and boasts 840 miles of coastline and 3,427 miles of tidal shoreline? What a state! You know what they say: West coast, best coast! [Editor’s note: Jane, Apogee HQ’s resident Californian, may be biased.]

We hear CMCB met a therapy dog named Toby, thus completing their group!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

The moment they’ve all been waiting for… NWXA spent all day preparing for their big backpacking trip, which begins bright and early tomorrow morning! Did you know that the North Cascades National Park is often referred to as the American Alps because the mountain peaks in the park are covered in snow?

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

NWXB took a break from exploring the land today and hit the water, thus embarking on their island adventure! Did you know that, despite its name, Cypress Island’s forests are dominated by Douglas fir?

Pacific Coast (PCA)

Did you know that The Deschutes National Forest, along with the adjacent Ochoco National Forest, provides economic benefits for the more than 50,000 people who gain a portion of their livelihood from businesses and activities related to the forests?

Pacific Coast (PCB)

PCB took a break from cycling past Redwoods today and took to the water, instead! You may know that Redwood trees are famous for being the tallest tree on earth, but did you know that the oldest living redwood is at least 2,200 years old?

Surf’s up!

Scottish Highlands (SH)

Did you know that you can use Google Earth to search for Nessie under the surface of Loch Ness? You wouldn’t think that this tidbit has any bearing for Sean and Isa’s crew, except for the fact that they named the stuffed-animal Loch Ness Monster they’re using as their trip mascot Vanessa, or Nessie for short.

Alps Explorer (AXA)

After meeting their extraordinary French Alps guide Anne at their campsite, AXA started their ascent to a ridge where they’d soon get our first (though surely not last) glimpse of Mont Blanc. Because they LOVE a challenge, AX took a detour to lac Blanc, where they swam in the cold, but refreshing, alpine water while looking out toward the snow-capped mountains. The downhill hike to their Refugio was filled with laughs and joy as they hyped themselves up for the four-course meal and warm beds that awaited. Could life get better? Don’t think so.

Did you know that Chamonix was the site of the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924?

Alps Explorer (AXB)

As you can see, our wonderful adventurers are enjoying the views of the fabulous Glacier de Bionnassay as they continue their trek through the Alps. A hard day of hiking will certainly strengthen those quads for the exciting days of hiking to come. Did you know that the first ascent of Mont Blanc was in August 1786 by Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard?

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

The fastest crossing of the USA by an individual, as set during the Race Across America (RAAM), was achieved by Christoph Strasser (Austria) in 7 days, 15 hours, and 56 minutes cycling from Oceanside, California, to Annapolis, Maryland, from 10 to 18 June 2014.

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

A person riding at the pace of our ACC groups would burn between 48 and 56 calories per mile. This means that our students will burn between 129,120 and 150,640 calories over the course of their adventure – yowza!