Day 34 – Passing the Torch

Well, Dear Reader, in a way we’ve come to the end of our run.   You and I, I mean.   It is with a misty tear in my eye that I tell you that I will be turning over the title of Superintendent of All-Things-Blog to Mia.   Let’s be honest, she writes a better blog, anyway.   I will be headed to California tomorrow to spend a few days with our Coast to Coast trip as they make the trek across the Mojave, up and over the coastal range, and down to the sweet, sweet waters of the Pacific on Wednesday.   I’m delighted to be able to spend time with this remarkable group of hearty souls, but I will miss you, my friends!   Yes, I’ll be back at the end of next week, but with only a couple of days left for all of the trips, it really won’t be the same, will it?

Though I can hardly see the keyboard for the tears, let’s get to our groups!

In the FAIL category:

NWX: David, Anna and Co. are enjoying Day Two of their backcountry hike.   Though we have not heard from them (and that is a good thing…), I can tell you that the laundry situation is not yet dire and the tortillas are not yet a crumbly mess at the bottom of someone’s backpack.

PCB: Lucas and Anna’s group are working their way through some of the worst cell-phone reception pockets in all of California today.   They’ll be in Eureka tonight, so we’ll definitely have a picture from them tomorrow.

CI: Julie and Peter have left the cable sweaters, cobblestones, and Nantucket Reds behind and made the crossing back to the mainland today.   Landlubbers anew, they’re making their way to Brewster tonight.   Here’s a shot of several of them at the entrance to the Rail Trail this afternoon.

NEMC: After loads of adventures on the trail and in the water, and after a great night out in Portland, Sam, Jillian and their Merry Eleven bid each other sad adieus this morning.   Here’s a great shot of the gang in happier times last night!

CQA: Our Coast to Quebec groups have both converged on Quebec City and it’s souvenir shops.   Here’s a shot of Pat and Laura’s group shouting a collective “Bonjour!” to the city this afternoon.  (I know, I know – it’s still from too far away, but maybe it’s better if we don’t know what’s going …)

CQB: I didn’t get the scoop on whether Shem and Hannah’s group was able to catch up to Laura and Pat’s group and beat them into the city this afternoon — but knowing this group of dynamos, I wouldn’t be surprised!   Here’s a shot of the group looking morose and downtrodden on their way into city today.

DEX: A classic day to climb Katahdin — gorgeous, clear skies, cool temps and twelve rock-stars on the trail!  (By the way, these guys were at the summit before 11:15 this morning – nice…..)  It’s hard to believe, but they’ll be heading south tomorrow for their final dinner in Portland.

CSA: In what be one of the most unique days of service on any Apogee trip, our Caribbean Adventurers helped the biologists at the National Wildlife Refuge dissect a manatee today.  Some days you do trail maintenance, and, well, other days you get to examine the stomach contents of an adult manatee.  Every day is an adventure.  We spared you the pictures from that particular event, but here’s a shot of the crew, pre-manatee, at the salt flats way out in the very furthest reaches of south-west Puerto Rico early this morning.

PCA: In the cell-phone hotspot of Eureka, CA, today, Andy sent me this shot of several of his lads putting on a gun show at the Food Bank where they volunteered this morning…   It’s back in the saddle tomorrow and into the heart of the redwoods.

TSA: Nick, Cait and their Bellissimi Bunch are ensconced at another beautiful hilltop farm tonight — this time outside of Pienza.   They’ll be getting their hands dirty tomorrow on the farm — they’ll be helping the proprietor with tasks around the extensive garden and, if they’re lucky, they’ll get to herd some sheep.   Oh, yeah.

ACC: On their off-day in Prescott, AZ (I know I’ve said this before, but this is their last rest day before they hit the beach on Wednesday!), these guys enjoyed muffins by the pool this morning (thanks, Matthew’s Mom & Dad!) before heading over to the Boys and Girls Club.   There, they shared their stories from the road and put on a bike safety clinic for the kids.   They’ll have their first taste of the desert tomorrow as the leave the mountains around Prescott and fall to the desert floor in the afternoon.   Sure it’s hot, but there are plenty of saguaro cactus, so it can’t be all bad — right?