Day 34: Tales of Treks and Trails

Welcome, dear readers, to another blog post full of tales of adventures from the Apo-world!  Many of our groups hit the trails today (whether the trails were well-trodden paths or paved roads), while others gave their bikes and hiking boots a break and gave back to the community with service projects.  No matter what they’re up to, we are always excited to hear the tales that our Apogee students and leaders have to tell, so let’s dive right in!

But first, if you haven’t already heard the big news, enrollment for 2020 is now open! Check our blog post for more details and our Trips Page for 2020 dates to start planning for next summer.


Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

After dreaming of ferries and whales during their first night on Martha’s Vineyard, CI was up early and ready to make an impact on the community!  They spent the morning helping out at Thimble Farm and then spent the afternoon exploring the island and soaking in some quality beach time.  Lettuce take a look at what the group got up to today…

New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC)

My how the time flies!  We can’t believe that NEMC came to a close today and that we had to say goodbye to such an amazing group!  We’re comforted to know that it’s not a ‘goodbye’ but rather a ‘see you later.’  We’ll miss you all!

Caribbean Service (CS)

It’s the first day of service for our Caribbean Service crew and what better way to kick it off than to help out at a local dog shelter, fixing up the accommodations for all of the pups?  We’re sure that some (or all) of the hundred doggos stole their hearts!

Maine Coast Photo (MCP)

We didn’t want this day to come, but alas, MCP has come to an end.  Our talented photographers departed Boothbay today, but they certainly didn’t leave empty handed!  They left with full hearts, a bundle of memories and incredible photos to remind themselves of their time on the Maine coast.  We will miss you all!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX)

We have a new group arriving today and they are ready to take the downeast by storm!  Welcome to the Apogee family, DEX!  After meeting one another and playing some icebreakers, the group headed to Camden where they pitched their tents, fired up the camp stove, had a delicious first dinner and snuggled into their sleeping bags, dreaming of all of the mountains that they will summit throughout their trip.

Look at the smiles on this bunch!

Vermont to Montréal A (VMA)

The day they’ve all been waiting for:  VMA took to their bikes today and pedaled all the way to Branbury, Vermont!  Along the way they passed a beautiful little pond – a perfect spot for a mid-ride photo shoot.  Although they were tempted to dive in and cool off right there, they waited to swim until they arrived at their campsite for the night.

Vermont to Montréal B (VMB)

VMB rocked and rolled their way out of camp this morning, heading from one lake campsite to another!  After a scenic ride through the Vermont countryside, the group arrived at Lake Bomoseen (in record time) where they will be spending the night.  What better way to end a day of riding than a dip in the pool?  VMB sure knows how to do it right!

Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

We are excited to report that we have a brand new CRMC group!  After gathering in San Jose, the group headed to Manuel Antonio, where they will be staying for the next two nights.  We hear that the group has already embraced the pura vida mentality!

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

Our dear CMCA-ers started their aqua-venture today!  They fearlessly paddled their way along the shore of Tomales Bay State Parks and the National Seashore and finally set up camp – it’s not just any camp for them tonight though…it’s a BEACH camp!  There’s nothing quite like going to sleep to the sound of the ocean, is there?

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

CMCB started their day by giving back, helping out at a local food bank by packing and sorting food for members of the community.  After finishing their service project, they headed to the Drakes Estero Trailhead for their first hike of the trip!  Way to go, CMCB!  You sure know how to round out a day!

Alaska Mountains & Coast (AKMC)

AKMC laced up their boots and took to the trails today, finally getting the chance to explore The Last Frontier!  After the hike, the group got down to business at camp, preparing for tomorrow’s departure into the backcountry – good thing they practiced with their big backpacks today!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

Today is the first day of backcountry exploration for NWXA!  They hit the trail early this morning and hiked 3.5 miles to their first campground.  We are eager to see pictures from their adventure, but alas, we must wait until their return to the frontcountry in 5 days!  Have fun out there!

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

A full day of sea kayaking today for NWXB!  After spending the evening on Cypress Island, they woke up and explored more of the island by kayak.  The team was eager to keep the fun going and hiked up Eagle Cliffs where they were rewarded with views of the San Juan Islands, Cascades, and Olympics National Park!


Pacific Coast (PCA)

Redwoods, redwoods and more redwoods!  That’s exactly what was in store for PCA today as they cruised through the state park and enjoyed a post-ride napogee!  What more could a group ask for?  Well, during breakfast, one of their campsite neighbors came over to wish them a safe journey!  How kind!

Pacific Coast (PCB)

PCB enjoyed a scenic ride through the shade of Redwood State Park and it appears that all of this time around the redwoods has really rubbed off on them!  We had a hard time telling which were redwood trees and which were Apogee students…  This evening they settled into their campground, Elk Prairie, and got to know their camp-mates – a herd of wild elk!

Look at those Redwoods!  Oh wait, it’s PCB…

Scottish Highlands (SH)

A beautiful first day of hiking for SH!  They made their way up to the scenic Conic Hill viewpoint.  We received these awesome pictures and this message from our leaders: “Carrying your life on your back and hiking 7 miles is HARD, but we’re only getting stronger and we’re still smiling!”  Great job on your first day of hiking, SH!  We can’t wait to see what amazing adventures are in store for you!


Alps Explorer (AX)

What can’t our AX-ers do?  Today they did a little bit of everything: taking the train into Chamonix and exploring the town, then hiking from town to their campsite!  On their way, they passed by one of Chamonix’s natural climbing walls, Rocher d’Escalade, and by three lakes which are nicknamed ‘the mirrors of Mont Blanc.’ Can you spy leader Rachel’s boots in this pic?

Pyrenees Mountains & Coast (PMC)

You know what they say – “Go big or go home” – and PMC has decided to go big!  They started out strong, tackling the first of their five days of hiking in the Carros de Foc, a trekking loop that passes through the high Spanish Pyrenees.  Fun fact:  Carros de Foc means ‘Chariots of Fire’ in Catalonian – an awesome name, although it is unclear how it relates to the trail…maybe this group will have some answers for us by the end of their trek. Sadly service prevented them from sending a photo our way, but we’ll be keeping an eye out and fingers crossed for one soon!

America Coast to Coast (ACC)

The phoenix has landed!  Or rather, ACC has landed…in Phoenix!  After crushing another 87 miles, the group settled into the accommodations they’ll be staying for the next two nights and got excited for their well deserved rest day tomorrow.