Day 35: Climbing the Camel

By: Bactrian Buddies Gracie and Hannah

On this very merry Wednesday we can’t help but notice the similarities between our hydrated and furry camel friends and the course that most of our Apogee trips take as we hit the mid-week grind. We have bikers beating the heat with their trusty Camelbacks, service-doers helping the wider community get through occasionally extreme times, and hikers dusting off many miles as they make their way over humps in the landscape. Whether it be the Southern US desert, Caribbean jungle, or Maine backroads – keep hoofing along Apogeers, and Happy Hump Day!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE3): Rev up your typewriters, it’s time for these writing wizards to begin their adventures in essays! It was a beautiful day in Maine for the final MCCE crew to meet and greet and get the deets about the week (and hopefully learn to not go overboard on alliteration in their essays..) They hunkered down in their cabins for the night in anticipation of their first visit to Bowdoin’s campus tomorrow to learn all about the secrets (shh!) of college admissions.

Nice spot for some first day intros!

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI3): These island hoppers waved goodbye to the signature Vineyard Vine whales as they ferried their way to Nantucket. They spun out their sea legs with a quick ride into Nantucket Center, where they were able to explore the ins and outs of the old whaling town. They’ll have the entire day tomorrow to adventure in Nantucket – and maybe nail down their humpback whale calls, too?


Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA3): The group started the morning with a trip to La Cueva Ventana, and got a glimpse of one of most beautiful views in Puerto Rico. After an adventurous morning, the group met up with their volunteer coordinator, Roberto, and worked with him in the Tanama Valley for a few hours in the central PR jungle! What’s on tap for tonight, you ask? An Iron Chef competition – Caribbean style!


Vermont to Montreal A (VMA3): These rural Vermont riders made their way to the suburbs of Burlington today with a stop in Shelburne. After passing by many cows, hay bales, and picturesque barn (and stopping to get water from a friendly farmer!) they caught glimpses of Lake Champlain as they pulled into camp. The flat terrain today was a blessing for these Green Mountain cruisers, and they are even more excited for their shorter day of riding tomorrow which gives them some time to hit the water for some kayaking!

FullSizeRender (18) VMA3

Vermont to Montreal B (VMB3): Chandler and Anna’s rustic riders made their way into Middlebury today, a gorgeous shiretown in central Vermont. They sure are getting their fill of water fun this trip, as their camp right next to Otter Creek will make it their fourth in four days of camping next to a lake (or river, in tonight’s case!) Sounds like a swimmingly start.   


Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEX3): The Camden Hills are alive with the sound of DEX3ers, ahh-ahh-ahh-ahhh. The group took advantage of the wonderful Maine weather and hiked up Maiden Cliffs for a look into the mirror of Megunticook Lake. They soaked up the views of the ocean on the ride over to where they’ll be island kayaking for the next couple of days.  


Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS3): After a slightly longer than expected transit day for our CRLS3 crew due to a Costa Rican pilgrimage/holiday, they made made it in last night to the Spanish school / hostel where they’ll be staying for the first part of their adventure. This morning, they dove into their first morning of Spanish classes with the help of their amazing, local teachers. This afternoon, the group got creative when rain storms kept them indoors with their own Costa Rican Olympics! It’s no Rio (but maybe that’s a good thing…).

The two teams face-off.

Coast to Quebec A (CQ2A): Emily and Kadin’s cycling squad played a part in adding to the beauty of the western Penobscot Bay area. They volunteered with the Coastal Mountains Land Trust, an organization that works to conserve the bay area to benefit both natural and human communities. These CQ2Aers were definitely benefiting from the work they were doing – after all of that biking, the opportunity to tone the biceps is welcomed with open arms!


Views from lunch!
Views from lunch!

Coast to Quebec B (CQ2B): A coastal cruise into the quintessential Maine town of Camden cannot be beat, especially in the company of these CQ2Bers. After a trip high 41 miles of pounding the pavement they were rewarded with a refreshing sea breeze and views of the ocean with dinner at camp. Don’t want to leave quite yet? Lucky for this crew they get two days in Camden, with an off day of volunteer work tomorrow!   

Just a little playground bike mechanic workshop
Checking out the “junk” art side show on the road

California Mountains & Coast A (CMC3A): California dreamin’ no more – these CMC3Aers are living the dream as they dove right into their three day kayaking trip today. They paddled their way to Point Reyes peninsula as their first adventure on the sea. Dave and Isa have quite a cool and calm crew out on the water, that’s for shore!   CMC3A CMC3A CMC3A

California Mountains & Coast B (CMC3B): Big skies and even bigger trees surrounded these Cali hikers during their first full day together out on the trail. They synced into a group rhythm under a canopy of Sequoias before settling back into camp with A’s and P’s after a delicious dinner. The only thing bigger than their appetites for food and the wilderness was probably those giant trees! Unfortunately it seems like their monstrosity has been blocking cell signal for them to send in a photo today. 

Montana Service Adventure (MSA2): Anna and Freddie’s mob of Montana pedalers had to battle some headwinds but still lassoed their challenge day like rodeo pros. A 40 mile day led them into the Glacier county town of Browning, which is right inside the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Luckily they have an off day tomorrow, so they can learn more about the reservation after putting in some service hours with the Blackfeet Youth group. All within sight of Glacier National Park!

Last night’s Taco Tuesday at a small-town community center
The community center had a stage and plenty of clothes to dress-up in. It’s clear some took advantage…

Northwest Explorer (NWX2): The North Cascades have been lovely hosts for our NWX2ers as they tack on day number two in the Washington backcountry. They trekked through wildflower meadows and ponderosa pine forests before coming upon McAlester Lake. Situated in a small basin, this seemed like the perfect pitstop for our explorers as they settle in for the night. We can only imagine how their pictures will turn out once they return to the land of service!   

Pacific Coast A (PC2A): Eureka! Ok, our PC2Aers may be keeping their feet out of bathtubs but they got their hands full of work today with volunteering with Food for People in Eureka. They assisted in providing yummy good food for people in need, so kudos to this crew for giving to others on their day off!


Pacific Coast B (PC2B): It was hard for these PC2Bers to keep their eyes on the road with all the beautiful redwood forests that encompassed their ride today. They posted up shop in Arcata, which is right on the bay and will serve as their home for the next few days. Tomorrow they’ll be volunteering with Food for People, after fueling themselves with a delicious dinner tonight!


Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX2): After burying some burritos during Mexican dinner last night, these Scotsmen and women were well nourished for their outing out on the sea today. After seeing the Scottish coast from afar they were able to get up close and personal with the salty water by kayaking along the mainland. Stunning views of the Arisaig archipelago (Google it – ‘tis beautiful!) was the cherry on top of a great day for SHX2 as they paddled away.


Alps Explorer (AX2): It’s not birds, not planes, but our AX2 crew that is flying along the TMB! They went with a “Flying V” formation as they neared the apogee of the day, hiking a whopping 18 kilometers. Tomorrow’s forecast of 20km doesn’t faze these Alps adventurers either. In the words of wise leader Will, “We can’t be stopped!”


Europe Coast to Coast (ECC): They’ve traveled through seven countries, they’ve heard four different languages, and now it’s time to say, “Arrivederci! Au Revoir! Auf Wiedersehen!” to their 29-day adventure. After a breath-taking, and extremely challenging journey through Europe, our ECC group couldn’t have asked for a better crew and a better Venetian send-off. With a tear in their eyes, Mia, Tim, and Nate said a bittersweet goodbye to their Euro-family.

America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): Pump the brakes, these coast to coast cylers are coming in hot to Salome, AZ! With a morning of uphills, a long downhill into lunch (and their first taste of the Mojave Desert), and flat cruising into camp, these ACC1ers crushed nearly 100 miles under the Arizona sunny skies. They’re starting to smell the Cali coast with just over a week left of their cross-country adventure!

A rainbow of bike jerseys – some of them purchased as souvenirs at a bike shop in Prescott. I spy The Declaration of Independence and a biker chick…

America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): Pedaling from Pine to Prescott today was a bit rainy for the ACC2 crew, but they prevailed with the promise of their last rest day tomorrow! After cranking out some steep morning hills the group posted up at a gas station to wait out some passing storms – keeping themselves entertained with backscratching trades. Upon reaching camp they feasted and relished in the thought of spending tomorrow, their final off day, helping out with bike mechanics at a local boys’ and girls’ club. They’ll be dreaming sweetly of the sea breeze as they get closer and closer to the California border!