Day 36: Places and Spaces


By Olivia Box

There’s a mere 10 days left in the Apogee summer, and before then we’ll have groups finishing the Tour-du-Mont-Blan, celebrating in final destinations such as San Diego and Montreal, and plenty more. We’re not focused on those endpoints; instead, we’re savoring the places along the way. A special component of an Apogee trip includes getting to know the communities along the journey through service, kayaking, and city exploration. Along with their local travels, the trips get to explore different kinds of places such as National and State Parks, protected lands, and bike paths near and far. Today our trips played in the best of places: below snow caps in the French Alps, along Maine’s seashore, and the bike paths on Nantucket.

Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

Another day, another classic Maine adventure! They transited from Acadia National Park through Maine, stopping at leader Will’s Alma Mater, Colby College. After some traditional log rolling on the quad, they passed through our lovely Brunswick before settling into camp in Freeport.

Future Mules on the Colby Quad!

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

CI enjoyed a lovely full day on Nantucket, complete with riding and beach time. They enjoyed a longer ride around Nantucket today, pedaling with a sea breeze along the Island’s bike paths. Along the way, they had views of a lighthouse and plenty of the grand ol’ Atlantic Ocean.

Peep the lighthouse in the background!
Bless you!

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (CRM)

Today marks the end of CRM3! This was the first summer for CRM, and three groups got to explore the best of Colorado’s charm. Until next time, Rocky Mountains; we’ll be back!

A final Apo goodbye!
One last, much-needed, much-necessary ice cream break!
2 cute 2 not post

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA)

CSA spent the morning at the ocean learning to surf in those lovely blue waters. Post wave-catching, the group relaxed at the beach, enjoying their last day in Utuado.

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

The first day of writing for MCCE! The morning was for hashing out those initial ideas, and in the afternoon they met with a representative from Bowdoin Admissions to learn more about the “behind-the-scenes” of the college essay and admissions process. The writers are off to a great start!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

These Downeast Explorers began their kayaking adventure today in the beautiful waters around Isle au Haut Bay. The next two days will be spent paddling around the island outpost near Acadia National Park. Tonight they’ll camp on the quiet island under the stars and enjoy some peaceful ocean views.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

Today was a full exploration day in Acadia National Park! The DEXB gang reached the top of both Bubble peaks, and even made time for the Beehive hike. Their day in Acadia was made complete with ice cream in Bar Harbor.



Vermont to Montréal (VM)

A short ride this morning for VM, as they biked to Lake Champlain for a morning of kayaking. Trading paddles for pedals, the group had lovely weather with views of both Burlington and the far off mountains (all in one morning). Last night was also a very important occasion: the birthday of an important team member, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

It’s more Spanish by the River for these amigos, with a morning of lessons and an afternoon of service with the local community. They’re launching right into Spanish immersion, and will have plenty of class and service opportunities to continue practicing in the upcoming days.

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

These lucky kayakers spent their second day on the Point Reyes seashore, paddling past the Tule Elk Conservation area and the White Gulch. One more night to savor beach camping and those ocean views!

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

The CMCB group has been enjoying the best of California’s big trees! They enjoyed several day hikes of Calaveras State Park. Today, they prepped for their three day backcountry explorations in Yosemite.

Are the kids small or is the tree big?

Coast to Québec (CQA)

After a great day of service yesterday, CQA hopped back on their bikes for a 40 mile ride north to Unity, ME. The next few days of riding will move them even further inland en route to Quebec!

Homemade blueberry buckle from yesterday’s berries! Check out the bike design

Coast to Québec (CQB)

No rest for the CQBers. After four days of cruising the hills of the Maine coast, the group volunteered with the Coastal Mountains Land Trust at the McLellan-Poor Preserve. The budding conservationists spread landscaping fabric over a large patch of the invasive Japanese Knot Wood. Their handwork was rewarded with ice cream and free time to explore in historic Camden, Maine. Tomorrow, CQB hits the road as they push onward to Unity College!

  • Blog blurb written by part-time Apo blogger, leader Ezra

Montana Service Adventure (MSA)

After a cloudy ride into West Glacier, MSA was able to enjoy Browning today, volunteering with The Manpower Organization. They cleaned up the rodeo fairgrounds and got to witness a “blow out” (which is when the horses run at full speed and the riders would hop between the three horses – PSA from leader Emily: “Don’t worry, we didn’t try it”). They also learned about the history of games and tribes from the project leaders.

Gang’s all here in Browning!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

The NWXA crew continues their hiking tour of North Cascades National Park. This backcountry portion includes some absolutely stunning views, and we’re looking forward to pictures of the scenery and the hikers!

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

The NWXB squad transited off the islands this morning and spent their afternoon moving to the Olympic Peninsula. They even squeezed in a day hike in the midst of their backcountry prep. There are many good things on the horizon for NWXB!

Pacific Coast (PCA)

PCA continues to head south towards San Fran, biking sixty miles through California with rolling hills. This was one of their most spectacular rides, as they pedaled through the “Avenue of Giants,” a gem of the Redwood Forest.

Passed by a golf course-perfect opportunity to practice those swings!

Pacific Coast (PCB)

PCB spent their rest day volunteering with Food for People in Eureka. They picked up where PCA left off, sorting and packaging food items. The PC bikers are always happy to lend a hand!

Scottish Highland Explorer (SHX)

SHX enjoyed a rest day in Glen Nevis, cleaning up the beach at Fort Williams and an afternoon of bowling (merciless leader Sam would like to point out she won). Tomorrow they’ll give sea kayaking a go!

Alps Explorer (AXA)

A monster day for these seasoned Alps Explorers. Today was a day of big cairns, big jumps, and big views. The group continued their French journey into Val Monjoie, with far-off views of snow. Today was their last day in France, as they’ll cross the border into Italy tomorrow. The TMB passes through three countries and 14 towns, each adding a distinct character and flair to the 110-mile journey.

Another pretty solid jumping picture from the Alps! Is it the Alpine air that does it?
Early morning views hardly disappoint

Alps Explorer (AXB)

It was a big day for AXB, which included some of the best mountain panoramas the TMB has to offer. There were some huge climbs today, but at the end of their hike they were treated to a downhill trek into Courmayeur, one of the more populated areas on the TMB (re: civilization!). Boots off and legs up tonight, folks – tomorrow’s a rest day!

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

Sure, the rest day was fun and a great way to give back to the locals…but Freddy, Anna, and crew simply missed the saddle too much. Today they went straight into a century ride, biking 104 miles with a portion on The Canal Trail. It’s time to start California dreaming!

Smiling even through 104 miles!

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

Out of Payson and into Phoenix, in 87 miles! Their ride includes time shared with more cyclists on The Canal Trail (and ACC1 is also on the trail a ways up). After the hefty mileage, the team will enjoy a rest day tomorrow.

Backleader selfie!