Day 38: An Ode to A.A. Milne

By: Annika Nygren

Day 38: Hello everyone, do you know what day it is? “It’s today” squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day” said Pooh. The sun is shining, birds are chirping and I can smell the delicious smell of sugary, delicious, glazed doughnuts (is bad that I originally spelled this word “donut”, like Dunkin Donuts? … does this prove that America runs on Dunkin? Or am I just a die-hard New Englander? anyways…) from Frosty’s downstairs wafting in the air. I would like to dedicate today’s post to a childhood (and adulthood, let’s be real) favorite author of mine. I hope I am safe in assuming that we have all read at least a little Winnie the Pooh in our lives and plan on weaving and interspersing some of my favorite Pooh quotes throughout this post! When I met all of our spectacular leaders about seven weeks ago, the wonderful quote, “as soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen!” immediately came to mind. But enough about me, “perhaps the best thing to do is to stop writing introductions and get on with the blog (well, book).”

Cape Cod and the Islands (CI): Last day of riding today! Emily and Will’s team have conquered the Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and now Cape Cod by bike and are now en route to Boston via one last ferry ride. “I always did whatever I liked,” she said, “but now I really can do it.” Way to crush those challenge days and bike more than you ever have before (with allll your stuff strapped to the back,no less), guys!

IMG_3948Do I spy some “sorority squats” on the left? and is that Superman?!



New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC): It was a pleasure to see Matt and Midge’s crew roll into town today on their way to service with ht Harpswell Heritage Land Trust! It is crazy to think this team only has one more day together… We are already starting to miss your crazy (crazy cool that is) hats for, “the things that make you (me) different are the things that make you (me).”  Here are a couple of action shots from this afternoon’s work with the Trust.

IMG_1279 IMG_1282

Vermont to Montreal (VM): Fun morning of community service! Exploring the beautiful town of Burlington this afternoon and a grill-out by the beach this evening. What a jam-packed day filled with awesomeness.  The first couple of photos are from yesterday’s sea kayaking and a group shot from today’s service. After service work, Abby and Reuben’s kids may or may not have felt as though, “weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” Their hard work was rewarded with a huuuge sundae! Who says you can’t eat dessert first?!





Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 2.21.47 PMThe famous ‘Vermonster’ at Ben& Jerry’sIMG_2272.JPG

California Mountains and Coast (CMC): Hiking in Calaveras Big Trees today! First full day of hiking and getting prepared for their back country portion in just a few days!! So of course, “organization is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up.” It’s going to be awesome.



IMG_1614Skipping rocks!

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA): Transition day to beautiful Cabo Rojo! Unfortunately tropical storm Bertha is rolling through, so surfing tomorrow is up in the air; “oh bother!” Keep your finger’s crossed!IMG_7519                                                                    Grocery store posing.

IMG_3674Finished ‘thank you’ sign to those who helped them with service at Hacienda Verde!Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 2.34.37 PMBirthday girl with a birthday mango!

Montana Service Adventure (MSA): Glacier National Park riding! Hannah and Opie’s crew are going back to their roots (punny? too soon?) and getting their hands dirty with more service work tomorrow. This group understands that that, “a little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”IMG_3575




Northwest Explorer (NWX): Last full day in the back country! This is hopefully the last time we will have to miss pictures from Izzy and John’s excellent hikers. “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” – We would come see you (and take blog pictures) if we could, NWX! We would if we could…. blog pictures to come soon!!

Pacific Coast (PCA): Jeanne and Matt tell us it’s pretty toasty out West in sunny California, but that didn’t stop their group from dominating some crazy hills today! “Yesterday is history (as are though hills!), tomorrow is a mystery (who knows what Van Damm State Park will bring?!), but today is a gift that is why we call it the present.”IMG_6609                                                               At the top of Legget hill!


Pacific Coast (PCB): Lots of sun and big hills today for Trevor and Kate’s team! They found some shade under the big trees and hydrated for the rest of today’s ride. A.A. Milne says, “a day without you is like a pot without a single drop of honey,” but I think this applies to the sentiment, “a riding day without a hill is like an Apogee trip that doesn’t end in great friendships.” (impossible.)Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 11.20.20 AM

Alps Explorer (AX): More beautiful hiking (a given) and new friends! CC and Jack’s group met some animals along their way and it looks as though the idea that, “some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem” did not apply to them! Thank goodness our explorers take the time to meet the people of the land. IMG_7682




IMG_7678Swimming in some glacier run-off!

America Coast to Coast (ACC1): Second to last day of riding… WHAT?!!?! Josh and Laura’s superstars are just two days away from arriving in San Diego, a mere 2750-ish miles from Folly Beach, South Carolina where they began their ride. Nice shorter ride today and spirits are high as the team narrows in on the home stretch. These 11 people started their journey as strangers, and will be finishing as a family.

IMG_8413Piglet: “How do you spell ‘love’?” Pooh: “You don’t spell it…you feel it.”

IMG_1685Yummy pizza dinner last night!

America Coast to Coast (ACC2): And just a few miles behind Sam and Ally’s squad will be rolling into San Diego in three days!!! Today is their last day in Arizona and they were done riding into Parker at 10:30 AM! These final days are tough, but rewarding! Remember, “you are braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem. And smarter than you think.”Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 3.33.01 PM                                                          Posing as little ‘ol Pooh bear

And before I sign off…

Pictured below we have past leaders (not to mention co-leaders!) Emily Wier and Pete Lauro. Before Pete hopped on board, Emily led in 2009, and then these two led together in 2010 and 11 on our CQ trip and the famous America Coast to Coast journey. Here they are YESTERDAY at Emily’s wedding! True Apogee co-leader love at its finest.

Screen Shot 2014-08-02 at 11.47.32 AM“We’ll be friends forever, won’t we Pooh?” asked Piglet. ‘Even longer,’ answered Pooh.”

Is it weird that I am already feeling sad and nostalgic about leaving Apogee? I don’t think so. It has been such a pleasure and privilege working with our wonderful directors, office staff and leaders this summer and the countdown to the end is uncomfortably close. Before I came to Brunswick, Maine I had heard about the Apogee family. Now, I am so happy to be leaving as a part of it. “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?”  Sorry to get sappy on you all, it just happens sometimes… Until tomorrow, “TTFN. Ta Ta For Now!”