Day 40: The End of the Beginnings

By Michael Kravitz and Izzy Janzen

Out in the Apogee world, it’s been quite a day. We had our 53rd and final trip start of the Apogee summer, sending our Maine Coat Junior 3 into the field. We can’t believe it’s that time in the summer – the end of the beginnings, or is it the beginning of the ends? Speaking of ends – an inspiring and monumental moment on the Apogee map today: America Coast to Coast 1 cycled their last miles today and celebrated with a glorious sprint into the Pacific Ocean. It’s been six weeks since they started their adventure across the country together, and today marked the successful completion of their goal, with their sister trip, ACC2, just two days behind! We’re feeling immense amounts of pride in the office today as we see our final trip begin their adventure, while one of our longest and most challenging trips comes to a close. We’re also feeling pride and excitement for all of our other groups out there in the final stages of their journey – closing in on their last days of mileage, highest hikes, best essays, finished projects, and more!

Maine Coast Junior (MCJ3): Our third and final MCJ trip got underway today. After meeting up in Massachusetts and heading north, the group is settling in, getting to know one another and becoming acquainted to the Apogee outdoor lifestyle. We love the energy our MCJ groups always bring to the Apogee family. The group is excited to be heading to Acadia tomorrow for an amazing week of hiking and biking.  


Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE3): The MCCE crew had quite a day today. After spending the morning refining their drafts, the group hit the water for a beautiful afternoon of sea kayaking. Greg & Eliza report that spirits are high and essays are coming along wonderfully.


Cape Cod & the Islands (CI3): While it’s hard to believe that our CI crew had their final day of cycling today, they certainly went out with a bang. Waking up very early this morning, the group biked to the ocean to watch the beautiful sunrise over the ocean. Unfettered by their early morning, the group made good time and arrived in Provincetown, the very northernmost tip of the Cape, with ample time to explore this lively town.  


New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC3): Andy and Julia’s NEMC crew took full advantage of the day today, summitting a big White Mountains peak, Mt. Jackson. This afternoon, they stocked up on groceries in preparation for another big day of hiking tomorrow. What views!


Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA3): Our helpful CSA-ers logged another day of community service today, volunteering at a wildlife refuge. Once a CIA headquarters and bunker used to spy on Cuba during the Cold War, the place is now a sanctuary for threatened animals. This afternoon the crew checked out some surf shops before having a sunset dinner on the beach. Tomorrow the group will transition to Vieques for more service and Caribbean fun.    


Vermont to Montreal A (VMA3): Our VMA-ers ventured further into Canada today with a manageable 23-mile day over largely flat terrain. Passing through only one town, this is perhaps the most remote riding that that the crew will be doing over the entire trip. They made great time into camp today, which allowed for a refreshing dip in the lake. 


Vermont to Montreal B (VMB3): Bienvenue à Canada! Anna and Chandler’s crew blasted into Canada today  with their longest ride of the trip (50 miles). In perhaps record time, the crew made it 25 miles to the Canadian border by 9:15 this morning. And what a great looking group they were – representing Team Apogee remarkably well – see the picture below! The crew is ecstatic to reach Montreal tomorrow.


Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEX3): After a beautiful sunrise hike today on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia, the DEX crew traveled inland to prepare for their stint in the backcountry. The group will prepare by doing a giant food and shop and make any adjustments to gear as needed. The group is pumped to be moving into the backcountry tomorrow in Baxter.


Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS3): After an incredible day of whitewater rafting yesterday, our Thomas and Blau’s would-be Ticos and Ticas met up with their guide this morning and hiked their way into the Costa Rican rainforest where they will be staying at a family-run ecolodge for the next several days. The crew will volunteer on the land and explore the incredible biodiversity that Costa Rica is famous for. Cell phone service at the ecolodge is not great (read: non-existent), so we won’t be expecting more pictures until Thursday….


Coast to Quebec A (CQ2A): The CQA group finished their challenge ride today, making it a solid 55 miles into camp with plenty of time to spare. Now just a day away from the Canadian border, the group is getting tantalizingly close to their final destination. Service was spotty today, so unfortunately we’ll have to wait for tomorrow for more photos!

Coast to Quebec B (CQ2B): Our CQB-ers had an action-packed day of “rest,” dipping their paddles into the whitewater on the Kennebec River. The group’s legs welcomed the rest today as they gear up for the longer days of riding in the second half of the trip.   


California Mountains & Coast A (CMC3A): John Muir, the preservationist famous for inspiring the creation of Yosemite National Park, once said, “the mountains are calling and I must go,” so our CMCA crew did just that, setting out into the woods today for their four-day stint in the backcountry. The group was surely awed by the incredible views Yosemite is famous for. We look forward to seeing pictures of this incredible place as soon as cell phone service become available in a few day’s time.

California Mountains & Coast B (CMC3B): Our CMCB-ers hiked out of the backcountry today after an amazing four-day stint in the woods. Though they faced steep climbs and many miles, I don’t think there is a student on the trip who would say that it wasn’t worth it. I can only imagine how their legs are feeling after a huge 9 mile “peak-day” yesterday. On their journey back to the coast, the gang stopped at a California classic In-N-Out for a post-back country treat.


Montana Service Adventure (MSA2): This is it! The day we’ve been waiting for! While Montana boasts a wide range of beautiful landscapes, today’s ride of the Going-to-the-Sun-Road is notoriously epic. Our bikers had a steady climb throughout the morning as they worked their way up to the Continental Divide, and were rewarded with breathtaking views as they descended down the other side of Glacier.  We’re sure this was a day they won’t soon forget!

Northwest Explorer (NWX2): Today our Northwesters celebrate a well-deserved day of rest. After six days in the back country, they have officially completed the hiking portion of their trip together. Today, they’ll explore the fun town of Bellingham, rest, resupply and get organized for their next adventure. Tomorrow they’ll embark upon their sea kayaking adventure, in the stunningly beautiful San Juan Islands, where they’ll island camp for two nights. 


Pacific Coast A (PC2A): Our PC2A-ers traveled a solid 49 miles today over rolling terrain. Though they did face some bigger hills, the crew performed well and made it to their camp with plenty of time to relax. They’ll be stocking up on food today as they ride into some more remote terrain tomorrow.


Pacific Coast B (PC2B): Our PCB crew had a big 60-mile day today, crushing some of the many rolling hills they must confront in their journey down the coast. The group is feeling accomplished yet excited for the opportunity to rest their legs tomorrow on their day off.


Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX2): Our SHX crew had a sparkling and sunny day today, a phenomenon worth celebrating in and of itself! Combine this with some incredible hiking high above Loch Ness, and Coops and Midge’s crew had a stellar day. They cruised on their hike to Invermoriston and then shuttled on up to Drumnadrochit, where they’ll have a well-deserved day of exploration and fun tomorrow. Maybe they’ll spot the Loch Ness monster in their free time!


Alps Explorer (AX2): The AX crew had another amazing day on the TMB. After a big day of hiking today, the group is now sound asleep in a nice, cozy Rifugio. Tomorrow brings another border crossing, the last of their trip, as they head back into Switzerland and wave Italy goodbye. Unfortunately, no service means no pictures today, but look out for more in the days to come.

America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): 2,700+ miles, six weeks, and many gallons of water and bottles of baby powder later, the ACC1 crew has finally made it! Dipping their wheels into the Pacific Ocean this afternoon, the crew has completed an extraordinary feat – cycling across America. We, in the office, can only imagine the emotions our ACC1 students and leaders must be feeling today, but what we do know is that we’re feeling immensely proud of what they’ve accomplished. Well done ACC1!


America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): Biking 68 miles today, our ACC2 crew is making its way closer and closer to the coast. Though there were some solid climbs, the long cruising downhills more than made up for it as they made their way into the Frank Sinatra-tinged burg of Palm Desert. The crew is thirsting for the smell of that Pacific sea breeze that is only days away!