By: Emily O’Connell, Emily Sturteveant, Jeanne Barthold and Hannah Gensheimer
Hello! Jeanne, here, (an Apogee Europe Coast to Coast leader!) for a special appearance behind the blog. It is fun to be back from Europe and see all the amazing places that our Apogee crews are exploring! Today was truly an awesome Apo-fun filled day – including service, surfing, border crossings, rafting, biking, hiking, ice cream, laughter, and the arrival of our America Coast to Coast crew in San Diego!
Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE3):
Last night this crew celebrated the wrap up of their trip with a dinner out on the town in Portland. After a week of writing their college essays and exploring the beautiful coves, beaches and forests of coastal Maine, these guys said farewell this morning. Although it is hard to say goodbye, each member of the group will leave with a polished essay and some great new friends.
Maine Coast Junior (MCJ3):
Today Jessi’s and Jonathan’s crew did some biking! These guys had a beautiful ride through the old Carriage Roads of Acadia National Park. Although bicycling a longer distance was new for many of these guys, we heard they crushed their 16 miles with ease. This group is really enjoying their trip and can’t believe it is already halfway over.
New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC3):
The group started their day by heading to a new part of the White Mountains, where they will be spending the next two nights. Today they conquered the hike to Arethusa Falls and enjoyed some gorgeous weather. Tomorrow the group will do a challenge hike – we’ll hopefully have some great pictures tomorrow tonight to share from the top of the mountain!
Cape Cod and the Islands (CI3):
Our crew on Cape Cod continued to make their way north on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. They had a nice ride of 13 miles and were into camp before lunch. Kevin and Alyssa report that everyone is excited to surf tomorrow!
Vermont to Montreal (VM3):
One if by land, two if by sea – and three if you’re going to do both! These riders had a beautiful bike through Vermont, even enjoying a trip on a special bike ferry as they head towards Canada! The Island Line Bike Ferry is Vermont’s only bike ferry service, one of the most scenic in the world! The boat brings cyclists and pedestrians across “the Cut”: a 200-foot gap on the Colchester Causeway. Tomorrow is the big border crossing day for this group, and I’m sure they can smell the maple syrup already.
Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX3):
Welcome to the back-country DEX-sters! After driving up to Baxter State Park, the group has set out on foot on the Appalachian Trail where they will enjoy beautiful views, create great memories, and accomplish one of the more challenging portions of their trip. We are sure that by the time they finish the back-country portion they will be strong and ready to conquer Mt Katahdin – the largest mountain in Maine, and the final peak of the Appalachian Trail!
California Mountains and Coast (CMC3):
After spending yesterday prepping for for their back-country section, these hikers are out on the trail in beautiful Yosemite National Park for the next three nights. We’re not likely to hear from the crew until they’re out of the backcountry but we’ll be sure to post pictures as soon as they emerge on Saturday!
Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA3):
Our CSAers are on a “Surfin’ Safari” today out in Rincon – one of the most famous surfing locations in the Caribbean! Working with their amazing instructors, Ramse and Luis, our guys are sure to be near professionals after their morning lesson. To finish up a great day on the waves, the group cooked up some delicious food and prepared for their transit day to the island of Vieques early tomorrow morning.
Montana Service Adventure (MSA2):
It was our MSA crew’s final day of service! Today they worked once again with Rangers in the Native Plant Nursery, and spent the afternoon celebrating Trip Leader Christian’s 24th birthday! Happy Birthday Christian! It was a beautiful day working in the Park, and then the group celebrated Christian with a trip to the ice cream shop. Tomorrow the group will be up early and ride the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the west side. Everyone is super excited!
Coast to Quebec A (CQ2A):
Into Canada they go! Rosa and Kirk’s crew have crossed the border and now are in the land of maple leaves and poutine. These guys are just 2 riding days away from their final destination of Quebec City!
Coast to Quebec B (CQ2B):
Kate and Zack’s group enjoyed their first day without any riding today! They rested their legs while white water rafting, and got geared up for two more days on the bikes. According to Kate and Dixie, the group had a fantastic day on the water, and they are looking forward to their border crossing tomorrow.
Northwest Explorer (NWX2):
After finishing up their back country portion, the group will spend today doing a day hike in Bellingham before taking time to prepare for their overnight sea kayaking adventure in the San Juan Islands. This group is loving their well deserved ice cream after hiking.
Pacific Coast A (PC2A):
West and Abby’s crew enjoyed some stunning Pacific Coast scenery today with a relatively easy 47 miles of riding (I know to most people that sounds far from easy!). The group is getting close to San Francisco, with just a little over 100 miles to go!
Pacific Coast B (PC2B):
Rest day for these guys! Today they got to sleep in, enjoy a big pancake breakfast and spend some time off of their bikes in the incredible town of Mendocino. It is one of the only towns in America that has only local businesses (no chains)! It’s hard to believe it, but after their day of rest today, this group only has 3 more days of riding until they reach the Golden Gate Bridge!
Alps Explorer A (AX2A):
Our European hikers had their longest hike today of 25 km through the Italian Alps. After their fancy living yesterday they were ready for the challenge. They descended into Courmayeur where they got their first taste of civilization for some time. This crew not only crushes their hikes, but they put up human pyramids with ease!
Alps Explorer B (AX2B):
This group is almost all done with their Tour de Mont Blanc hike! Today’s journey ended with a gentle climb through a sun-dappled forest into Champex. Once in town, they had a chance to take a dip in the lake before heading to camp. Tomorrow they will finish up their tour and spend the last part of their trip doing some day hikes and exploration.
America Coast to Coast (ACC):
THEY DID IT! WELCOME TO SAN DIEGO! This afternoon our cross-country riders biked reached the Pacific where family and friends were waiting to welcome them. True congratulations to Mia, Chris, Aaron and the entire ACC 2015 group that successfully biked 2,700 miles across the entire country. After starting in South Carolina, they crossed the deep south, rode the vast openness of Texas, climbed the Rocky Mountains, passed through the deserts of Arizona, and today, after 40 days on the road, reached the Pacific waters of California. Though some days were challenging, they always kept pushing west. In our books, these guys are truly rock stars. From everyone here at the office, congratulations!!! We are truly so proud of you all, and wished we could have been there to celebrate you and your accomplishment!