By Willard “Shem Dixon” Vietze
Ah, it feels good to be back. After answering the call of the field once again, I am back for a final week of blog heaven. Expect: dry humor, obscure facts, mildly sarcastic captions, whimsy, a childlike sense of wonder, puns, exquisite vocabulary, and inexplicably weird jokes. This past week, I have had a unique view into the minds of our youngest trippers and I must say, they have taught me a lot about spinning jokes out of thin air.
Alas, we have 23 trips in the field today, the very same number worn by Michael Jordan and myself (coincidence?). Will today be the greatest of all time? Am I the greatest blogger of all time? I’ll let history decide. It was a momentous day for Apogee, marked by long rides, final legs, new beginnings, and some stellar views. After leading two trips this summer, I am in awe of what our leaders accomplish on a daily basis and want to thank them for their hard work, dedication, and blog pics. Enjoy your final weeks and come back with many a tale!
Skip to a Specific Trip: MCJ, CI, NEMC, CSA, MCCE, DEXA, DEXB, VM, CRLS, CMCA, CMCB, CQA, CQB, MSA, NWXA, NWXB, PCA, PCB, SHX, AXA, AXB, ACC1, ACC2
Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)
Our Maine Coast Juniors gathered (without me) outside of Boston to begin their wee quest along Maine’s scenic coast. Get ready for: adorable smiles, adorable group photos, adorable….ah, Tim and Gracie are in for an adorable week.
Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)
After becoming ingrained members of the Cape Cod surf community yesterday, our salty squad pedaled to Provincetown in style. Stay tuned for tartar sauce, oceanic vistas, and huge height discrepancies (looking at you Rachel and Ben).
New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC)
After some windy weather and pensive ice cream consumption yesterday, the NEMC gang scaled Mount Willard, a peak named after yours truly. They crushed the peak before lunch, while most people stared at their coffee and lamented the work week. More adventure awaits as they explore New England’s mountains AND coast. Gadzooks!
Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA)
The Caribbean crew spent the day cleaning a beach, exploring an old Spanish lighthouse, listening to a presentation at the National Wildlife refuge, and swimming in the sea. Sounds a lot like my day!
Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)
The Essayists pushed off into the great unknown, paddling the azure waters off Orr’s Island. They looked into the sea’s depths to discover the essay within themselves and came out refreshed and inspired. Yung Herman Melville (leader Jack) shared his nautical wisdom with the group in hopes of reaching the inner essayist in each of them.
Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)
DEXA hiked up Cadillac Mountain in the wee hours of the morning to watch the sunrise over Acadia. They were among the first in the United States to watch the sun rise this morn. Word is: Clarke wore his Phineas and Ferb onesie so he could be extra cozy wozy at the peak.
Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)
DEXB is in Baxter State Park’s backcountry, gearing up to summit Katahdin tomorrow. They have enjoyed living off the grid and can’t wait for the views from Katahdin. We can’t wait to see some pictures! I wonder what they’re having for Katahdinner tonight…
Vermont to Montréal (VM)
The Vermonsters rolled North through the great unknown (Canada), arriving in St. Jean sur Richelieu with time to spare. After two trips, Carter and Emma are a couple of Canadiens, attune to the intricacies of poutine, ground steak, and beaver stew (jokes). Carter simply cannot wait to serenade the group as they stroll through Montreal’s romantic avenues tomorrow.
Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)
CRLS woke up at dawn to drive and hike into the Costa Rican jungle. They will use their ecolodge as home base as they impersonate sloths, plan their escape from society, marvel at flora and fauna, and soak up that pura vida over the next few days. Stay tuned for Connor’s impeccable sloth Spanish.
California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)
CMC Avocado Toast headed into Yosemite’s backcountry to begin an epic journey through one of America’s most iconic parks. You may have heard of it? No pictures today, but I’m sure they’ll have a collection of Jeep commercial worthy photos in a few days time.
California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)
The CMC Bread bowl gang hiked out of the backcountry and drove Stan (the van) over to the coast to explore Point Reyes National Seashore. Jared hasn’t updated us on his birding pursuits in Yosemite, but we’ll have updates in the near future.
Coast to Québec (CQA)
CQA tackled the long, lonely road to Jackman, taking in the quiet solitude of Mooselandia, an imaginary amusement park for meese in Maine’s Northwest corner. Tomorrow, they cross into Canada to fumble around with the French language and politely argue about hockey – can’t wait for pics!
Coast to Québec (CQB)
CQB absolutely destroyed the Kennebec today, rafting with ease down the rapids. They were happy to work out their arms for a change and thoroughly enjoyed watching Ezra’s hair blow in the breeze. Next stop: (Hugh) Jackman.
Montana Service Adventure (MSA)
The MSA gang rode the Going-to-the-Sun road through some of Glacier’s most scenic mountains. Fun fact: this route was briefly featured in both The Shining and Forest Gump, two beloved family classics. Fun fact number 2: it is one of the country’s most challenging roads to snowplow (the more you know). They spent the afternoon swimming in the chilly waters of Lake Macdonald, named after beloved clown, Ronald MacDonald (joking?).
Northwest Explorer (NWXA)
Joby, Lindsey, and the Apogee Twilight Fan Club rested and resupplied in Bellingham to gear up for a magical kayak tour through the San Juan Islands to search for my Uncle Doug. They even had time for a day hike up Chuckanut Ridge!
Northwest Explorer (NWXB)
NWXB took at jaunt through some backcountry meadows, soaking up views of wildflowers and mountain vistas alike. Rumor has it: Sean now looks like an extra from Leonardo Dicaprio’s The Revenant (just kidding).
Pacific Coast (PCA)
PCA continued their quest to San Francisco, annihilating the 49 miles to Gualala (lalalalalala). According to Grace, Forest Gump inspired them to ride their hearts out down the Sonoma Coast. Ryan’s beard continues to grow at an alarming rate.
Pacific Coast (PCB)
PCB took a much deserved rest day in Mendocino, exploring some of the sights featured in critically acclaimed The Karate Kid Part III. Myles channeled his inner Mr. Miyagi to keep the group focused on their destination, the house from Robin William’s beloved Mrs. Doubtfire. Keep up the good work, dudes and dudettes, and send pics when you get service!
Scottish Highland Explorer (SHX)
The Highlanders strolled up to Drumnadrochit via the gorgeous High Route. Tomorrow they will finally have the chance to use their heavy sonar equipment to search for the Loch Ness Monster. Max and Sam are hopeful that they’ll have better luck than last trip, but are willing to move to Drumnadrochit permanently if need be.
Alps Explorer (AXA)
We remain intensely jealous of the AXA gang as they continue to hike the Tour Du Mont Blanc. I am still waiting for a picture of Dave in traditional Alpine attire, but these photos will have to suffice. Fun fact: Alpine Ibex have been spotted standing on the sheer face of dams, where they lick the stones for mineral salts.
Alps Explorer (AXB)
AXB yodeled their way to Champex, where they enjoyed a restful afternoon by the lake. Nick’s Apogee of the week was shaving the Apogee logo into his chin. They unfortunately only have one day left on the TMB, but have had a lovely time thus far. I promise a cornucopia of beautiful pictures in the near future.
America Coast to Coast (ACC1)
ACC Won continued to make their way towards the mystical land of blonde hair, fish tacos, tans, Ron Burgundy, cuddly pandas, and chill vibes only. They met up with Apogee Director Chad (one half of Chevin) and got him to trade in his beloved Vespa for a real bike. Keep up the good work! You’re oh so close!
America Coast to Coast (ACC2)
ACC Two-for-one had a magical day of riding through California’s desert, covering 94 miles by mid afternoon. They began their ride by the light of support staffer Sam Carey’s headlights, rolling past chaparral, sagebrush, and (I presume) dirt. The brine of the sea continues to beckon them with its siren song. Almost there, pals!