Day 40: Only one week to go? Say it ain’t so!

Ahhhh, good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to all! It was yet another glorious day here at Apogee HQ.  Whether a trip just began or has been going for quite sometime now, it is a bittersweet realization that the final week of the Apogee summer is here! However, the friendships, the bonding, the challenges, and the laughs do not stop here!

In the words of Ferris Bueller – “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a  while, you could miss it.”

So, with that being said, let’s get down to business and take a look at what has been going on today around the Apogee world!


Maine Coast Junior (MCJA)

MCJA has started off strong with an amazing first day of sea kayaking at Orr’s Island and subsequent arrival in Acadia National Park! It’s always fun to see our youngest students settle in to trip life and bond with one another while exploring some of Maine’s most beautiful areas. Also, Acadia National Park just so happens to be the eastern most point of the United States. Lucky for this group, they get to spend three days here – what an awesome opportunity!

Maine Coast Junior (MCJB)

MCJB took on their first full day of the trip with sea kayaking at Orr’s Island! Sea kayaking is one of our favorite activities at Apogee, allowing students to experience the beauty of the Maine coast firsthand. After, the group headed north to Acadia National Park where they will be spending three days. We, for one, are certainly jealous!

Hydration is key!!

Birthday celebrations yesterday!

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

And, just like that, it was CI’s last day of riding! Where does the time go? But, do not be fooled, young padawans – this ride was no walk in the park. Today, CI valiantly rode from Wellfleet all the way up the tip of the Cape to Provincetown! This 24 mile ride took the group on some beautiful back roads of Cape Cod and plunged them into “P-Town” where they will be spending their last night at a campground before taking a ferry to Boston! With a tough hill about halfway through the ride, we had no doubt that this group would come together and crush this paved behemoth head on. So, congratulations, CI! Celebrate what you have achieved and look forward to the good times to come in Boston!

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

Good work NEMCA – or should we say NEMCyay! – after an awesome hike today! This fearless bunch conquered a solid day hike in the White Mountains and had tons of fun along the way. I’m sure their hike was spent chatting and telling lots of great riddles – an Apogee favorite! (What can live in the Land of Bologna??)

New England Mountains & Coast B (NEMCB)

Today, our NEMCB squad hit the trail and headed out for another awesome day hike in the White Mountains! The group hiked to Arethusa Falls – a 200 ft breathtaking waterfall! – and Frankstein Cliffs. They wrapped up the day with a lovely evening dinner picnic in North Conway, before retiring to camp.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains A (CRMA)

Our CRMA group spent the day flexing their rock climbing muscles, scurrying their way to the tippy-top of some of the most breathtaking rock faces in Colorado. Tomorrow they’ll get back to hiking, but today they enjoyed checking out the park from a very different vantage point!

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains B (CRMB)

Did someone say…RAFTING?! Today our CRMB squad hit the water with an awesome whitewater rafting session! We’re crossing our fingers for photos, but rumor has it that cameras and rapids don’t mix together very well. Perhaps if they find a spot of service we’ll get a pre- or post-rafting shot!

Caribbean Service (CS)

Our CS crew had an awesome day giving back to their community! They worked with the Sail Relief Team, which has been providing aid to the island of Vieques since Hurricane Maria hit in 2017. Today, they worked on the farm and got to hang out with some baby chicks and ducks. What an adorable AND fulfilling way to spend the day!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

MCCE had a spectacular day as they continued to bond and make progress on their essays. As an added bonus, they had someone who truly knows the ropes come and chat with them – a real-deal college admissions officer – right here in Brunswick! How fun and informative!

Maine Coast Photo (MCP)

Today our MCP squad spent the morning exploring the flora of the Boothbay Botanical Gardens! This was a great spot for them to hone in on some of their detail work and continue developing new skills. Later in the day they switched gears and did some peer portraits – an awesome way to get to know all of their new Apo-fam members! Lookin’ great everyone!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

Here we have a victory shot of our intrepid DEX hikers, who valiantly climbed to the top of Dorr Mountain in Acadia National Park yesterday! You know what they say, “when one dorr closes, another one opens” (sorry, it’s tough to leave those puns from yesterday behind…). Well in this case, this stellar group is leaving behind Acadia NP and making their way to Baxter State Park to hike along the famous Appalachian Trail. For the next three days they will be following in the footsteps of many previous hikers, yet forging their own path to success. We can’t wait to hear all about it when they return! 

Vermont to Montréal A (VMA)

Bonjour, mes amis! Its official: VMA has crossed into CANADA! This speedy crew had 36 miles of riding, during which they left Vermont behind and made their way all the way up to a Canadian campsite – how exotic! With only two more days of riding, Montréal is so close we can almost taste the poutine…

Vermont to Montréal B (VMB)

After a relaxing rest day, our fearless VMB squad hit the road once again! Today, they waved “farewell” to Burlington and headed up to Grand Isle – how grand! On the way, they rode along the picturesque causeway, took a bike ferry ride, and perhaps even grabbed some maple creemees! Yum!! Tomorrow, they’ll cross the border and officially say “au revoir” to Vermont!

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

Today was another AWESOME day for CRLS! These language-learning aficionados spent the first part of their day in Spanish language classes, then hit the trail for a fun hike to Aquiares Waterfall. To finish it all off, they spent the evening cooking up a storm with a salsa iron chef competition. Buen trabajo!

Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

Our CRMC friends are still happily posted up in their Ecolodge, so while we don’t expect pictures until they’re back, we can only imagine the amazing time they’re having! This incredible group of kiddos started off the day volunteering in the gardens and according to their host, these gardens are expected to grow an average of 1000 plants every two months. These plants will be used to provide fresh food to 20 families in the community – talk about community involvement! The afternoon was spent relaxing and exploring, and then to top it all off… evening chocolate making. What a fun-filled day! 

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

Our group is in the backcountry! This means amazing scenery (I’m imagining the setting sun glistening over Half Dome…), tranquil wildlife sounds (birds chirping in the distance, perhaps a squirrel or two rustling in the trees…), and magical backcountry bonding for this crew (of course)! Unfortunately, this also means no pics for us quite yet, but as they say, “good things come to those who wait!”

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

CMCB is still adventuring in the backcountry of Yosemite National Park! Today they are set to experience the magical Yosemite Falls – tell El Cap we say hello, friends! No pics for us until they return, but “patience is a virtue!”

Alaska Mountains & Coast (AKMC)

Oh, the wonders of Alaska… the lush greenery, exciting wildlife, vast wilderness, and our very own Apogee Director, Kevin! Our AKMC (+ K) squad emerged victorious from the backcountry and now has a day to get some R&R. I suspect their day will be filled with sleeping in, a fancy breakfast, laundry, mail, and lots of fun games. Kick back and relax, guys – you’ve earned it!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

Aaand now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… a bonanza of backcountry pictures! 

According to leader Liam, “NWXA is out of the backcountry and had a blast! Our route took us up to Rainbow Meadows where we explored Bowan Ridge and even found a very remote lunch and swim spot now named “Lake Apogee.” This beautiful group of people also started off August right by going for a swim and then sledding! Whaaaaaaa?! Epic, I know.” After a bit of rest and relaxation (and showers!) in Bellingham, this stellar crew will head out to the San Juan Islands for three magical days of kayaking. Amazing work guys!! 

Looks like this group practiced their hypo wrap technique… future WFRs, perhaps?

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

Our NWX Bravo team is still adventuring through the backcountry of Olympic National Park! Hold onto your hats, because we’ll be getting lots of pics in three short days and we. can’t. WAIT!

Pacific Coast (PCA)

With their final rest day behind them, PCA is on their last stretch of biking days before they reach San Francisco! Today, the group is biking a whopping 49 miles. It’s a hilly, yet beautiful, ride – but nothing that this group can handle. The excitement of San Francisco is starting to take hold!

“Just keep biking, just keep biking, just keep biking…” – (Dory, from Finding Nemo)

Pacific Coast (PCB)

PCB is enjoying their last day off today in the quaint town of Mendocino, CA, after yesterday’s big ride. Mendocino has many great shops, restaurants, and ocean cliff views of the Pacific! The group is taking it all in as they enjoy a relaxing evening in camp, a hearty meal, and hopefully an early bedtime.  Rest those legs, bodies, and minds, PCB, because your next stop is San Francisco!

Scottish Highlands (SH)

This Scottish squad took on their challenge day today – they hiked 10 miles! They absolutely crushed the Devil’s Staircase which is one of the hardest parts of the West Highland Way. Not only did the group descend the rest of the way into their new, awesome accommodations, but they are about to take on their last day of hiking tomorrow as they descend towards the end of their trip all together! Where has the time gone?! This group will be sure to say fueled and rested for the final stretch to come.

Since this is the Scottish Highlands, it would be severely disrespectful NOT to include a motivational Braveheart quote, so here you go…

“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our… freedom!”

Alps Explorer (AX)

Another glorious day for our AX squad. Could it already be day nine on the TB??… Oh how time flies! Today, this crew hit the trail for a solid 16 km hike from Planpincieux (try to say that ten times fast) to Val Ferret, Italia! According to our sources, this group had spectacular views all day, with wild flowers galore! Tonight they’ll be enjoying the luxury of indoor sleeping at another rifugio – che magnifico!

Can we confirm that this photo is not, in fact, photoshopped?…Wow. 

Pyrenees Mountains & Coast (PMC)

Talk about some rolling hills! This stellar PMC crew hiked a solid 13 km from Sare to Olhette, France! Today was their first day of full pack hiking, but it looks like they were up for the challenge and kept stoke levels high. Good work team! Now to top it all off, some motivational french phrases: 

Petit à petit l’oiseau fait son nid. (little by little the bird builds its nest, AKA progress takes time)

Regarde le bon côté des choses! (Look on the bright side!)

Crois en toi! (Believe in yourself!)

Qu’est-ce qui t’en empêche? (What’s stopping you??)

America Coast to Coast (ACC)

After conquering their California desert day, ACC is making their way out of the desert as they climb through California! Also, wait, what is that they hear? The sound of the crashing Pacific Ocean? That’s right, folks. ACC FINISHES TOMORROW! Wow, the excitement is real and the stoke levels are high. After six weeks of biking, the end is within reach. Victory is calling their names! 

I think this calls for one of the greatest, modified, motivational speeches of all time. 

“Great moments… are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here, tomorrow, ACC. That’s what you’ve earned here these past 6 weeks. One ride. If we rode it ten times, it might win nine. But not this ride. Not tomorrow. Tomorrow, we pedal with them. Tomorrow, we stay with them. And we shut the road down because we can! Tomorrow, WE are the greatest ACC trip in the world. You were born to be Apogee cyclists. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here. This is your time. The road’s time is done. It’s over. I’m sick and tired of hearing about the hot and black pavement that the US roads have. Forget ’em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it.”Herb Brooks, Ezra-Ward Packard, & Kevin Cashman