Day 42: Sunshine, Smiles, and Shenanigans

By Michael Kravitz & Grace Wright (and a lil’help from Hannah)

We’ve been watching the summer pass us by from the comfort of our office chairs, and it seems as though in the blink of an eye it’s already August 10th. Today our hikers, bikers, paddlers, and all-around adventurers are spread out exploring some of the most beautiful sites in the entire world. As always, we’re completely taken aback by photos filled with plenty of sunshine and huge smiles. An enormous shout-out goes today to our ACC2 group (America Coast to Coast) for making it over 2,700 miles to San Diego today! We couldn’t be more excited for these amazing cyclists who have pushed through the heat of the south and thousands of miles – what an accomplishment!

Maine Coast Junior (MCJ3): Our MCJ crew hit the trails in Acadia as they explored peaks and took in some beautiful ocean vistas from multiple peaks. They soaked up the sun, and after a successful day on the trails, Rhett and Lizzie’s group is in high spirits and ready for a day of cycling along the famous Carriage Roads tomorrow.



Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE3): With pencil points dulled down and essays officially printed off, these summer scholars are on their way back to their respective homes. After an evening out and about in Portland, they savored the last moments together with some insightful A’s and P’s back at the cabins last night. Although lots of edits were made on their essays over the week, nothing can erase the bonds they’ve formed as MCCE3!

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI3): After making it to Boston last night, the CI Crew took today to explore Boston in the rain. The crew traveled to Faneuil Hall, once a meeting place of our founding fathers and now a shopping mall and food court, and walked the streets, taking in the many sites and sounds of the city. The gang is planning to head back to the hostel a bit earlier in the day to catch some of the Olympics. Though they are excited to be in Boston and to have accomplished their goals, it’s bittersweet to contemplate leaving one another tomorrow.


New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC3): After all of that hard work on the trails over the last couple of days, Andy and  Julia’s group made their way into North Conway to enjoy some more urbane delights. They’re off to Maine tomorrow after one last little morning hike!

…and after.

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA3): Our CSA crew was busy at work today on the island of Vieques as they completed their first day of work with the Reach For Success community service group. Working with local kids and practicing their Spanish at the same time, the group enjoyed the meaningful work they completed today. Tonight they will enjoy a salsa lesson at their hotel – olé!

More work…

Vermont to Montreal A (VMA3): After reaching their much-desired goal of Montreal, these Canadian cyclists served up a grandiose meal last night for their loyal leaders. Ariel and Red were more than impressed by their Vermontrealers culinary skills, and they fell asleep with full bellies and bursting excitement for their adventures in Montreal today! As this is their last full day together, they really soaked in everything the city had to offer with an authentic Canadian dinner and will be topping it off with epic A’s and P’s later tonight.  



Vermont to Montreal B (VMB3): These kiddos were the newest contestants on Top Chef last night –  Montreal edition! Leader critics Chandler and Anna deemed their “breakfast for dinner” pancakes and eggs as “sublime” and “délicieux” (they picked up some French while being in Montreal, after all!) The delicious cooking fueled them well for their exploration of Montreal today, where they got a little taste of some authentic French Canadian cuisine. Last dinner together was bittersweet, but mostly sweet due to the yummy dessert consumed and lots of laughs that occurred!


Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEX3): Despite the scattered showers that graced our Dexsters while out on the AT today, they were still able to check out Rainbow Mountain as they finished their last full day out in the backcountry. With Katahdin looming over them it’s hard not to get amped at the thought that they’ll be summiting in two days! And parents can be “amped,” as well, at the thought that we should have pictures from the gang tomorrow!

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS3): Our CRLS group had their last day in the rain forest today. We’re looking forward to seeing their pictures when they emerge and head for the Pacific tomorrow!

Coast to Quebec A (CQ2A): Now properly in the Canadian flatlands, Emily and Kadin’s group is feeling, strong, fit, and confident as they roll ever-closer to Quebec! Biking 37 miles through verdant Canadian countryside today, the group was happy to be into camp early today to rest up before tomorrow’s big 51-mile ride, their second-longest ride of the trip, and one that will take them alllll the way into Quebec City!  


Coast to Quebec B (CQ2B): Dig out those passports, get out your ink pads, and start practicing your conversions from miles to kilometers because Jess, Tim, and their Mile-Eating Monsters got their Canadian stamps as they crossed the border today! They amped up the kilometerage and their morale as they zoomed through Canadian farm country. Tomorrow is their last day spinning wheels out on the road, their final destination of Quebec is in sight!


California Mountains & Coast A (CMC3A): Isa and Dave’s Backcountry Phenoms enjoyed their final full day in the high country of Yosemite today.  We can’t wait to see some pictures of this beautiful trip!

California Mountains & Coast B (CMC3B): Another day out on the bay for these amphibious hikers proved to be another day of fun in the sun in the Golden State. Paddling away all day gave their legs a much-needed break as they soaked in the beautiful views from Point Reyes. Jessi reports that the gang is very much looking forward to their dinner of Hawaiian-themed pineapple stir-fry tonight. Off the water and down to Santa Cruz tomorrow!


Montana Service Adventure (MSA2): Today our MSA crew enjoyed an action-packed day of rest as they hit the river and dipped their paddles into the whitewater on the Wild River. By all reports, the river was wild, but an amazing ride as well (and we’ll have the pics to prove it tomorrow). It is hard to believe that the crew has but one day of riding left!

Northwest Explorer (NWX2): Paddling through Rosario Strait, pulling up on the sandy shores of Cypress Island, exploring (and working on!) the trails on one of the least developed San Juan islands – are these NWX2ers living the dream or what? They took today to both kayak to their island stay for the night and also beautify the trails in the treasured forests of Cypress. With only a few more days together, they will surely take advantage of the starry night!


Pacific Coast A (PC2A): Bonnie and Mike’s Mile-Munchers took in one more stunning day on the California coast. Now only one day away (!) from their final destination, the excitement is palpable among the group!


Pacific Coast B (PC2B): Today Lindsay and Spencer gobbled up 63 gorgeous coastal miles – no problemo! Biking over lightly rolling hills along the coast almost the entire time, we could not think of a more beautiful way for the crew to finish their incredible trip. Tomorrow – the Golden Gate and San Francisco!

Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX2): Last day of hiking and what a way to go – these guys put a whopping 18 miles behind them as they made their way up to Inverness! Tomorrow they’ll be boarding a train to Edinburgh to explore for two days before boarding planes home with dirty boots and a fresh brogue!


Alps Explorer (AX2): The AX crew hiked a relatively gentle 15-km day today with a long descent into the town of Champex, Switzerland. What today’s hike lacked it difficulty it made up for in scenery. Highlights included an incredible alpine lake just outside of Champex. We can’t believe it, but tomorrow will be last day on the TMB for this incredible group!  

And yes, leader Will had a stegosaurus on his forehead all day. Of course.

America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): These ACC1ers have been taking full advantage of time off of the bike with a day at the beach! With beach games, napogees, and efforts to erase their crazy tan lines, they enjoyed their time by the ocean before heading to Ocean Beach to cheer on their fellow ACC2ers. The Apo-love developed all the way across the country could be felt as this crew gathered for their last dinner together before flying their separate ways home tomorrow!


America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): 960 hours, 2700 miles, 70 combined gallons of sweat, and almost 600 bagels consumed later, these ACC2ers rushed into the waters of the Pacific Coast – 6 weeks across the country completed!! The waves crashing onto their front wheels during the ceremonial dipping could not rival the waves of emotions pouring out as this crew finished their monumental journey. Family members and Apo-family members (including Director Kevin Cashman and ACC1) were all on hand to welcome Lucy and Dixie’s Hardchargers to the beach! San Diego! Huzzah!!!

ACC1 Welcoming Crew
The very, very, very last corner…
The Sprint to the Waves….
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The Team.
The Pacific Wheel Dip.