Day 42: Six Weeks In and An Answer for Everything

By Wilson Vietze

It was a beautiful day in the Apogee world. Monty, office dog, made an adorable noise while itching her ear and I enjoyed a cup of sorbetto with my lunch. On this very day, seven years ago, a beloved Jetblue flight attendant quit his job via the escape slide, so, to follow suit, I decided to grab my towel and head for the nearest exit. Got you there! I never want to leave.

Editor’s Note: Did you catch the subtle reference to A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy there?

While one trip just begins to hit its stride, the rest of our groups are beginning to wind down. The next few days will be chock full of mind-blowing accomplishments, glorious pictures, leader beards, gnomes, final meals, friendship, inside jokes, and so much more. Don’t just take my word for it, tune into the blog every night between 8 and 9! It won’t (read: may) disappoint.


Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

The Maine Coast Juniors woke up early for a stroll along the Bubble Loop, one of Acadia’s most whimsically named trails. While no bubbles were spotted, they did have a grand time soaking in the views of Acadia on a blue bird day. Word is: summits are just as baggable as groceries.

Tim probably struggled to not jump in the picture
Bagging summits like you read about
Overheard: would you say Everest is a little harder than that?

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

CI wrapped up their trip in Beantown with a final meal and some exploration of the city’s historic neighborhoods. They unfortunately couldn’t find my dad, but managed to have a fun day nonetheless. Hopefully there weren’t any Yankees fans in the group!

Go Sox!
Fun fact: Rich Vietze (dad) was a swan boat captain on that pond for many summers
Make way for ducklings! And Ben because he’s huge!
So dynamic. Dad?
Happy Birthday, Michael!

New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC)

NEMC completed the Falls Loop this morning to look at some waterfalls and complete a loop. They spent the afternoon in transit to The Forks to prepare for a rafting adventure tomorrow. Word is: Jack and Olivia love forks. Great stuff there!

Jack: Now act like you like each other
A quaint woodland scene a la Bambi
I believe that is Tama Fall, I generally know these sorts of things

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA)

After salsa dancing the night away, CSA went for a morning snorkel before an afternoon of service with Reach for Success. They are seasoned painters at this point and will fulfill all your painting needs for a small price. I’m beginning to think rain doesn’t exist in Puerto Rico!

Thumbs up if Matthew is becoming a local

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

Our essayists said their final goodbyes in Freeport after a great week of brainstorming, writing, exploration, and (I imagine) a little frustration. The writing process was fraught with obstacles, but the group persisted with the help of Triple J (Jack, Jane, and Jaed).

Be there soon, college

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

DEXA began their backcountry exploration of Baxter State park with a hike up Rainbow Mountain (not to be confused with Rainbow Road of Mario Kart fame). They have enjoyed their time in Baxter thus far and cannot wait to scale nearby Katahdin, which they have only seen from afar. Fun fact: fictional Ron Burgundy’s fictional dog is also named Baxter.

Do you think there’s a hermit in that cabin?
I see you, Pikachu!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

DEXB sent us some beautiful photos from their time in Baxter’s backcountry as they made their way to the coast to commence their kayak quest. Stay tuned for nautical nonsense, rugged coastlines, and a noted lack of Celeste’s face.

Those are some hefty looking backpacks
Rocks rock!
Could it be? A bag of Muffin Bites? My mom never let me have those
I spy Celeste!

Vermont to Montréal (VM)

The Vermonsters roamed the romantic roads of Montreal in search of their Roots (a Canadian favorite). They wrapped up their magnifique adventure with a Quebecois feast, featuring blog favorite, poutine. Overheard: why does that blogger guy only write about poutine?

There’s no Canada without Roots
The crowd gathered behind them is watching Emma mime

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

CRLS spent their last day in the jungle surrounded by the sultry Spanish songs of sloths. They’ll hike out tomorrow morning and head towards the coast.  Stay tuned for pictures of rain-forest adventures and service work.

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

CMC Ant arose with the sun to watch its rays bathe Half Dome in waves of golden light (or something like that). They continued to trounce about Yosemite and are hoping to stay for the entire school year if, you know, they’re allowed to.

If you look closely, you can almost see me crying tears of joy

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

CMC Bat continued to paddle California’s rugged coast in search of a sea otter shindig. While it appears no otters were spotted, we are all one step closer to Jared’s surf persona, Jare. One question remains: will Jare ride giants?

Perfect paddling form
Is that our very first shot of Jeanne?
Thumbs up if you think Jared should bleach his hair!
Crows or cormorants? Choose your own adventure

Coast to Québec (CQA)

CQA rode 37 miles to Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, a small riverside village known for its annual truck drag race. They ate their miles like a plate of poutine and had ample time to explore a Canadian playground. Rumor has it: swings work the same in Canada.

Not pictured: Sam’s man bun flowing in the wind. Pictured: hi-viz
Monkeying around! So silly
Very unsure what that is
They had time for a playground and a swimming hole? No fair!

Coast to Québec (CQB)

CQB crossed the Canadian border in style – Ezra’s hair was flowing in the wind while Tina’s smile lit the way on a gray day. They are ready to crush their final miles (hills) tomorrow and stuff their faces with this blogger’s favorite food. Yup, you guessed it, that would be poutine.

Overheard: are there whitewalkers up here? (Game of Thrones reference, pals)

Montana Service Adventure (MSA)

According to our MSA leaders, the crew spent the day sumo wrestling. Now, I could be wrong, but it looks to me like they went whitewater rafting. If Nicholas’s face is any indication, the crew had a stellar day on the rapids.

Sumo helmets? Bike helmets? Rafting helmets? All three?

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

NWXA continued their kayak through the San Juan islands in search of orcas and uncles. Editor’s Note: Wait, uncles? Wilson Vietze must have family in Washington state, too. In all seriousness, we’re looking forward to some stunning pictures when they have enough cell service to send them our way.

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

NWXB continued to romp around Olympic’s many wonders, taking, we’re sure, copious blog photos along the way. Said blog pics will be unleashed tomorrow, so watch out!

Pacific Coast (PCA)

PCA cruised 41 miles to Point Reyes, where they will stay before embarking for San Francisco, of Top Chef Season 1 fame. Word is: there’s a thrift shop in Tomales that stocks wacky clothing and accessories. Stay tuned for some eccentric attire!

Grace: “Take a normal picture for once.” Group: “Ok.”

Pacific Coast (PCB)

PCB pedaled down to Olema, where they will await their final leg. After two days of heavy mile consumption, they have finally caught up to their counterparts. Word is: Miles’s beard is notably more chill than Ryan’s. I’ll let you decided that one!

Helmets are rarely necessary on the beach, but I applaud the commitment to safety

Scottish Highland Explorer (SHX)

The highlanders went on a wee walk of 19 miles (woah) to Inverness, a city known for its bagpipers and highland games. Gaun yersel (congrats), clan, you deserve all the haggis in the world! Hm, I’m now realizing that could be an insult.

The man in the back left was actually in Braveheart (I presume)!
Question: do you think they make waterproof kilts? Asking for a friend
That is wild highland heather. How magical

Alps Explorer (AXA)

According to our photos, AXA joined up with a group of friendly gnomes (gnomies) for a beautiful hike to Champex, a popular retirement location for gnomes. That had a jolly rollicking time with the gnomes, but are not ready to leave the TMB.

Gnome woman, gnome cry – Bob Marley
Spotted: a wild Munger at the watering hole
Isa and her gnomies!
Gnome or gnomes (get it?)

Alps Explorer (AXB)

AXB explored the Fiescher Glacier, the Alp’s second longest glacier, by foot. After the Tour du Mont Blanc, it was good to ice the ole legs (get it?) and take in some epic scenery. I prefer Brunswick, but to each his or her own.

Great pic from the set of 2006’s Ice Age: The Meltdown
Syd the sloth had a great escape scene at this very location
Fun fact: Gatorade has a series of incredibly refreshing Glacier flavors. Glacier Freeze is a personal favorite – you may know it simply as “the blue flavor”…
…I don’t even know if its flavored after a specific fruit or if its just supposed to taste blue
YOU SHALL NOT PASS! The exact location where Gimli discovers the ruins of his family’s mines and Gandalf duels the Balrog to the death. Where’s Jessi though????
There she is!

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

Chad awoke to a plate of fish tacos and strolled along the boardwalk with some slick shades on. He hopes his newfound tan will last at least two days, but he can’t be sure. The ACC1 crew biked walked stood sat today (I imagine). They are most likely experiencing something akin to culture shock as they relearn daily tasks that aren’t biking. Congrats again, friends!

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

ACC2 made it one step closer to their final destination, a taco stand with particularly glowing Yelp reviews. They hydrated copiously as they ripped through the high desert on a mission. We can’t wait to watch them dive into the Pacific tomorrow!

The group is so LIT (kid slang for cool) they had to call the fire department. Note: they actually just stopped for water
But, you know, where’s Sherry?
Ah, there she is! Got worried there for a second
Important question: have you seen Johnny Depp’s animated classic, Rango? Its the big tale of a small chamelon trying to make it in the desert