Day 42: The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything

While 42 may be the meaning of life, the universe, and everything in Douglas Adams’s book (literally), in our book (or should I say, in our blog), it’s got to be great outdoors. But don’t just take my word for it, because our trips in the field can prove it! From biking down the Pacific coast to hiking through Costa Rica’s rainforests to exploring the majestic Alaskan wilderness, the outdoors has something for everyone to enjoy. And really, isn’t that the point? 


Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

There’s nothing quite like the first full day of riding on beautiful Cape Cod! After their short jaunt to their campsite yesterday, CI packed up their bikes and hit the road for real this morning. This young crew logged an impressive 13 miles for their first dull day together, ending in a lovely ferry ride over to iconic Martha’s Vineyard. There, they got settled in at camp, played some more name games, and took some time to explore the beach! Tomorrow, they’ll zoom on over to the other side of the island to tackle a day of community service.

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

Woohoo!! Today was NEMCA’s first full day together as a new team, and they wasted no time getting into the swing of things – literally! This crew took to the trees today as they spent their morning doing some important team building on an epic ropes course. After a morning of gaining confidence and trust in themselves and each other, the gang piled into the van to head into New Hampshire’s magical White Mountains, where they’ll take on their first day hike tomorrow.

New England Mountains & Coast B (NEMCB)

For their first morning together, our adventurous NEMCB crew woke up bright and early to get a head start on one of the most important aspects of trip life: team building! This newly-formed squad had a blast on an awesome ropes course this morning, where they got to know one another better and pushed themselves outside of their comfort zones. After such an exciting morning, the group got some down-time in the afternoon as they loaded up the van and journeyed into the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Tomorrow, they’ll begin to explore their new terrain, starting with a day hike!

Happy birthday Fenton!!!

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (CRM)

Our intrepid CRM crew hit the ground running today and celebrated their first full day as a group with a stellar day hike! These young mountaineers crushed their four-mile hike of the East Inlet trail in Rocky Mountain National Park today, falling in love with the breathtaking scenery of the park and getting to know one another along the way. After a good night’s sleep back at camp tonight, they’ll take off on another hike tomorrow morning before loading up and heading out to Estes Park. (Plus, see below for some pictures of the friends they made on their sunset walk last night!)

Caribbean Service (CS)

Although it was hard to leave the beautiful town of Cabo Rojo behind, our CS crew has quickly settled in at their new home on the gorgeous island of Vieques, where they’ll spend three days of their trip. After putting over to Vieques by ferry this morning, the group spent the afternoon getting settled in, doing laundry, and exploring the beach. Tonight, they’ll get to celebrate their arrival on Vieques in style with salsa dancing lessons! With the way this gang has been taking to island life, we’re sure they’ll have no problem busting some moves.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX)

Today was day two of backcountry hiking for DEX, and they’re thriving in their new off-the-grid lifestyle! This well-oiled machine of a trip took on another day of backpacking on the Appalachian Trail in the majestic northern Maine wilderness today, crushing miles and snacks as they went. Tomorrow, they’ll hike out of the backcountry and head over to the quaint town of Millinocket to resupply and make some calls home. We can’t wait to see all the awesome photos they send when they’re back in service!

Vermont to Montreal A (VMA)

VMA traded their high-vis jerseys for PFDs today as they hit the waters of Lake Champlain! The crew got their sea legs today, kayaking along the pristine beauty of Lake Champlain. Fingers crossed we’ll hear reports of a sighting of the cryptid of the lake, Champ! After getting a good day of paddling in, the crew hit the hay early to rest up so they can continue their journey north tomorrow, but first they had an epic afternoon of Apogee Olympics! Rumor has it that there may be a pretty cool bike ferry in their future… 

Vermont to Montreal B (VMB)

Burlington, VT: Home of Ben and Jerry’s, the UVM Catamounts, Lake Champlain, and now… VMB! This enthusiastic crew of young cyclists cruised into the beautiful city of Burlington after a breezy 12-mile ride today, marking another major milestone on their journey to Montreal. After getting settled in at camp, the gang took to the streets to explore Burlington and pick up some mail. Tomorrow, they’ll take their exploration to the water as they kayak along Lake Champlain!

Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

While today may have been their last full day at the Ecolodge at Rainforest Adventure Center Expeditions, the CRMC team certainly made the most of it! This crew spent their morning continuing their work on the hydroponic vegetable garden that they helped out with yesterday, making sure that their time at RACE benefitted not just their trip, but the whole community. In the afternoon, they got some time to relax as they played games, did laundry, and prepared for their hike out of the rainforest tomorrow. We can’t wait to see all the fantastic pictures they’ll return with!

California Mountains & Coast (CMC)

CMC has successfully completed their last day of backcountry hiking! Time really does fly, doesn’t it? For their last off-the-grid day today, these fearless hikers took on a four-mile hike on the beautiful Fire Lane Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore. After absolutely crushing their hike, the crew set up camp in the backcountry for the last time and rested up for their hike back to civilization tomorrow, where resupplying, laundry, showers, and calls home await. They’ll also be able to send us some photos once they’re back in service tomorrow!

Alaska Mountains & Coast A (AKMCA)

Welcome back, AKMCA! After two nights in the backcountry of Chugach State Park, this rugged crew has completed the Williwaw Lakes Loop and has made their triumphant return to civilization. After hiking out of the wilderness this morning, the crew spent the afternoon resting, taking showers, and stocking up on supplies. Tomorrow, they’ll pop on over to Seward for the next chapter of their Alaskan adventure!

Alaska Mountains & Coast B (AKMCB)

In the wise words of their leader, Nellie, “Backcountry here we come!” After much preparation and anticipation, AKMCB entered the backcountry of Chugach State Park today, kicking off this two-day backcountry section with a gorgeous hike of Crow’s Pass. After a night of backcountry camping tonight, the crew will hike back out to civilization tomorrow before spending the rest of the day preparing for their next backcountry excursion!

Northwest Explorer (NWX)

It’s time to party – NWX has made it out of the backcountry!! After their five-night backcountry adventure in Northern Cascades National Park, NWX hiked 4.5 miles out of the wilderness and back into civilization today. After zipping over to Larrabee State Park and setting up camp, the crew will get to take showers and better yet, eat pizza! Tomorrow, they’ll get a chance to rest their legs for a day, call home, and prepare for their upcoming sea kayaking expedition.

Pacific Coast (PC)

After their days and days of working their way down the west coast mile by mile, PC has sure earned themselves a rest day! They took the morning to sleep in at their campsite in Mendocino before getting up for an surprise omelet buffet from the leaders and a day of playing games, picking up mail, and making phone calls home. Tomorrow, they’ll hop back on their bikes to begin their final push to San Francisco!

Alps Explorer A (AXA)

AXA is back on the TMB! With well-rested legs from yesterday’s day off, the crew hit the trail bright and early this morning to start the day’s ten-mile hike through the breathtaking Italian Alps. Tomorrow, they’ll say arrivederci to Italy as they cross back into Switzerland for their last two days of the Tour du Mont Blanc! You’re killing it, AXA!

Alps Explorer B (AXB)

Whoa, whoa, whoa – how is it already AXB’s last full day of hiking the TMB? These veteran mountaineers must have been eating miles and elevation for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the way they’ve been cruising along the Tour du Mont Blanc! For their last full day on the TMB, the crew crushed nine miles to the town of Champex today, where they settled in for a good night’s sleep before their trek back to Trient tomorrow. Keep pushing, AXB, you’re almost there!

Pyrenees Mountains and Coast (PMC)

Things are getting real for our explorers in Spain! The PMC crew conquered their first day on the Carros de Foc trail today, logging miles as they hiked through the jaw-dropping beauty of the Pyrenees. Today’s trek led the group to a lovely refugi for the evening, a staple of European hiking and hospitality. Tomorrow, they’ll hit the trail again for another day on the CdF!