Day 43: Grand Plans

By Chad Olcott

Today’s title could refer to so many things in the wide, wide world of Apogee, but to me, right now, it refers to the grand plans I had for the blog. I thought I’d do the whole thing in limericks – or iambic pentameter – or I’d have some amazing theme involving the letters of the alphabet and birthdays of the great composers. But, friends, it all came to naught – just putting the pictures in this little ol’blog is an enormous undertaking!  I tip my hat to Annika and the guest bloggers we coax and cajole into putting this together on a daily basis. With Kevin in California, Cait (who participated in the “#icebucketchallenge” last night – find it on Facebook…), Alex, and Annika enjoying a last day off before the end of the season, and Shem-Dog-Millionaire on his way to Montreal to collect our Vermonsters, it’s a lonely office today! So – it was all I could do to get the pictures in the right places – the Apo-limericks will have to wait for another day.

MCJA: It was a rainy afternoon here in midcoast Maine – but Mike and Mary’s gang were undaunted! They got out there for their service project with the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust and did some great trail work in damp conditions.

2Testing it for weight distribution…

3The sun may not be out, but my goodness, the guns certainly are! Thanks to Ben from HHLT for working with our gang!

MCJB: Erin and Marino took this afternoon’s climatological lemons and made their own lemonade – at the bowling alley. This afternoon’s scheduled sea-kayaking has been pushed back to tomorrow afternoon, which looks like it will be much, much nicer!


IMG_3776“Wait, so I can’t take the shoes with me??”

VM:  It’s one last day together for our Vermonsters up in Montreal.  I just heard from Reuben and Abby – they’re just sitting down to one last big meal on the town in the city.  Then it’s an early morning wake-up for the long drive back to the States.

IMG_3859Near real-time view of our Vermonsters on their last night together – bon appetit, mes amis!

CMC:  Look who emerged from the woods!  Emma and Dylan’s California Dreamers had a great time in the Yosemite high country and are, as I type, making their way back to the coast to wrap up the trip in high style.


IMG_7117Group selfie!

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IMG_0193“A-P-O-G-E-E” A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

CSA:  Will and Lucy’s crew was interviewed on Radio Vieques this morning – they’re pretty much celebrities… They’ve wrapped up their service for the trip and will be headed for Old San Juan tomorrow for their last full day together.

IMG_5079Don’t let fame go your head, guys!

IMG_1281.JPGChecking out the view from the fort on Vieques this morning

MSA:  Hannah and Chris get today’s “Most Orchestrated Pictures” Award with the very nicely organized pre-rafting and post-riding pictures from yesterday and earlier today.  And these guys are done with all of their riding, too – having put some 400 miles, one mountain range, and one Continental Divide between them and Bozeman.  Well done, cowboys and cowgirls!

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NWX:  John and Izzy left their beloved Cypress Island behind this morning on a San Juan Islands Chamber of Commerce-worthy morning. They powered up for their last paddle with a fortifying breakfast of blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes…




A big pancake for a big dude

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PCA:  And over the Golden Gate they went! Matt and Jeanne’s rockstars rumbled over the big red bridge at about 1 PM PDT.  But not before meeting up with their PCB colleagues and our own Kevin Cashman.

pca (2)Umm – hi, mom and dad?

IMG_1238.JPGLooking good, guys….

IMG_1237There’s our own Kevin over there on the right – hope you’re having fun in California, Kevin…..!  

IMG_1236.JPGReunited at last!

PCB:  Well – if you’re reading this top to bottom, there’s no surprise here.  Kate and Trevor’s mile-eaters cruised up to the Golden Gate in near-record time and are now loving life in downtown San Francisco.  A stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf and an enormous ice cream from Ghirardelli awaits!


AX:  Here come even more amazing shots from our Swiss Misses (and Misters). Jack and CC’s gang put a few more nicks in their much-loved hiking boots this morning – getting up well before dawn to hike through the sunrise and close out the Tour du Mont Blanc.  They were done by noon and eating pizza in Geneva before our Californians were even getting up for the day.

ax1Pre-dawn posing before their last hike

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Bath tub with a view.

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Plumb tuckered out – and done with the TMB!



IMG_1921Mmm-mmm – you know what my grandmother always said, “nothing beats fresh pizza in Geneva after completing the Tour du Mont Blanc….”


IMG_1919Our own Garth Franklin sent in these last two – pretty amazing views.  And an ibex? Amazing!

ACC1: In a word, “bittersweet.” Here’s Josh and Laura resting this afternoon – fresh from seeing everyone off at the airport. In Josh’s text – “feeling stunned and out of this world.”  I think that about describes what everyone is feeling after wrapping up this epic.


ACC2: Meanwhile, Sam and Ally were making their tour of San Diego – complete with the obligatory, yet delicious, trip to In-n-Out.  One more day of hanging out before their own sad trip to the airport on Saturday morning.

IMG_0813Should you find yourself at an In-n-Out sometime soon, consider ordering your burger “Animal Style” – you won’t be disappointed.

IMG_1090Checking out the Apogee body piercing studio in Ocean Beach – another obligatory stop.  No piercings obtained, Mom – promise!

MCCE: And back here on the coast of Maine, Mia, Nick and their Soon-to-be-Collegians were hard at work with instructor Jaed Coffin today, putting the final pieces together before tomorrow’s unveiling of the essay. They put down the laptops this afternoon for a couple of rainy hours doing community service with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.

mcee1One-on-one conferencing with Jaed.

photo 2 (5)Essay-pano! 

Guest Trip – Maine Coast Senior – Blogger-extraordinaire Annika made good use of her day off and got together up in Acadia with co-leaders Pete Cutler and Emily Sherry (Coast to Quebec, ’14 – ???, ’15) and Apogee Demi-God David Cutler (cousin to Pete, NEMC ’10, NWX/MSA ’11, ACC ’12, ECC ’13).  Annika – seriously – don’t forget to come back.  Writing this thing is hard!