Day 44: The Last First Day

The Last First Day

Well folks, we’re leading off today’s blog with some big(ish) news. Today, with the start of MCCE4, was the last Trip Start of the entire Apogee Summer! It’s hard to believe, but we are quickly approaching the end of the summer, and from here on out, there will officially be no more First Days, no more get-to-know-you games, or introductions. It really does bring a tear to the eye. On the other hand… there’s still plenty of fun to be had this summer — lots more full belly laughs, wide-eyed adventures, memorable vistas and delightful surprises. Let’s take a glimpse at some of those now, with entry #44 of the daily blog!


Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

MCJ enjoyed a beautiful morning of kayaking in midcoast Maine before they headed up to the always amazing Acadia National Park! They settled in with a delicious camp dinner and some fun games. Then, they plotted which hike to tackle tomorrow for the first hike of the trip! More fantastic adventures (and photos) await as they explore Acadia in the coming days!




Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

Today, our CI crew got to explore the second island of their trip: Nantucket! They hopped on a ferry this morning and spent the day riding along the island’s beautiful shoreline. They explored the shops and cobblestone streets of Nantucket Center before their ferry ride back to camp and an epic pizza party!



New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

Our intrepid NEMCA team cruised the white-capped waters of the White Mountains today on their rafting excursion! They jousted, they rodeoed, and then they enjoyed a shore lunch with their friends on NEMCB! Tomorrow, they’ll tackle another hike and, hopefully, another summit!


New England Mountains & Coast B (NEMCB)

Our NEMCB team also got the chance to play on the water during their own rafting excursion today! After a cookout with NEMCA, they made their way to the base of the famous Presidential Rangefrom there, the group will put their hiking legs to good use tomorrow and scale one of the many peaks in the area.


Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (CRM)

While every day spent in the Rockies is an awesome one, today was especially epic for our CRM crew, because they got to go rock climbing! Under the tutelage of professional guides, this adventurous bunch learned how to get roped up, belay, climb, and rappel some incredible routes. They also went ziplining, which is pretty exciting if you ask us. Tomorrow, they’ll continue their exploration of Rocky Mountain National Park on foot and hopefully snap a few more pictures along the way. Good going, CRM!





Caribbean Service (CS)

Our Puerto Rico crew contributed to the local community today through a classic, vital project: trash pick up! They cleaned the beach and the area around a 500 (!!) year old tree! After their community service, CS enjoyed beach time, snack time, and exploring time!





Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

Wahoo! The final MCCE of the 2022 Apogee Summer is underway as of… yep, you guessed it – today! These rising HS seniors began their adventure this afternoon in Brunswick, and, after transiting to the rustic lodging they’ll call home for the next week, got to know each other and their leaders with some fun introductory games, followed by a scrumptious first meal together. Tomorrow they’ll get down to business with writing workshops and brainstorming sessions (plus some kayaking on the fabulous Maine Coast to help get the creative juices flowing), but tonight they are taking a deep breath, enjoying the company of their group, and preparing for the adventure ahead. We can’t wait to see what the week has in store for them!





Maine Coast Photo (MCP)

Today was the first full day of Maine Coast Photo, and this group is off to a wonderful start! They spent the morning getting to know Jamie, the professional photographer who will be helping them cultivate their photography skills this week. After their first ever photo workshop, they put their skills to the test with a photo shoot and then sought creative inspiration from Maine’s natural beauty with an afternoon hike. We’re so excited to see what these young artists learn and achieve as their trip progresses!





Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX)

What a day for our Dexters! This group continued their explorations of Baxter State Park today and put their backcountry skills to the test. They even got to celebrate a tripmate’s birthday at the top of the iconic Mount Katahdin! Visibility was low but spirits were high for this happy crew. Tomorrow, they’ll enjoy a well-deserved rest day and prepare for the next phase of their adventure: sea kayaking!



Vermont to Montreal A (VMA)

VMA broke some land-speed records today, riding as fast as their bikes could carry them into Canada with blazing speed! They crossed the border so much earlier than expected that they had plenty of extra time, during which they (correctly) decided to pause for an absolutely electric photoshoot. Then they finished up the ride and enjoyed an awesome afternoon in camp, marveling at all the French being spoken around them! Another highlight of the past 24 hours for our VMA’ers was attending a celebrity birthday party… that celebrity was Smokey the Bear. The group stopped by the Grand Isle nature center yesterday to celebrate with the famous Ursus and have some yummy cupcakes! Consider us sufficiently jealous!



Looks like leaders Max and Lena are basking in the glory of their accomplishment!



Vermont to Montreal B (VMB)

VMB had one of their most scenic bike rides yet across the beautiful Burlington bicycle byway! They crossed Lake Champlain on the causeway and hopped a short ride on a bike ferry afterwards. They are pre-resting with breakfast for dinner tonight and a group “spa” session! Tomorrow they will have their Challenge Day of 50 (!!!) miles!



Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

What a day for a snorkel! That’s surely what our CMRC friends were thinking as the sun rose on Day 10 of their Costa Rican adventure. This crew was all smiles as they took in the sights of a whole new world beneath the ocean’s surface; leader Andrew reports that they saw multiple turtles up close, plus a humpback whale with its calf, as well as countless incredible other fish and sea critters! They also met some other furry friends above water, too!




California Mountains & Coast (CMC)

Today our CMCers drove through San Francisco before leaving the city behind, trading in tall buildings for redwoods and mountains. They explored their new surroundings on a fabulous day hike before returning to camp, playing some wickedly fun games, and feasting on some hand-cooked delicacies! What a life they lead out on the West Coast… it truly is a California state of mind!


Alaska Mountains & Coast A (AKMCA)

We didn’t get any photos of this crew because they took an early morning water taxi into the fjords near Resurrection Bay (and out of cell service). They boated through the Kenai Wildlife Refuge and hopefully will return with stories of whales and puffins galore! Our AKMCA crew got out on the water again after setting up camp for some kayaking past beautiful glaciers and then returned to camp on shore for hot drinks and fun games!

Alaska Mountains & Coast B (AKMCB)

This brave bunch of backpackers brought beautiful beams to the blog! (By beams we mean smiles to our faces!) AKMCB headed into their first day of their second (!) backcountry hike! This time, they will spend two nights and three days in Chugach State Park traveling across the alpine tundra and past beautiful lakes and mountain passes. We can’t wait to hear their stories from the tundra!


Northwest Explorer (NWX)

Today our NWX friends began their sea kayaking adventure! After a delicious lunch, the group took a ferry out to Guemes Island. From there, they paddled in their kayaks amongst the beautiful San Juan Islands. This crew has loved working with their sea kayaking guides and testing out a new mode of transport after their long backcountry expedition. Tomorrow, they’ll have the chance to learn more about the flora and fauna of the area and give back with a service project!



Pacific Coast (PC)

Our PC crew never ceases to amaze us; it’s hard to believe, but they are now officially less than 100 miles away from the Golden Gate Bridge and the beautiful city of San Francisco! Today’s ride had the group climbing and coasting up and down rolling hills while enjoying some truly incredible views. Today was also their longest remaining ride (just a hair under 50 miles), so you could say it’s all downhill from here.



Alps Explorer A (AXA)

It’s the second to last day of the TMB for our AXA team! Their legs enjoyed a brief respite from hiking as they steadily descended into Champex (passing woodland elves and wood carvings along the way)! Trip leaders Hannah and Tommy reported that the group was off to bed early tonight so that they could be well rested for their TMB grand finale and transit to Geneva.

Alps Explorer B (AXB)

Ah, to be young and a student on AXB, this blog writer laments (with just the tiniest bit of jealousy). Still basking in the glow of their victorious completion of the TMB just a few days ago, a number of students hiked up to admire the breathtaking Aletsch Glacier up close! They also got to enjoy a scenic cable car ride and take a dip in an alpine lake. Tomorrow, everyone will head into Geneva to begin a couple days of celebrations in this iconic European city. 




Pyrenees Mountains and Coast (PMC)

Our lovely PMCers have officially embarked on the Carros de Foc (CDF) backpacking portion of their adventure! Today was filled with beautiful vistas, sunshine, smiles, and a pretty epic sunset (as pictured below)! After a (relatively) short but certainly scenic hike, this group got settled into their refugio for the night, where they enjoyed a tasty dinner together and rested up for Day 2 on the CDF tomorrow, which, if today’s photos are any indication, is sure to be an awesome one!





Be sure to check back here tomorrow for even more awesome sights, smiles, and stories from Day 45 of the Apogee Summer!