Day 45: Quality Content Ahead

Here in the Apogee Universe (Apoverse, if you will), each day is full of absolute quality.  Quality time spent with new friends, quality views of stunning landscapes, quality meals shared at a picnic table for all, and quality memories that will last a lifetime.  If you’re looking for a little quality content in your life today, then read on, my friend.  Because this is the very best that you can get!


Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

Oh, Acadia, where the mountains meet the sea!  You land of undulating beauty; you land where my heart goes when I close my eyes!  Acadia is simply the best.  And today was MCJ’s first full day there!  Highlights of the day included (but were not limited to): hiking, making memories, gazing out into glistening green valleys, making silly faces on top of mountains (see pictured below), inspecting interesting pinecones, laughing with friends, and impromptu dance parties on the trail.  Keep rockin’ on, MCJ!

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

Today, our intrepid cast of Cape adventurers made it back to the mainland!  They packed up camp on Martha’s Vineyard and kissed the sweet, sweet island life goodbye before boarding the ferry and heading towards shore.  With salty wind in their helmeted hair, the team biked just over 20 miles to make it to tonight’s campground.  Dreams of tomorrow’s standup paddle boarding session will flit through our CI-er’s heads tonight!  Sleep tight, folks!

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

It was a brilliant summer day today for our NEMCA unit, the kind of day when you swear the sky seems bluer and the grass seems greener than usual!  The team spent the day roving the White Mountains and climbed all the way to Mitzvah Hut.  That’s an impressive feat!  Reports of “good spirits all around” came from leader Emma who apparently cartwheeled down the entire mountain out of pure joy!  Keep up the stellar hiking, NEMCA!

New England Mountains & Coast B (NEMCB)

Have you ever followed a timeworn map that led you into an enchanted forest where the dappled sunlight drifted through the tree branches and danced like spritely fairies on the mossen rocks below your feet?  Well that was on today’s docket for NEMCB, and the group followed through with gusto!  They hiked to a hidden lake rumored to possess magical qualities that only true wizards of the woods can unlock.  Good thing leader Fenton happens to be both a warlock and clairvoyant!

What charmed secrets lie below this mirror-like lake? You’ll have to journey there yourself to find out!
Fancy napkins there, you two!


Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (CRM)

Sure, you’ve seen rocks before.  They’re all over my driveway and don’t do too much.  But have you seen Rocky rocks before?!?  Well check out these pictures from CRM’s hike today!  Wheehoo – those are real Rocky rocks, folks!  Today, our beloved team traipsed through the Rocky Mountain National Park and made it all the way to a very special lake!  The lake changes color based on different levels of silt and minerals in the inlet water as well as the intensity of the sunlight shining on that water.  Science is cool!  Our CRMers also took a quick trip into Estes Park to explore this afternoon.  We can’t wait to hear all about their white water rafting experience tomorrow!

Caribbean Service (CS)

And just like that, today’s the final full day for CS!  Time really does fly when you’re making friends, helping the local community, and having fun along the way.  Today, the group ferried to the mainland to explore old San Juan.  Everyone celebrated together over one last final dinner.  Oh, and did I mention the day began with a sunrise swing on the beach?  This is the stuff that memories are made of.

Travel Magazine wants to bring in Anne Hathaway and Tom Hiddleston for a photoshoot at our CS’s secret beach swing spot. Stay tuned for details.


Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

The first full day of MCCE was jam packed with zesty excitement!  The diligent essayists began the morning with a journaling session led by their master writer.  Can’t you just smell the writing juices flowing from wherever you sit while you read this blog post?!  I sure can.  This afternoon, the group put down their pencils to spend time having fun sea kayaking out in Casco Bay!  Looking good there, team!

Not pictured: the oxford comma and stellar topic sentences.

Maine Coast Photo (MCP)

MCP dove headfirst into two things today: a photography editing workshop and a local Maine pond!  The morning was marked by honing skills at the editing desk under the careful tutelage of master photographer Jamie.  Nailing post-picture-taking skills is a surefire way to really up your photography game, and these photo wizards are doing exactly that!  This afternoon was spent cooling off with a swim.  Then it was back to the lodge this evening for a hearty meal under the Maine stars.  Picture that!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX)

Despite hardship, DEX stayed strong today.  It takes a lot of heart and courage to keep spirits high when not everything goes as planned!  Today was a day of careful planning and preparation for this crew as they geared up to sea kayak on Penobscot Bay tomorrow.  Get ready to breathe in that salty ocean breeze in the morning, folks!  Tomorrow will be a paddle to remember!

Vermont to Montreal A (VMA)

It was another day of rippin’ it out on the rural roads of Canada for VMA today!  The team tackled a hearty 23 mile ride (or 37 kilometers, as they say north of the border!).  Did the group see a moose bathing in a river of maple syrup while waving the Canadian flag, watching hockey, and snacking on poutine?  Definitely not.  But there’s always tomorrow!  Unfortunately, we couldn’t get photos of that moose in syrup or of our VMAers today.  Stay tuned for more pictures tomorrow!  And keep on chugging, VMA; you’re only one day away from Montreal!

Vermont to Montreal B (VMB)

Like a platoon of Royal Canadian Mounties all clad in red tunics, felt hats, breeches, boots, and spurs, our VMB group crossed the northern border and entered into Canada today during their nearly 50 mile-long ride!  They’ve officially biked through not one, but two separate countries!  Tonight, the team will say bonjour to their first evening under the Canadian night sky.  Everyone says the stars are better in Canada!  All the excitement about today’s border crossing made the group forget to send in pictures today; have no fear, there will be more tomorrow!  Onward to Montreal, VMB!

Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

Cowabunga, my CRMC friends!  Today, this totally bodacious gang took to the gnarly waves to rip some freshies, crush the pipeline, and totally hang loose.  It was a hang-ten kinda day!  Rumor has it that leader Elle got her shred on out there on the wavetrain like none other.  It was both righteous and tubular!  And tonight, the CRMC team celebrated their time together over one last final dinner.  Thumbs up, my party people!

Big group hug!


California Mountains & Coast (CMC)

Yes sir, yes sir, you heard me say Big Sur!  CMC spent today in the imperial forests of Big Sur, a particularly rugged stretch of California’s often-misty central coastline.  There, the trees are big and the views are bigger.  And today’s hike in particular boasted sights of complex lithological topography.  The group had an absolute blast trekking along the craggily trails and admiring the glistening ocean below.  The fog was so thick out in Big Sur that cell phone service was limited – we can’t wait to see pictures tomorrow!

Alaska Mountains & Coast A (AKMCA)

Today marks day 10 for our AKMCA group which means they’re back from their island campsite!  Most of today was spent paddling the waters and ogling at the magisterial mountains trimming the horizon.  It’s one thing to admire the Alaskan landscape by foot, but to do it by sea is a whole different experience!  Tomorrow is glacier day for this crew, so they’ll be dreaming of ice, ice, and more ice tonight!  We can’t wait to see pictures of paddling and much more soon!

Alaska Mountains & Coast B (AKMCB)

Though today was a little wet and rainy for our ever-tenacious AKMCB platoon, there were lots of warm hearts out on the trail!  The group hiked along a breathtaking ridgeline (snag a peek of it in that pic below!) and gazed deeply into the maw of the wilderness.  The wilderness did, in fact, gaze deeply back!  This fearless team is unstoppable when it comes to churning out mileage, and tomorrow will include more time out in the unforgettable Alaskan countryside.  Keep up the good work, AKMCB!

Apogee Director (and Founder!) Kevin “Big Dog” Cashman makes a cameo appearance in Alaska!


Northwest Explorer (NWX)

Avast!  If you look towards the western horizon you can almost make out our NWX team cruising the salty currents of her majesty, La Pacifica!  The group is enjoying another day on the water and will stay at their island campsite for one more night this evening.  We heard that when leader Maeve gets in her kayak, she dawns a fake beard, grumbles about a white whale, and sporadically quotes Herman Melville: “consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure.”

Pacific Coast (PC)

As Alfie Boe so famously belted while playing Jean Valjean: “One day more!  Another day, another destiny!  This almost-ending road to San Francisco!”  It’s hard to believe but only one day separates our PC squad from the conclusion of their trip.  We know that everyone will soak up each pedal stroke during tomorrow’s final 37-mile ride.  We can’t wait to see pictures of you all crossing the Golden Gate Bridge tomorrow, PC!  You’re almost there!

Alps Explorer A (AXA)

Today is the day, folks!  AXA completed the Tour du Mont Blanc!  It was an early morning out of camp; so early, in fact, that the trekkers were hot on the trail well before the sun began streaking over the distant mountains.  Look at that sunrise!  After devouring 17 kilometers (that’s 10 miles for those who aren’t doing the conversion math at home!) of steady hiking, our squad peeked the iconic pink church waiting for their return which marked the completion of a lifetime achievement: hiking the entire TMB!  Well done, AXA!

Simply stunning. I sit here at my desk stunned.


Alps Explorer B (AXB)

Our AXBers made it back to Geneva, the place where it all began!  It was a full 18 days ago that everyone met at the Geneva airport as strangers, but look at this crew now!  They’ve accomplished so much together and have truly grown along the way.  Today, time was spent exploring this famed city and dipping into Lac Leman.  I can’t think of a better way to experience Europe than ambling the streets of Geneva, gelato in hand, gazing out towards the Jet d’Eau all the while commenting a word or two to the effect of “cette ville est la modèle de la culture!”

Pyrenees Mountains and Coast (PMC)

Can you believe these views?!?  Wowza!  PMC completed one of their last days on the Carros de Foc today, and me-oh-my that horizon line looks GORGEOUS!  Why can’t the view from my desk here in Brunswick look like that?  After a hearty mountain meal for dinner, the PMC team hunkered down in a refuge tonight and will polish off the final 6 or so kilometers of the CdF (that’s the Carros de Foc for those of you who don’t frequent the high Pyrenees) tomorrow!