Day 5: A Fourth Worth Celebrating

By: Tim Gruber (with a little help from our Founding Fathers)

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one to cast aside their fears and conquer the unthinkable. Today, we salute the likes of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin (among others), as Apogee’s many adventurers were able to revel in the great outdoors thanks to the “Spirit of 76.” So, grab a hot dog, let your ears relax for a wee bit, and catch up on what’s happening from sea to shining sea.

Maine Coast Junior (MCJ1): Today, Maine Coast Junior dove into the waters in Acadia National Park! Did you know, Acadia National Park was established four days after July 4th in 1916?

MCJ1 July 4 - 1

Winter’s a great time to stay in and cuddle but put me in summer and I’ll be a…happy snowman!

MCJ1 July 4 - 2

US Olympic Sea Kayak Team. 4 weeks to Rio.

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI1): Henry and Grace did not lead their crew across the Delaware River today, as George Washington did one fine morning a few weeks back, rather they crossed Nantucket Sound and snagged a photo (or two) very similar to to Emmanuel Leutze’s 1851 work [Ed. Note – Go ahead and Google that, we did.] See the resemblance?

CI1 July 4 - 1

“The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I Am not A Virginian, But an American and an Apogeer!”- Patrick Henry

CI1 July 4 - 2

The moose is on the loose!

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA1): CSA stopped en route to their next service destination to grab lunch in a park (and fulfill their obligatory blog photo requirement for the day!). They’re spending their evening gearing up for some volunteer work tomorrow morning at a Caribbean wildlife refuge, and an afternoon of exploring the beach.

CSA1 July 4 - 1

Vermont to Montreal A (VM1A): Twenty-eight miles? Piece of cake, or piece of strawberry shortcake. Unlike Paul Revere’s 18th of April ride, our group had smooth sailing all 28 miles, soaking up the sun and reveling in each other’s company!

VM1A July 4 - 1

The “Day Time” ride of Apogee Adventures (Thanks Paul Revere & William Dawes!)

VM1A July 4 - 2

The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth!

Vermont to Montreal B (VM1B): Speaking of sunshine, here is VMB owning some wide-open spaces on their ride today. Most of their afternoon was spent exploring Middlebury before settling into their campground for the night.

VMB July 4 - 1

From sea to shining sea!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEX1A):

Lizzie and Rhett’s crew is still out on the water sea kayaking and island camping. They’ll return to the good ol’ Main(e)land tomorrow and should have plenty of pictures for us then.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer B (DEX1B): What better way to celebrate America’s independence than watching the shine her first glorious rays of the day on the top of Cadillac Mountain?!

DEX1B July 4 - 1

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS1): Buenos Dias! Our Costa Rica trip began day 1 of morning Spanish classes! They’ll be conversationally fluent by tomorrow…well, almost fluent, but likely command a greater Spanish vocabulary than the one I’m working with! Come the afternoon, our groups extended a helping hand at a children’s home and nursing home!

CRLS1 July 4

“I thoroughly enjoyed the part where you discuss life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Coast to Quebec A (CQ1A): Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. In the spirit of John F. Kennedy’s message, that’s exactly what our CQA group did today out at Camden Harbor Park, helping set the stage for an afternoon concert.
CQ1A July 4 - 1

Thanks for the flag Betsy!

CQ1A July 4 - 2

Four cheers for the red, white, blue, and these trendsetting aprons!

CQ1A July 4 - 3

“Sir, we have not yet begun to fight!” – John Paul Jones

Coast to Quebec B (CQ1B): Our Coast to Quebec B trip also made it to Camden! Camden, New Jersey? No, that’s Camden, Maine. During the Revolutionary War Camden was a stronghold for the Americans in the northern theater while the British held on to Castine, Maine. During their ride today, our fearless Quebecers paid a visit to a recycled metal art park, talk about reduce, reuse, recycle!

CQB 7416

“But what do we mean by the American Revolution?… The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people…”

CQ1B July 4 - 2

One if by land, two if by sea.

California Mountains & Coast A (CMC1A): An early-morning salute to America’s other shining sea, the Pacific – CMCA before their final paddle and pivot inland to the majesty of California’s redwood forests.

CMC1 7416

“I could but esteem this moment of my departure as among the most happy of my life.” – Meriwether Lewis

California Mountains & Coast B (CMC1B): CMCB had a similarly early start as they loaded up and headed into the Yosemite backcountry. This will be our last picture for a few days, but rest assured that they’ll be sharing the splendor as soon as they’re back in cell phone range.

CMCB 7416

West Coast, Best Coast? The jury is still not out.

Montana Service Adventure (MSA1): Freddy and Anna’s crew is having a great time in Montana, and crushing their miles. Here they are at the top of a huge climb earlier today.

MSA1 July 4 - 1

Thanks TJ (Thomas Jefferson) for the July 4, 1804 purchase of the Louisiana Territory, which included the Big Sky Country!

MSA1 July 4 - 2

“Haha, and then we threw the tea into the harbor!”

Northwest Explorer (NWX1): John and Erinn’s crew officially started their first backcountry hike today, which means no pictures for the next day or two. Here are a couple more from yesterday’s majesty to hold y’all over.

NWX July 4 - 8


NWX1 July 4 - 1

One road did not diverge in a yellow wood, so far the difference is negligible.

Pacific Coast A (PC1A): Word from the West Coast is that those are the real deal: camp-caramel apples for desert last night. What better way to prep for a beautiful independence ride? Surprise American Flags perhaps…

PC1A July 4 - 1

“We mutually pledge to each other apogee, perigees, and kudos.”

PC1A July 4 - 2

“We must be unanimous; there must be no pulling different ways; we must hang together.” – John Hancock

PC1A July 4 - 3

Pacific Coast B (PC1B): Taken much earlier this morning, PCB was already nearly done with their day’s ride. Judging from the photo, I’d say it’s likely they finished their day with plenty of energy to spare for a true BBQ celebration for the Fourth!

PC1B July 4 - 1

“Resolved, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free, and independent  states.”

Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX1): SHX crushed some of the hardest walking of the entire West Highland Way today, as they left the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond behind and entered the Highlands proper.

SHX1 July 4 - 1

“Haha, and then we THREW the tea into the harbor!”

SHX1 July 4 - 2

“So we bought a pack of panniers, and Mrs. Wagner’s pies and walked off to look for America.”

Alps Explorer (AX1): AX transited from Zermatt to Fiesch today, whereupon, arriving at their campground, they made lots of sandwiches, played a giant game of chess, and had a photo scavenger hunt through Fiesch.

AX1 July 4 - 1

Don’t light the campfire until you see the whites of their eyes!

AX1 July 4 - 2


America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): Here’s a couple of shots of ACC1 and their Fourth of July BBQ preparations. After a long, hot, tough day in the South, air-conditioned bungalows never looked so good!

ACC1 July 4 - 1


ACC1 July 4 - 2

America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): No pictures from this crew today, but rest assured everybody is safely in, and spent their evening eating, hydrating, and resting easy indoors.