By: Grace Wright & Jack Messerly & Izzy Janzen
It’s been another amazing day in the Apogee world. After some special and silly Fourth of July celebrations yesterday our groups are feeling good and moving forward with the next step in their respective adventures. We’ve done it all today, from sea-kayaking, to mountain climbing, to getting one step closer to the ultimate destination – whether it be San Francisco, San Diego, or Canada! Additionally, we’re thrilled for our Europe Coast to Coast trip to meet up in Amsterdam tomorrow and get started on their adventure. It’s been another great day and we can’t wait for tomorrow!
Maine Coast Junior (MCJ1): How do you top a night of fireworks out in Bar Harbor? By sea kayaking the beautiful waters of the Harpswell Sound the next day! After a brief lunch break here in Brunswick, these kiddos moved on to dipping their paddles into the Atlantic. They’ve been hiking up a storm, so their legs certainly deserve a break!
Cape Cod & the Islands (CI1): A little rain couldn’t wash away the smiles of our group on the Cape today. Grace and Henry have reported that these guys had a blast exploring Nantucket. They cycled all over the island, getting in some good mileage and exploring the town and the beautiful beaches. What a colorful crew – brightening our day!
Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA1): Watch out National Geographic-you have some competition from this slew of photos from our Puerto Rico peeps! Today they volunteered at the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Reserve and then hit the beach. They topped it all off with lunch at one of the oldest lighthouses on the island – it certainly is a change of scenery from the lighthouses in good ol’ Maine!
Vermont to Montreal A (VM1A): These Vermonsters couldn’t have asked for a better day to hit the beautiful waters of Lake Champlain. After a great morning of paddling, they had a short ride to camp. They’re looking forward to a well-deserved day off the bikes to volunteer in Burlington tomorrow. It looks like some card games were played, and, after such a magical day together, maybe a few magic tricks to go along with it!
Vermont to Montreal B (VM1B): The VMB team was 10 miles into their ride before 10 AM today, and that’s no small feat! You couldn’t miss them on the road today – check out all of their high-visibility to gear to go along with their high energy! They made excellent time today as they cruised through the picturesque farmland and quiet country roads of Vermont. They’ve got Burlington in their sites, but not before a paddle in Lake Champlain tomorrow.
Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEX1A): Our DEX1A group had an adventurous and productive morning. They paddled off the island, wishing it a fond farewell after their two nights enjoying the waves of Stonington lulling them to sleep. Today was largely spent in transit, but they had a beautiful day for it and they were rewarded for their travels with the beauty of Acadia National Park, where they’ll spend the next two days hiking and exploring. Nothing but smiles and sunshine for these guys!
Maine’s Downeast Explorer B (DEX1B): DEXB embarked on an exciting portion of their trip today – completing their transition from Acadia to the Appalachian Trail. Here they will spend two days hiking North and experiencing living off the grid together. They hiked in toward their first campsite, and they’ll also get a glimpse of their next adventure: Mount Katahdin!
Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS1): After being properly fueled from a tasty tribute to their home country’s birthday, the CRLS crew woke up to día tres of language classes and another afternoon of volunteering. It seems like they are already reaping the benefits of all their hard work in the classroom; some students were able to hear Spanish ghost stories in their conversation class – ooooh!
Coast to Quebec A (CQ1A): Ever wondered how those perfectly coiffed hay bales are made? Just ask these CQers – they rode through the rolling beauty of farm country today. Green pastures, blue skies, and big smiles! It looks like they even stopped to smell the flowers. This crew made fantastic time today and are enjoying some luxurious indoor accommodations tonight.
Coast to Quebec B (CQ1B): This crew arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to community service today after a good night of sleep! They helped to paint a blueberry processing facility for the Coastal Mountains Land Trust. As a reward for all of their hard work, they strolled through the blueberry fields and ate lunch at an old tea house – and we can only imagine that they nibbled on some of those fresh Maine berries along the way!
California Mountains & Coast A (CMC1A): Dave and Isa’s crew was excited to put their hiking boots to work today as they had a full day to explore the Giant Sequoia groves of Northern California. We can only imagine everyone’s awe-struck faces as they crane their necks to see the top of the Louis Agassiz tree, resting casually at 250 feet tall and 25 feet in diameter. And unfortunately for us at home living vicariously through these guys, imagining will have to do until they’re back in good cell service to send us pictures.
California Mountains & Coast B (CMC1B): When the Yosemite wilderness calls, CMCB answers. We’ve confirmed that Jessi and Nick’s crew is settled into their second campsite, taking full advantage of all the solitude and beauty that Yosemite has to offer. They called from their satellite phone tonight just to tell us how amazing it is! They’ve got their challenge day tomorrow, but fortunately, their hiking boots are well broken-in by now. I’m sure we aren’t the only ones eager to see their pictures in a few short days when they’re back in service…
Montana Service Adventure (MSA1): Our favorite Montana crew truly lived up to the “Service” portion of their trip name by spending their day working in the Helena Community Garden. Not only did they have a blast giving back to the community, but they also got a distant view of the “Sleeping Giant”, an aptly named mountain formation that will serve as a beacon on their ride tomorrow as they head north! We spoke with them and they are doing great – however, couldn’t get a picture through today – so sorry, folks!
Update: Better late than never, here’s a handful of great pictures from the team in Montana, complete with homemade pizza, proof of hard-work, smiles, and, naturally, a goofy pic!
Northwest Explorer (NWX1): Today our Northwest Explorers are spending their second day in the back country of the lush Hoh Rain Forest – the only continental rain forest in the United States! Here they’ll explore some beautiful greenery, gorgeous river banks, and get some sneak peaks of the snowy peaks they’ll explore in just a few short days! Unfortunately, their ability to enjoy some time off the grid means no pictures for us, but we’re looking forward to seeing what they’ve gotten up to when they hike out tomorrow. Happy trails, NWX!
Pacific Coast A (PC1A): It was a big day for our PCA crew, with a whopping 49 miles to conquer, and they’ve got the (beautiful) pictures to prove it. They were more than up for the challenge, and after a long day in the saddle, they’re enjoying camp for the last time in Oregon. Tomorrow, it’s on to the Golden State: California!
Pacific Coast B (PC1B): Oh, to feel the soft ocean breeze, listen to the rhythm of the waves, the squawks of the seagulls, the whizzing of the bike wheels….PCBers are some lucky ducks! Our PCB’ers crushed their longest day yet – 38 miles! As a reward, the gang was treated to expansive views of the Pacific along the way as they enjoyed the quintessential Oregon coastline. Keep on cruising, friends!
Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX1): Today our Scottish travelers were able to give their hard-working legs a bit of a rest. The group wasn’t able to get us a picture today, but we’ve heard that all is well, and tonight they are enjoying the luxury of warm, dry, and cozy indoor accommodations – they’re probably having sweet dreams of bag pipes and befriending the Lochness Monster as we speak!
Alps Explorer (AX1): The post-4th of July high temps were not a problem for the Alps crew; they managed to stay cool by hiking along the epic Aletsch glacier, a world UNESCO heritage site. This hike, which overlooks the quaint German-speaking town of Fiesch, looked downright delightful. Need more proof? See for yourself!
America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): Some refreshing rain showers helped to cool off the ACC1ers who have been muscling through the Southern heat wave like true champions! They enjoyed some roadside Georgia peaches for a morning snack and are incredibly excited for a well-deserved rest day tomorrow. They’re certainly rubbing off that peach fuzz – they’ve biked almost 385 combined miles over the past 6 days!
America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): You know what they say, the early bird gets the hills! These ACC2ers got an early start to their phenomenal 80-mile day. Beating the heat is quite a feat! In addition to the gallons of water consumed today, they also enjoyed some refreshing afternoon showers to keep them cool. ACC2 is relaxing and happily in camp for the evening – keep up the good work!