Day 6: Endless Exploration!

July 3rd often gets overshadowed by its boisterous neighbor. Consequently, the journeys that have taken place on this day are in danger of being forgotten. This, we believe, would be a terrible sadness. Therefore we must take this moment to remember…. On this day 21 years ago, Richard Branson and his Swedish Companion Per Lindstrand made the first transatlantic journey in a hot-air balloon. We would be remiss if we did not mention that on this day 23 years ago, Marty McFly and Doc Brown took their maiden voyage in the Delorean. We feel obliged to remind you, lest we all forget, on this day 70 years ago, just outside of London, the Mailard train set the world record for speed by a steam powered locomotive reaching 125.88 mph (almost as fast as Ezra on his tricycle). And now, on to some new journeys that have taken place in the Apoverse today, making even further July 3rd history!


Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

Today was the big bike day for this group of multi-talented adventurers! Parker and Stella’s gang explored some of Acadia’s acclaimed carriage roads. Financed by John D Rockefeller in the early 20th century, the carriage roads were constructed as alternative travel routes meant to provide the robber baron with a traffic-free ride when he visited the park. Still fully in tact a century later, the carriage roads blend in seamlessly with the spectacular wilderness in Acadia and provide ideal biking paths for our MCJ-ers.

Tie-dye for 4th of July!

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

The island of Nantucket continues to treat our young explorers well. Taylor and Amelia’s fantastic fleet breezed through another day of harborside cruising, including a lovely lunch in the quaint town of Sconset. The National Park Service notes Nantucket as the “finest architectural and environmental example…of a New England seaport town.” No pressure on Taylor and Amelia, but we at the blog are hoping that our CI-ers return from their trip well-versed in the trades of whaling, tea-dumping, and revolution leading.

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

Despite TLC’s advice that under no circumstance should any person ever chase a waterfall, NEMCA embarked on a brave, beautiful hike up Arethusa Falls in the White Mountains this afternoon. The gentle mist from the falls provided a well-earned cool-down for the hardworking trekkers.

New England Mountains & Coast B (NEMCB)

We have all been feeling these hot, hot temps. For this lucky group of NEMCers they sought refuge within the cool waters of Echo Lake today after a morning of rompin’ around their current playground: The White Mountains. This mornings romp featured a fun hike on the Webster Jackson Trail.  Fun Fact about the White Mountains: They hold the highest peaks in the Northeastern United States!

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains A (CRMA)

Today this group of truly courageous climbers got to know the Rocky Mountain landscape in a whole new way, up close and up high, in Jurassic Park. They all got  turns at being on both sides of the rope, climbing and belaying. Building teamwork, communication, and learning new skills, fun was had and rock jokes were plentiful. These literal rock stars sent it today, and boy did they succeed.

Caribbean Service (CS)

After a stretch of incredible days spent volunteering, surfing and working on their Chaco tans, the CS pals transitioned away from Utuado to their new home in Vieques. The Puerto Rico crew enjoyed a sweet ferry ride and even made some new friends through their new service project. Tomorrow they begin their work with Reach For Success.

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

Today the language extraordinaires once again balanced work and play, enjoying a morning of one participants’ world-renowned avocado toast before putting pen to paper this afternoon. The nutrient-rich breakfast replaced the calories burned on the gang’s hike at Morse Mountain yesterday. Team morale continues to soar and the ink continues to flow as the crew enjoys the sunny coastal days.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

Like a whaling crew drifting into harbor after a hearty nautical adventure, team DEXA traded sea for land today as they transitioned from coastal sea kayaking to the woodlands of Acadia National Park. Unlike a 19th century New England whaling crew, DEXA is well rested, bountifully nourished, and not covered in sticky, lucrative blubber. The squad is excited to spend the coming days exploring one of New England’s most cherished natural spaces.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

Hiking along any section of the 2,181 Appalachian Trail miles always makes for a good time. Today our decked out DEXB friends loaded up their backs and set off into the Maine section of the AT. The epic hike kicks off the group’s four-day stay in and around Baxter State Park, the northern terminus of the trail and one of Maine’s most acclaimed natural spaces. We’ll get more photos again in a few days when they emerge!

Vermont to Montréal A (VMA)

Shelburne-baby-burn! These speedsters shot north from Middlebury to Shelburne today, covering more than 20 miles and passing more than 1400 heifers en route to their campground in Shelburne, VT. The high-flying VMAers are excited to be spending the coming days along the eastern shore of Lake Champlain where they will find cool breezes, sandy beaches and enough Ben and Jerry’s to fill an olympic-sized swimming pool.

saw it

Vermont to Montréal B (VMB)

What better location to welcome in our country’s independence than the Green Mountains of Vermont? As they glided further north on their international journey, team VMB was graced by the ghosts of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain boys, who bid them good luck and blessed their ride with the spirit of patriotism and good humor. The team will be resting their heads in Middlebury, VT tonight, home of wonderful cheeses, fresh maple syrup, and sublime riverside camping.

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

Speaking Spanish, salsa dancing, salsa making, is there anything this group can’t do?! Our CRLS students gave their final presentations for Spanish classes today. The topics ranged from Costa Rican birds to dance styles and even featured a dance performance from one of the groups!

Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

These niños went to Manuel Antonio National Park today to search for some beautiful wild animals. They had their first Sloth sighting before 11:00am! With plenty of animals left to see they scampered around this pristine Costa Rican coastal forest. Keeping our fingers crossed for some awesome animal shots!

Ready to experience some biodiversity
look at that sloth!

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

Dear Blog reader: you probably don’t know that 20% of California’s 7,000 plant species are found within Yosemite’s historic borders! This means extra exciting flora sightings for our CMC friends as they explore Yosemite’s Valley in all its majesty.

cooling off on the Yosemite valley floor
while looking up at these million year old behemoths

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

Yo- sem-ite, Yo-sem-it-tee? Will we ever truly know how to pronounce it? I might not but the CMCBers may after exploring Yosemite Valley for the day! From stunning waterfalls, to epic cliffs, these fortunate folks are getting to know the land, and be inspired by it, similar to the explorers mentioned in today’s intro.

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

The Olympic National Park is home to three ecosystems, scores of marmots, and, for this section of NWXA, one group of amazing Apogee hikers! The crew’s second backcountry day featured another hike through the Hoh River Valley, a lush stretch of vibrant ferns, mossy evergreens and, rumor has it, even an elf or two. We wish the gang the best as they head into the final stretch of their first backcountry trip. No service to send out pictures, but we are expecting some magnificent ones when they return from the wilderness.

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

Nick and Emma’s all-star team zipped into the backcountry this morning, driving further east into the Cascade range before heading to camp at a sublime, remote alpine lake. In addition to stunning views of snow-capped peaks, lush evergreen forests and blooming wildflowers, the group also enjoyed a day’s worth of bonding and the challenge of their first backcountry outing.

Pacific Coast (PCA)

Another triumphant day for the PAC-14, taking on a trip high of 50 miles. They were sustained by some beautiful coastal views on their way down Humbug mountain towards Harris Beach. Nothing like starting the morning up in the mountains and finishing the day camping on the coast.

At the top of a big climb!

Pacific Coast (PCB)

Pacific Coast? More like Pacific Roast! As in wow are these cats absolutely roasting their mileage these days. The PCB-ers zoomed over 30 miles south through Langlois, OR en route to Humbug Mountain State Park for another night of gorgeous camping in the Northwest. The bike-squad-turned-jam-band (see photo below) is rockin’ and rollin’ through ride after ride but have yet to set a release date for their upcoming album, The Dark Side of the Bike Tune.

Pyrenees Mountains & Coast (PMC)

The PMCers are enjoying enjoying their last couple of days in Espot. They are visually feasting upon some of the most stunning views in the Apoverse. They are going up to the J M Blanc, which promises some equally stunning vistas. These mountains are just so overwhelmingly wonderful they required a lake side nap.

Alps Explorer (AXA)

Today this group reached new heights, taking a gondola and then hiking to the Aletsch Glacier in Fiesch Switzerland! Doing a loop around some jagged peaks, they got to hike alongside a glacier. Moving at much faster than a glacial pace, the meandered their way down through Fiescheralp, an iconic Swiss town. Fun fact about Fiescheralp there are no cars there!

Alps Explorer (AXB)

DUN dun DAHHHHHH! Today this tenacious group took to the hills and began their undertaking for the next eleven days: The Tour du Mont Blanc! Starting and ending at a perfect pink church this route, 110 miles, will take them through three countries!  Today they hiked from Switzerland into France. With small creameries dotting this iconic route, we are confident they are in for a goud(a) time!

Europe Coast to Coast (ECC)

Extraordinarily Classy Cantaloupes flourished today on their longest ride of the summer. Putting their feet up and laying their heads down in the lovely Belgian town of Bruges tonight. They are looking forward to a delightful rest day exploring its charming streets sectioned by beautiful canals fringed with pastel facades.

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

Apple Cobbler Cobbler 1 bumped up the mileage today, logging just under 80 miles. Next they soulfully jived through the town of Grey, original home of none other than Otis Redding. After a little peek through the window of music history, they hustled on through to their final destination of Sandersville, GA to nourish themselves and take a nice snooze before they close out their first week tomorrow.

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

Astronauts Cuddling Cats 2 continue to set world records – making it into camp before noon for the second day in a row. They have told us they are attributing this speed to something known as ‘girl power’ (featured prominently below in photo 1).

Girl Power!