By Grace Wright
We have a lot happening on the Apogee front on this very Happy Hump Day!! Several of our groups got to lend helping hands today to the surrounding communities they passed through. What a way to give back! Others were back at it crushing miles and capturing a lot of fun moments as the Apogee adventures continue! One week in and already we have seen some pretty rad accomplishments – can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!
Maine Coast Junior (MCJ1): Today looked like a grape day of service for the MCJ gang! These juniors got to rock some stylish hairnets and pack some healthy lunches for the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program. They spent lunchtime hanging out with kids who were able to enjoy the delicious meals that they spent the morning packing. Looks like we have some future Apogee leaders on our hands!
Cape Cod & the Islands (CI1): It’s another day of bikes and ferry rides for these island-hoppers! Today the group said good-bye to beautiful Nantucket and made their way to Cape Cod under sunny skies. From the ferry terminal, the group hopped on the Cape Cod rail trail for a leisurely sixteen mile ride to their campground.
Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA1): Our Caribbean Service crew spent the morning volunteering at La Finca Hekiti, an agro-ecological farm focused on preserving existing forests in the Las Maris mountains. Rainy weather this afternoon called for some rest time – watching a movie and gearing up for the waves tomorrow – when this crew will be surfing!! Should be totally tubular!
Vermont to Montreal A (VM1A): Instead of hammering hills today this group nailed in a solid day of some community service work! Working alongside Burlington Parks and Rec, these kiddos displayed their brute strength with some trail maintenance tasks. Wood you just look at all of those hard-working faces!
Vermont to Montreal B (VM1B): It’s time to tone those biceps! These VMBers got to explore Burlington’s waters in a colorful kayak brigade. The waterfront of Lake Champlain offers a host of other fun activities for these amphibians to explore as well – and did we mention that Ben and Jerry started their renowned ice cream business on Burlington’s streets? Seems like a good enough reason to stop for an ice cream treat!!
Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEX1A): Keep these views a-coming! These explorers stretched their legs today with a hike up to quite a beautiful lookout in Acadia National Park. Not only do they get another round of impressive day hiking tomorrow, but they head into the back country of Mount Katahdin soon thereafter. Can we tag along?
Maine’s Downeast Explorer B (DEX1B): These explorers are making us wait until they’ve gotten up close and personal with Maine’s tallest mountain Katahdin to send along photos. They are currently camping in the backcountry and enjoying the beautiful Baxter wilderness before getting back into cell service tomorrow. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us when they emerge!
Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS1): Today was the last day of Spanish classes in Turrialba, but it seems like the games were just beginning! The day started off with the kids doing skits in their respective classes-with scenarios ranging from white water rafting, hot potato, and dancing! One group also made empanadas!! The Spanish Olympic Games were held later to finish off this day. Muchas gracias to all of the Spanish teachers this crew got to spend time with!
Coast to Quebec A (CQ1A): This fine crew continued to make their way up the coast-crossing many town lines and conquering hills (seemingly) effortlessly. This afternoon they ended up in Dexter, where they set up camp and settled in for another fun evening of games and a delicious dinner.
Coast to Quebec B (CQ1B): These champs persevered through a hot, humid, and hilly day here in Maine! After biking along 40 miles of up and downs they chowed down on some yummy lunch! Sadly, they had to stay au revoir to beloved leader Michael last night as he recoups from a lingering knee injury. We wish him a fast recovery and hope that he can reunite with the group in Quebec in just over a week! Luckily, NE Support extraordinaire Tim is stepping in until then (he’s the one hugging the Skippy jar dearly). To add to all the excitement, tonight this gang will be staying indoors tonight; cheers to their first night not camping!
California Mountains & Coast A (CMC1A): This Cali crew was humbled by the monstrous beauty of the big trees in (wait for it…) Big Trees State Park! After marveling at their size and properly measuring them around using every member of the gang (that’s what we call teamwork!) they had today to prepare for the back country of Yosemite! They’ll be starting off tomorrow and will probably be out of service for a little bit – so those impressive blog pictures might have to wait until they return to the land of technology!
California Mountains & Coast B (CMC1B): Today is the third and final day in the Yosemite backcountry for these mountaineers. They ended on quite a high note with a challenge day of gaining almost 2000 feet of elevation during the first part of their hike – wowzers! We are on the edge of our seats to see the pictures they’ve accumulated over the past few days – they should be in our hands by tomorrow.
Montana Service Adventure (MSA1): These gracious riders are getting their fill of good karma and climbs today! They left many thanks with their hosts at St. Paul’s and hit the road ready to head out of Helena. They tackled what the locals call “Helena’s Hill” today, and crushed through some crazy Montana sleet for the reward of a beautiful sunny picnic spot!
Northwest Explorer (NWX1): This crew hasn’t been monkeying around in the WA rain forests! They emerged from three days in the lush green haven and have now ferried over to their next destination in Bay View State Park. John and Erinn were glowing about their group and the backcountry when they checked in with us today. These pics are just breathtaking – Its a miracle they didn’t just stay there marveling at their mossy surroundings!
Pacific Coast A (PC1A): The Gold Coast welcomed its newest 14 members this morning as our PC1A crew crossed the border from OR into CA! This afternoon they will be getting in their fill of community service by helping out the Rural Human Services organization. What a lot of accomplishments for this newly inducted Cali crew today!
Pacific Coast B (PC1B): In the words of leaders Lindsay and Spencer, they are “one big hApogee family!” Ha! Today is their challenge day with a whopping 49 miles, but not to worry – they have the Force on their side! They have been sunscreening, hydrating, and hanging with Yoda – their sacred kudos object. These young Padewons are quickly developing into experienced Jedis of the Pacific Coast!!
Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX1): Today the SHXers had a respite from the wet weather and completed a gorgeous day hike down the West Highland way, and had a yummy lunch in the middle of a picturesque sheep pasture. They’re crossing some of the wildest moors on the Way tomorrow!
As per request of these Scotsmen and women, we will begin a short segment called “Where on the Globe is Gabe,” as Gabe (Apogee’s pride and joy of professional photographers) travels the world on Apogee trips. His current location is in Scotland with the highlanders!
Alps Explorer (AX1): Snapping pics and tossing discs – that’s what the AX crew had on the agenda for today (along with provisioning for the start of their 12-day, three-country Tour du Mont Blanc tomorrow)! They are getting ready for the trek with a big food shop and a little Martigny exploration!
Europe Coast to Coast (ECC): Hip hip hurrah to the first day of ECC starting off seamlessly (or mostly seamlessly – we’re still waiting on a missing bag or two…)! Upon arrival to Amsterdam, an obligatory back wheel dip commenced with high hearts and wheels. We’re sure they can’t wait to get the rubber on the road tomorrow for their first ride in Europe together!
America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): What better way to spend hump day then taking the day to sit back and relax! These bikers were super happy with their first rest day of the trip, exclaiming that it’s like Thanksgiving and Christmas all rolled into one! They even invented some clever #hashtags while lounging around and examining their new muscles and tan lines.
America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): These coast-to-coast cruisers took shelter from some Southern showers in a spa! Although they may be missing cucumber slices and avocado face masks, they took the time to break out some card games and tasty snacks to refuel. One more day of riding before their own rest day!