Day 7: Red, White, and aBluegee

Happy 4th of July from Apogee HQ to our dedicated fan base! We hope your day was filled with bbq, watermelon, fireworks, and all things red, white, and blue. As the voice of the young generation, Miley Cyrus, once said: “It’s a party in the USA!” Cyrus’ prolific statement certainly rings true today for our Apo groups who celebrated the holiday from sea to shining sea (and for some, on the other side of the Atlantic) in ways that would make George Washington proud.


Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

223 years ago the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War was fought off the Maine coast near the town of Machias. On this date in history, more specifically this morning, the MCJ machine said “sayonara!” to Acadia following a short hike in the park. The gang has moved back towards Freeport, ME for a evening’s worth of patriotic activities.

Red (strawberry) white (whipped cream) and blue(berry) pancakes for breaky!
Tide pools are cool!

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

Our CI kiddos started their July 4th festivities early with a yummy bbq to wrap up their final night on Nantucket. This morning, from Nantucket to Hyannis our CI kiddos sailed, making an epic voyage from island to mainland on a shining sea. After switching back to their normal mode of transportation, the group biked their final 16 miles to camp. Way to go CI!

The most scenic of parking lots.

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

One if by land, and two if by sea, isn’t NEMC the best trip there can be? These courageous trailblazers would have made our founders proud on this day, seizing the day early and continuing their exploration of New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

New England Mountains & Coast B (NEMCB)

Check out these “kids in America!” Or, more specifically, photos of these NEMCB kiddos climbing up Mt. Pierce for another day of exploration in the White Mountains. No “dirty old window” here; just endless greenery to admire on wooden foot bridges. Congrats on summiting Mt. Pierce!

Summit of Mt. Pierce. Radical dudes!

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains A (CRMA)

As all experienced hikers will tell you, balloons are an incredibly helpful piece of equipment to have in hand when you take to the mountains. Sporting American flags and carrying a USA balloon in tow, our CRMA rockstars took on their challenge day in stride, crushing the vertical and the miles, and experiencing some of the best views of the trip in Estes Park.

Jump for USA joy!
Hiking balloons can be purchased at your local outdoor outfitter.

Caribbean Service (CS)

Team CS started off their day with patriotic pancakes before heading out to volunteer with Reach For Success where they had the opportunity to meet and hang out with some kids from the island community of Vieques. A morning well spent, followed by an afternoon exploring Vieques makes for another great day in Puerto Rico. Hey team – maybe some American pie for dessert?  

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

In preparation for America’s birthday, team MCCE picked up some party outfits (pictured below). Looking chic and trendy, our writers paid a visit to Reid State Park and then completed their college essay drafts. Sounds like a patriotic AND productive day! Write on, MCCE, write on.

Strike a pose. Fancy clothes.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

July 4th brought 4 peaks before noon for our DEXA squad!! Our explorers reached the summit of not one, not two, not three, but four peaks in Acadia National Park this morning. WOWZA! Makes for some good preparation for their upcoming trek into the backcountry.

1st peak
2nd peak.
3rd peak.
Unsure, but think it’s the 4th peak.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

Further into the backcountry they go! In patriotic fashion DEXB is fully revolutionizing (get it?) team spirit on the AT, crushing a 7+ mile hike en route to their brookside campsite. Today marks the final night of DEXB’s two-night, three-day backcountry stint, and we here in the office are excited to see which group member will emerge from the Maine wilderness with the thickest beard upon tomorrow’s exit hike.

Vermont to Montréal A (VMA)

Oh you thought the VMA-ers couldn’t get any cooler after biking more than 50 miles northward through Vermont in just three days? Not only did this classy group put down more miles on their bikes this morning, they also got wet and wild via sea kayak this afternoon in the cool waters of Lake Champlain. Whether they are crossing borders, riding waves, or zooming through green pastures, team VMA continues to secure their place in the Apogee history books.

They see me rollin.
They bought all the bacon. Must be a rest-day breakfast on the horizon.

Vermont to Montréal B (VMB)

Talk about putting the BURN in Shelburne, am I right? Liam and Tess’ troop beat the heat this afternoon as they zipped further north to shore of Lake Champlain. Little known historical fact: Centuries ago when the British and American forces met on Vermont’s largest lake, the two sides paused battle and ate an entire stick of pepperoni and half a block of cheese together in honor of the Apogee groups that would be camping in the area in the years to come.

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

Our CRLS group spent their morning on a sloth walk, searching high and low for the fuzzy creatures. No reported sloth sightings, but leader Eliza assured us that the walk was still enjoyable. After saying “adios” to Turrialba, team CRLS then travelled to Manuel Antonio, where they will be spending the next few days in the amazing animal kingdom. Beautiful views of the Pacific, but sloth sightings still remain at zero. (Insert sloth pun suggesting that CRLS “hang in there”).

Just hanging out.

Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

1 if by land, 2 if by sea, 3 if by shuttle to San Gerardo – a sleepy village in the shadow of Costa Rica’s tallest mountain, Chirripo! Our CRMC squad arrived in San Gerardo today, excitement brewing for their hiking around Chirripo in the days ahead. Chirripo, whose name means ‘land of eternal waters’ for the many lakes and streams around the mountain, stands at 3,820 meters tall.

Another picture of hammocks in Costa Rica

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

It was another day spent under the magical monoliths of Yosemite National Park for CMCA. Although the east coast may be the home of the American Revolution, we’d all certainly be remiss if we did not take a second to give thanks to the goods California has provided over the years, including but not limited to redwood trees, Tom Hanks, and In-N-Out Burger.

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

Yosemi-please can we join you on your amazing trip? After another majestic day hike in one of America’s most visited natural spaces, CMCB spent their afternoon prepping for their coming backcountry adventure in the park. Though they may be thousands of miles from the Apogee office, we are sending our reddest, whitest, and bluest vibes to our group of California explorers.

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

Olympic National Park: Where the trees are as big as our love for the outdoors! Today was the final day in the backcountry for the NWXA unit as they traded the shade of the towering cedar trees for a temperate campsite on Washington’s spectacular Padilla Bay. A short hike out of the backcountry was followed by a ferry across the celestial Puget Sound en route to the group’s campsite. Clark and Addie’s team is looking forward to a night of rest before a day of rafting tomorrow.

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

NWXB’s second day in the backcountry featured a short stretch on the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,659 mile trek running from southern California to the Canadian border. Another 5+ mile hike in the Cascade range featured panoramic vistas, glistening glaciers, and peaceful solitude for Emma and Nick’s adventurous bunch.

Pacific Coast (PCA)

Team PCA is celebrating red, white, and blue style in the Golden State. With their American flags riding in the wind, Jessie and Carter’s crew of bikers crossed into California today! After crushing 30 miles, the group settled in for a relaxing night in preparation for “surfin’ USA” tomorrow.

Pacific Coast (PCB)

PCB is dinoSOARing on their bikes! For PCB, nothing says celebrating July 4th more than a 50 mile bike ride down the coast of Oregon. Team PCB was up to the challenge of a daily millage increase, and pedaled for the medal to Brookings, Oregon. Tonight is their last night in Oregon. Hey PCB, get ready to cruise by the “Welcome to California” sign tomorrow!

Pyrenees Mountains & Coast (PMC)

The final day of trekking through Spain comes to an end for our PMC squad, and it’s on to France tomorrow morning. PMC completed 14km, which translates nicely to 8.6992 miles, and the team is nestled in for a final night in the beautiful Spanish Pyrenees. “Adios” to Spain, and “Bonjour” to France!

Alps Explorer (AXA)

The Tour Du Mont Blanc excitement is building!! From Fiesch to Martigny our Alps explorers travelled, enjoying Alpine views by train this time. In Martigny, the squad spent the day relaxing and preparing to start their TMB trek tomorrow. Laundry was done, pancakes were consumed, and laughs were had – looks like they’re all set to go!

Alps Explorer (AXB)

TM-Beautiful! Nothing better than a day full of packs, peaks, and pals in the French Alps. In fact, is it any coincidence that ALPS and PALS share all of the same letters? I think not! The border-breaking squad enjoyed a short hike to La Flegere, France this afternoon and we wish them the best on their epic journey.

Europe Coast to Coast (ECC)

A rest day in Bruges, leader Jen’s birthday, AND July 4th all on one day! Sounds like ECC had a lot to celebrate in the lovely canal city of Bruges, often called “the Venice of the North.” Belgian lace, Belgian chocolate, and Belgian fries can all be found on the cobble streets of the medieval city, and here in the Aposphere we hope the ECC group got to check – and taste! – some of it out.

When you see it…
Ohhh, now we get it.


America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

Homeeeeee, home on the range, LaGrange, GA – which was the final destination for ACC1 this evening. After crushing a whopping 73 miles, team ACC1 cruised into camp for the night. And the best of holiday presents – a rest day for tomorrow! One week in and it is time to give those biking legs a break.

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

This July 4th, ACC2 has done something simply revolutionary. For the third day in a row, our riders cruised into camp before noon. You guys are making this whole ride your bike cross country thing look a little too easy. The scenic tour of Georgia continues onto Forsyth tomorrow. Stay tuned to see if they keep up their early arrival streak!