Paddling the North Woods



BAR HARBOR — Laurie Apgar Chandler will speak about her book “Upwards: The Story of the First Woman to Solo Thru-Paddle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail” Saturday, Oct. 6 at 1:30 p.m. at the Jesup Memorial Library.

At 53, Chandler broke ground, so to speak, in paddling across the forests of the Northeast. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) crosses New York, Vermont, part of Quebec, New Hampshire and Maine.

The trail covers 740 miles of canoe travel, 150 miles of which are upstream, and there are 67 portages that cover an additional 125 miles. In “Upwards,” Chandler tells the story of her 53 days completing the journey, including miles struggling upstream and racing down flooded rivers churning with whitewater. She also shares the story of finding an inner strength to complete this improbable journey.

Karrie Thomas, Executive Director of the NFCT, writes “I was hooked in the first chapter. Chandler’s writing is compelling, and I felt a kindred spirit with her as she expressed deep inspiration and connection with the experience of being on the water.”

Chandler began paddling when she moved to Maine in 2003. Her first experience on the NFCT was the “Paddle for Hope” a solo journey across the Maine part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail that raised $10,600 for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program. Before long, she was contemplating a solo thru-paddle of the entire trail. Chandler lives in Bremen, Maine, where she works with middle school students as an educational technician. She frequently speaks and writes about the NFCT and her adventures. “Upwards” is her first book.

This talk is part of Age By Design, a series of programs co-sponsored by the Jesup Memorial Library, the YWCA, the YMCA, and Island Connections, focusing on all facets of life for people ages 50 and over.

Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or athomas@jesuplibrary.org.

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