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||When life took a dramatic turn over a decade ago, it was a moment of awakening for Laurie Apgar Chandler. Her first expedition, a solo kayak trip across Maine that she called "Paddle for Hope," raised more than $10,000 for the Maine Children's Cancer Program. Four years later, at age 53, Chandler became the first woman to solo through-paddle the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail, a story chronicled in her inspirational debut memoir, "Upwards." For many years, she has been grateful to call Maine home, treasuring the small moments spent snowshoeing, swimming, or discovering new wildflowers or wildlife just as much as her continuing grand adventures. A former research forester, Chandler currently works in middle school special education. Learn more at laurieachandler.com.
After becoming the first woman to solo thru-paddle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail in 2015, Laurie Apgar Chandler wrote her first book, "Upwards," about that inspirational trip. Finding that she loved the combination of adventuring and writing, Chandler soon embarked on another expedition, setting out in the summer of 2018 to explore Maine's new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. After a short trek across the panoramic peaks of the International Appalachian Trail, she traded her hiking boots for her trusty 13-foot solo canoe. Taking the long way 'round, Chandler followed age-old waterways into the upper watershed of the Penobscot River's East Branch, then descended its wild waters and quiet byways, through the heart of the monument.
Join the author of the newly-released book, "Through Woods & Waters," for a slideshow of her 17-day journey of shared discovery, highlighting the region's ancient geology, rich history, and natural wonders.