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“Upwards” Author Shares Adventure with Bristol Area Lions Club 09/19/2018

Posted by DS in club business.

northern trail

On Monday, Sept.17, Laurie Apgar Chandler of Bremen, spoke about her 740-mile long paddle of the Northern Forest Trail to the Bristol Area Lions Club. Chandler holds degrees in Biology and Forestry from Albright College and Duke University and worked for many years as a research forester. 

Her love for wilderness paddling in a kayak blossomed at age 40 when she moved to Maine with her two children. In 2011, she made her first long distance trip as a fundraiser and called it “Paddle for Hope” when she paddled across Maine.     

In 2015, she was the first female to solo thru-paddle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail stretching from Old Forge, New York to Fort Kent, Maine at age 53. The trip took 53 days, including one day of rest, with a short portion going into Quebec and back into Vermont. The trail was mostly upstream until it entered Maine. 

At one-point Chandler capsized and her canoe was caught in a strainer, in this case a tree lying in the river. This was the only point along the trail where she nearly had to abandon her trek.  Luckily with a lot of effort and some prayer she was able to free the canoe. 

Asked if she ever got lonely, she admitted that at times she did, but the natural beauty around her and the friends she made along the way greatly outweighed any occasional loneliness that she felt. Chandler tells the whole story in her book “Upwards” available at Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop.

At the business meeting that followed the club voted to go to only one meeting a month. The first Monday, unless it is a holiday and then it will be the third Monday. 

The next Bristol Area Lions Club meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 1 at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. The speaker will be Garrett Martin, executive director of Maine Center for Economic Policy.  To make dinner reservations for that meeting, call John Janell at 563-7402. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 677-2584.


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