Author of new adventure story to sign books Nov. 18 in Damariscotta

Posted:  Thursday, November 9, 2017 - 7:45am

Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop & Café in Damariscotta will host a book signing with Laurie Apgar Chandler, author of “Upwards: The story of the first woman to solo thru-paddle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail,” on Sat., Nov. 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. At this “open house” event, readers can visit with the Bremen writer and learn more about the country’s longest mapped inland paddling trail, which stretches from the Adirondacks to northern Maine. In the summer of 2015, at age 53, Chandler became the first woman to complete the NFCT alone. Since its founding in 2000, only 95 people have made the official thru-paddler list, going the distance in one expedition.

In the book, her first, Chandler weaves the history, wildlife, scenery, and people she encountered into an old-fashioned adventure tale of upstream struggles, thrilling whitewater, escaped convicts, and wild weather. On a deeper level, Upwards is also the story of finding the inner strength and faith to achieve the improbable. This expedition was a stretch for Chandler, whose passion for wilderness paddling blossomed after 40, when she moved to Maine with her two children. After completing “Paddle for Hope,” a 2011 solo kayak journey across Maine, which raised over $10,000 for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, she began to dream much bigger.

“Think about it,” says Gil Gilpatrick, Master Maine Guide and author of “Allagash: A Journey Through Time on Maine’s Legendary Wilderness Waterway.” “740 miles of canoe travel, 150 miles upstream, 67 portages totaling 125 miles. Chandler accomplished this alone in 53 days. After I read ‘Upwards,’ I couldn’t wait to see her again … she certainly earned my admiration and respect.”

This inspiring book, released Oct. 19, contains 10 pages of color photos and would make an excellent gift for outdoor adventurers, solo travelers, nature lovers, or anyone with a dream to follow. Published in cooperation with the small press Maine Authors Publishing of Thomaston, “Upwards” is available at all six Sherman’s locations, including Boothbay Harbor.