LOCALadk Magazine

Local ADK Fall 2018

LOCALadk Magazine

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68 Fall 2018 LOCALadk Magazine LOCALadk L A K E P L A C I D | N E W Y O R K EXPERIENCE OUTDOORS Z I P LINING T E A M BUILDING GUIDE SERVICES 5 1 8 - 5 2 4 - 7 9 4 4 EXPERIENCEADKOUTDOORS.COM Book Shelf: Review by JT Hall Midway through her epic journey, Laurie Apgar Chandler paused to reflect on the is- sues at hand. "I would embrace the philos- ophy of common sense," she mused in her memoir, Upwards, "of doing what worked to travel in the simplest manner possible. At face value she is talking about what she carried, the stuff that would fit in her dimin- utive canoe for her 53-day journey. It's not hard to imagine, however, that Chandler's commitment to simplicity also suggests larg- er, underlying priorities. A woman of unassuming stature, Chandler was on her way up the Northern Forest Ca- noe Trail, the longest continuous canoe trail in the U.S. It begins in Old Forge, NY and ter- minates in Fort Kent, Maine. Carried by her buoyant prose, Upwards flows easily along this patchwork of rivers, lakes, and portages. Traveling 740 miles total—125 miles of por- tages, 150 miles upstream— Chandler keeps careful track of the geography, weather, scener y, and the redundant challenges of ex- tended wilderness travel. Equally important, Chandler's narrative frequently spills over the banks and berms of her odyssey to explore the adjacent histo- r y and culture she encounters. And there is help along the way from supportive "angels," enabling her in her quest to become the first woman to thru-paddle the NFCT solo. And there are undercurrents of faith and the spir- it of her late husband to stay her resolve, and the traditions of earlier wilderness travelers and their obser vations— George Washington Sears, aka "Nessmuk," in the Adirondacks and Henr y Withee and Henr y David Thoreau in the Allagash in Maine —as inspirations. And although much of the journey takes place in other states—Vermont, New Hamp- shire, Maine and even Quebec— Upwards has deser vedly earned a space on the shelf of Adirondack literature, somewhere between Nessmuk and Anne LaBastille. More impor- tantly, for the author at least, Chandler has succeeded in writing "the kind of book that I would want to read." Upwards by Laurie Apgar Chandler

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