Laurie Chandler’s amazing hiking and paddling adventure

Through Woods & Waters by Laurie Apgar Chandler tells us all about her amazing adventures hiking and paddling through Maine’s north woods, including the national monument just west and north of Baxter Park.

I spent time in a lot of the places Laurie hiked, and I fished in a lot of the waters she paddled, so her book brought back many great memories.

Many of Laurie’s hikes and paddles were difficult, and I really give her a lot of credit for never giving up. Yup, she’s tough! She especially experienced some tough paddles through rapids and rocks in many places.

I remember the first time I fished the East Branch, being amazed by all the rock formations in the river.

I also loved her photos, including one of the waterfall called Grand Pitch on the East Branch of the Penobscot River. It’s a magnificent 20 foot drop, and a place where I caught a lot of brook trout just below the falls. Laurie picked wild blueberries there, and I did too.

I also enjoyed the history she shared of the places she hiked and paddled, and all the wildlife she saw. But the very best part of the book is her amazing adventures, and all the difficulties she experienced and overcame.

Laurie explains her adventures well at the end of the book: “What an adventure it had been! I had accomplished what I set out to do and done it well enough. The gifts of nature had come, often with an air of serendipity, and I had paused to appreciate them. I had fellowshipped with wild creatures and the people of the past, seen anew the intricacy and drama of God’s creation, and tested my strength, endurance, and resiliency. I had breathed deeply and renewed my soul in hidden corners that few will ever see. It had been a good visit home.”

It sure was.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.