Meet Laurie


Our family daydreamed about moving to Maine forever. Then, in 2003, we did it! My two children and I began a new chapter in life, in a log cabin in the Maine woods, near the coast. I changed careers from forestry research to special education, got married again, and discovered a new passion.

On our honeymoon in 2005, my husband Chris took me to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and I fell in love again ~ with the serenity and serendipity of the river. The voice of loons deep in the night, the fir-scented wonder of misty mornings, and a sense of true belonging that surprised me. I cried when we had to come home.

Tragically, I lost Chris in 2009. My father had given me a kayak for Christmas and I began to paddle alone. In 2011, a trip I called Paddle for Hope took me across Maine on part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, raising $10,600 for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program.

Soon, I was contemplating a solo thru-paddle of the entire NFCT, including the more difficult first half, which begins in the Adirondacks. Upwards, the story of my 2015 thru-paddle, is my first book. I’ve discovered that writing and publishing is just as challenging and rewarding as paddling 740 miles unassisted!

Maine is still my year-round home, but now I share my parents’ log cabin. As often as I can, I visit my children in Virginia, where Megan and her boyfriend Jacob are both graphic designers and Taylor is a firefighter. My faith and my church are my foundation, and I get outdoors as much as I can, summer and winter ~ swimming, canoeing, hiking, and snowshoeing.


100th birthday party

Since last summer, I’ve visited Honduras and seven new countries: Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland, the U.K., and Costa Rica. A special blessing has been meeting the young people whom I sponsor through Unbound, Fredy in Honduras and Dixie in Costa Rica. Simplifying my life has given me the time, money, and energy to follow my heart and pursue my dreams.

Laurie on Delft canal

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