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SPOTLIGHT  By Sharman Andersen

QUINTESSENTIAL NEW ENGLAND

Photo: Greta Rybus

On its way from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, the Appalachian Trail passes within seven miles of Ecopelagicon, an outdoor gear and equipment store that sits on Haley Pond in Rangeley, Maine.

Ecopelagicon is owned and run by Linda (Bailey) Dexter ’82, MBA’85. “We carry all the basics for outdoor living, such as hiking and camping supplies,” says Dexter. But the store has something for everyone who enjoys nature, from books to balsam-filled pillows.

Located in an old wood-turning mill, Ecopelagicon also sells and rents canoes and kayaks, and Dexter works with registered guides to help those unfamiliar with the area. During the winter, snowshoes are in demand, along with warm socks and gloves. When the pond freezes over, Dexter lends out ice skates, all donated to her store, and in the small town park next door, she sells coffee and hot chocolate while neighboring businesses sponsor a fire for roasting marshmallows and hot dogs. “It’s very Norman Rockwell,” she says, “to see the skaters on the pond.”

The summer months are the busiest for Ecopelagicon. And as the weather warms up, increasing numbers of hikers from the Appalachian Trail stop by to restock their backpacks. “If I have the chance, I’ll give them a ride back to the trail,” says Dexter.

For more information, visit ecopelagicon.com. For more photos, see A Store for All Seasons.

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