Perfect Trifecta

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A good book, hot coffee that my two sons bought for me and this wonderful Überleben Dursten kuksa cup.© Joe Geronimo

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Review: Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove

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It is no secret that I love gear, so when I came across this Uberleben Stoker flatpack stove I knew I had to give it a try. I already own a Solostove Lite which I love. In my opinion you can’t have too many twig stoves.

This afternoon I headed to my local State Park to get it’s fire burning and have some food. Conditions out on the trail aren’t always perfect and today’s weather I feel was a good representative of that. The temperature a balmy 38 degrees in addition to 15-17MPH winds and snow flurries thrown in for good measure. It has been very damp and wet here lately so in order to get the fire going I decided to bring some dryer lint and two small pieces of fat wood and in no time the belly of this beast had come alive.

I filled my pot with 12 ounces of cold water and placed it on top. I continued to feed the fire a steady diet of leaves, twigs and sticks. The one thing I have noticed with these twigs stoves is they are constantly hungry. In these conditions it took 15 minutes for the 12 ounces of water to boil which I felt was reasonable. On a warm day with light wind I’m confident boiling time would be around 8-9 minutes.

I poured the water into a Goodto-Go single serve dehydrated meal (Chicken Gumbo) stirred and sealed and let rehydrate for 15 minutes. I put another 12 ounces of water back into my pot in order to boil for coffee.

The Stove: A little on the heavy side (14.5 ounces with canvas sleeve), this extremely compact and simple 5 panel stove assembles in about a minute or so. The first time I put it together it felt a little clumsy to me and I was skeptical that it would be as sturdy as I have read. All the pieces fit snug together giving it a solid base. This stove is made from heavy duty 304 grade stainless steel which is anti-corrosive.  After I had it assembled I truly liked its feel, solid as a tank. You will have no issue what so ever placing a heavy cast iron skillet or pot on this stove. Another great feature about this product was the large opening to feed the fire and the nicely placed holes for consistent airflow.

What I Liked:

Ease of assembly, compact, large opening to feed the fire, Sturdiness, airflow and lastly the price.

What I Didn’t Like:

A little heavier than I would like and extremely sooty during disassembly.

I believe that the positives outweigh the negatives and highly recommend this compact, affordable twig stove. I hope this review of the Uberleben Stoker Flatpack Stove was helpful and if you have a product that you would like me to review please feel free to contact me.

Cheers!

Compact & flat the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove comes in this nice canvas sleeve. ©Joe Geronimo

All the parts of the very compact easy to assemble Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. © Joe Geronimo

Completely assembled the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove is extremely sturdy. ©Joe Geronimo

 

The belly of the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove is alive with fire. ©Joe Geronimo

 

12 ounces of water working itself to a boil atop of the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. ©Joe Geronimo

 

15 minutes later we have boiling water atop of the Überleben Stöker Flatpack Stove. ©Joe Geronimo

 

Goodto-Go chicken gumbo and a hot cup of coffee on cold and windy winter afternoon. ©Joe Geronimo

Lunch at State Park

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The temperature is a balmy 39 degrees right now with filtered sunshine, a perfect time to head for State Park and enjoy lunch and a hot cup of coffee.

I attempted this on Wednesday but struggled to keep the fire in my twig stove going. Everything has been so damp and wet lately. However today was a success and the embers were glowing with a vibrant autumn orange.

Lastly check my authentic Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympic knit hat….

Cheers!

 

Happy Halloween

Vintage International Art Publishing Company Halloween postcard from around 1917.

The back of this postcard is in rough shape. The stamp has fallen off as well. However it is 101 years old. Postmarked on October 30th 1917 in Chelsea, MA.

Raquette Lake to Blue Mountain Lake an Adirondack Adventure

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For the past year now I have had this desire to paddle across Raquette lake and into the Marion river. Here I would make the flat half mile carry to Utowana lake continuing through Eagle lake and reaching Blue Mountain lake, a total distance of about 14 miles. On Sunday September 30th myself and three other friends did just that.

We arrived at Raquette lake just as the sun was rising and the fog was rolling across the surface of the lake like the stage of a rock concert, however the silence was deafening.  It was a cool 39 degrees as I unstrapped my kayak from the roof of my car. Yes I brought my heavy kayak for this adventure. For some reason I have always been intimidated by the size and notorious winds of Raquette lake. The weather report for the day was calling for 8 MPH winds and I had visions of white caps dancing in my head. With that said I chose poorly and that decision would haunt me a little later in our adventure.

The water was like glass as we set out to cross Raquette lake under the watchful eye of Blue Mountain towering 14 miles in the distance. With only a small navigation snafu we reached the mouth of the Marion river in 3.30 miles according to my GPS. The Marion river was beautiful with its mirrored reflections of autumn beginning to paint the landscape. We twisted and turned up the river several miles before we reached a somewhat large beaver dam. We knew this dam would be here and that we would have to exit our boats in order to get around it. Once we got over the damn it was only another quarter mile or so to the Marion river carry.

This carry from the Marion river to Utowana lake follows the former road bed of the Marion River Railroad. It is only a half mile long and was the world’s shortest railroad. Here is where my kayak would come back to haunt me. Without gear my kayak weighs in a 52 pounds at 14 1/2 feet long. I probably had at least 8 pounds of gear stowed in the boat. So I had the pleasure of carrying 60 pounds on my shoulders for a half mile. A huge departure from my 17 pound canoe…

Once we reached the put in on Utowana lake we were about half way through our journey. In other significance this is where the wind would finally kick up as we paddled our way up through Utowana and into Eagle lake. The entrance from Eagle lake into Blue Mountain lake has two routes that go under bridges and around a small island. Entering Blue Mountain lake we would see the only other paddlers during our trip. From here it was about a mile or so to our take out spot in the hamlet of Blue Mountain Lake.

Once we were off the water and boats loaded I was ready for my long trip back home. As I approached Old Forge I had thought I might want to stop quick at Fulton Chain Craft Brewery. But I was exhausted and just wanted to get home. I made a quick stop to top off the gas tank, grabbed some coffee and kept rolling for home. Not only did I rack up another 425 miles on my car I was part of some great memories with some amazing friends. I look forward to doing it again soon somewhere in the Park.

Cheers!

Pulling into Raquette Lake, NY the sunrise was amazing. This is one of my favorite views in the Adirondack Park. © Joe Geronimo

Starting my day on Raquette lake. © Joe Geronimo

Crossing Raquette lake on our way to the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo

Wayne, Jan & Hugh crossing Raquette lake on our way to the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo

When the autumn colors are just starting to pop you improvise and bring your own. Jan giving a big wave on Raquette lake. © Joe Geronimo

Jan & Hugh on Raquette lake. © Joe Geronimo

Wayne making his way across Raquette lake. © Joe Geronimo

Blue Mountain keeps a watchful eye as Hugh crosses Raquette lake. © Joe Geronimo

Hugh and Jan entering the mouth of the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo

Making my way along the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo

Hugh and I on the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo

Hugh and I on the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo

Hugh and I on the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo

Wayne and I chatting it up on the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo

Wayne & Jan along the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo

This was a cool obstacle along the Marion river. The reflection in the water was amazing. © Joe Geronimo

Wayne & Jan along the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo

Hugh & Wayne getting their boats over the beaver dam. © Joe Geronimo

Wayne assisting Jan getting her boat over the dam. I dragged my heavy kayak around the beaver dam through the mud. © Joe Geronimo

Jan & Hugh carry their canoes between the Marion river and Utowana lake. © Joe Geronimo

Wayne & Mya make their way along the Marion river carry. © Joe Geronimo

On Utowana lake the sun peaked out from behind the clouds for a few minutes. © Joe Geronimo

Wayne paddling up Utowana lake. © Joe Geronimo

Hugh & I paddle up Utowana lake with Blue Mountain looming in the distance. © Joe Geronimo

We’ve gotten a little further up Utowana lake. © Joe Geronimo

Hugh & I along Eagle lake. © Joe Geronimo

I’ve just entered Blue Mountain lake. © Joe Geronimo

Wayne & I on Blue Mountain lake. © Joe Geronimo

Lewey Lake and the Miami River

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I was scheduled to photograph the Palio “Half Marathon & 5K” on Sunday September 16th in Saratoga Springs, NY. Looking at the weather forecast for the weekend not only did I notice it was going to be great weather wise but there was little to no wind forecast as well. I made plans to meet up with a friend on the 15th to paddle in the eastern Adirondacks. I have not spent much time in this side of the park so this would be exciting for me.

September 15th 2018: I pulled out of the Dunking Donuts drive thru here in Endwell at 0530 with 179 miles of driving ahead of me in order to reach Lewey Lake which lies between Speculator and Indian Lake, NY. Once I got off I-88 and went over the hills and through the woods the fog was pretty dense, the curves sharp. And then the Grim Reaper himself loomed in the distance. An 18 wheeler lumbering up, down and around for the next 40 miles with no place to pass. I finally arrived at the Lewey Lake campground at 0845 as the sun had begun to burn off a good portion of the fog. Shortly after my friend Linda would arrive from Saratoga Springs. As fate would have it the boys and I had camping reservations at Lewey Lake this past August. However we had to cancel due to their working schedule.

By this time most of the fog had burned off and the skies were a brilliant blue complimented by marshmallow clouds. Linda and I were paddling along the shoreline of the lake making our way to the south end and the entrance to the Miami river. Once onto the river we encountered two low beaver dams that were easily paddled over. I loved how the Miami twisted and turned. We made it just over a mile before encountering a very large beaver dam. It spanned the entire river I’d say about 30-40 feet and at least 4 foot tall as well. Linda and I decided not to attempt to get around it and slowly made our way back into Lewey lake continuing to navigate its entire shoreline.

This was a fun day paddle and to be honest if I was a little more prepared I would have thought to hit Thirteenth lake as I made my way across the Park towards Warrensburg. However it was getting close to Beer O’ Clock and the Northway Brewery in Queensbury was calling our names. As luck would have it the brewery was literally right next door to my hotel for the evening.

As the nights and days slowly turn cooler and the leaves begin to shed their greens for the reds, oranges and yellows of Autumn I hope to return at least once this season.

Cheers!

Start of the day at Lewey Lake in Indian Lake, NY, © Joe Geronimo.

The sun begins to burn the fog off of Lewey lake in Indian Lake, NY, © Joe Geronimo

Linda MacFarland and I make our way around Lewy lake in Indian Lake, NY. © Joe Geronimo

Linda MacFarland on Lewey lake in Indian Lake, NY, ©Joe Geronimo.

The mirrored waters of Lewey lake Indian Lake, NY, © Joe Geronimo

Along the Miami river near Indian Lake, NY, © Joe Geronimo

Linda MacFarland along the Miami river near Indian Lake, NY, © Joe Geronimo

Linda MacFarland paddling over one of two small beaver dams on the Miami river near Indian Lake, NY. © Joe Geronimo

This female Mallard was a hoot. She followed me for quite a while along the Miami river near Indian Lake, NY. © Joe Geronimo

Making our way towards Lewey lake as another canoe has entered the Miami river near Indian Lake, NY. © Joe Geronimo

Linda MacFarland attempts to lens a Blue Heron along Lewey lake Indian Lake, NY. © Joe Geronimo

A 1973 Volkswagen van sits in the parking area of the Lewey lake campground Indian Lake, NY. © Joe Geronimo

Here is a link to a short video of that large beaver dam along the Miami river. https://youtu.be/ir9S6jILB0k