My Thoughts: Book Review “A Journey through New England history, Paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

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image.jpgI’m not a voracious reader like my wife but I do enjoy the occasional book from time to time. I just finished reading Paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail “A journey through New England history” by Sam Brakeley.

Sam and his close friend Andy set out on the 740 mile adventure in 2009 taking 39 days for them to complete. As you may or may not know I have a passion for the NFCT myself. Although I have only paddled small pieces of it.

This book captured my sense of adventure and my passion for the outdoors. I really enjoyed reading about Sam and Andy’s interactions with others along the trail, just as much as their trials and tribulations.  The Dead River section in Maine did not sound like fun to me, that is just me. One Aspect of this book that caught my anttention was the hospitality, generosity and kindness of strangers and town folk showed all through their journey.  Whether I’m out paddling, hiking or running I always relish people I meet or even friendships that blossom from those meetings.

All in all I really enjoyed this book and as Sam and Andy approached Fort Kent, ME ending their adventure, my adventure ended as well.

Cheers

 

 

 

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Springing with Anticipation

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This morning I was going through some of my paddling files and discovered a video clip I shot while in the Adirondacks back in September of 2017. In reality I’m not really a video guy so this is a a rarity for me. On this particular day I find myself on the stunning Boreas Ponds near Newcomb, NY listening to the call of the Loon. Their call can be haunting and yet equally soothing. It can offer a sense of peace, solitude and self reflection as well.

It’s Spring or at least it is on the calendar. Looking out my office window at the snowflakes and thermometer they both tell a different story. As another paddling season rapidly approaches I look forward to more adventures out on the water.

Cheers!

Another Year Another Parade Day Mile

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Belmar Parade Day Mile, Binghamton, NY March 3rd 2018. Photo by: Patti Loves Bing..

Belmar Parade Day Mile, Binghamton, NY March 3rd 2018. Photo by: Confluence Running

The Parade Day Mile wasn’t as cold as last year however the wind definitely made up for it. Coming off a foot injury that had me sidelined for a month I was really happy with my time. Official race results had me second place in the “Open Race” with a 6:24. I’m excited just to be back running!

As expected this was a really fun event and enjoyed the beer and food afterwards with some great friends. However I did miss not running this race with my son. Here is to hoping we will do it together next year!

Cheers!

Learning to Curl

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For several years now my wife has wanted to try her hand at curling and with the excitement of the upcoming Winter Olympics we decided to give it a go.

I found a place about an hour from home that had a “Learn to Curl” session so I registered us along with our friends Bill and Jamie. Watching curling on TV made it look really easy. We quickly found out there was a little more to it. For me it was getting used to the feel of the ice at first. Then the slipperiness of your one foot that had the teflon under it so it would glide.

We had a really fun time with curling and plan to return for more lessons and hopefully get a little better at it each time.

 

Cheers!

 

Our Winter Landscape

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This afternoon I was able to get out for a short hike with my fine fury friend. Ruff loves the cold weather and snow. Heck he’d just assume sit in a snow bank all day.

Under sunny skies, a 4 degree temperature and a wind making it feel sub zero we headed to Nanticoke lake for our little adventure. Once we arrived I noticed there was more snow out there than here at home. But a lot of it seemed to be drifting. We made our way to the lake and met two guys ice fishing. I asked if they knew how thick the ice was and they said about 10-12 inches. It felt weird walking on a lake that I routinely paddle. Ruff was in dog heaven! It was cold, there was snow, other humans and the sniffs were abundant.

Our winter landscape can be beautiful if not stunning, I was in my glory as well.

 

Cheers!

Ruff taking in all there is to sniff at Nanticoke lake January 7th 2018. © Joe Geronimo

Ice fishing on Nanticoke lake January 7th 2018. © Joe Geronimo

Ruff loving Nanticoke lake January 7th 2018. © Joe Geronimo

Ruff & I Nanticoke lake January 7th 2018. © Joe Geronimo

Autumn Sunrise

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I’m sure by now you are pretty tired of hearing about me paddling Nanticoke lake. I’ve written about it many times before and shared many images from my adventures there as well. However as I race against Mother Nature in my final attempts to keep my paddling season going I ventured to none other than Nanticoke lake this morning.

I arrived under darkness, exiting my car peering upward towards the heavens. The unpolluted night sky was alive with the moon, stars, clouds and I believe Venus. I rubbed my hands together with excitement and commented to my friend Don “I think we have the makings of a beautiful sunrise”. Don whole heartily agreed and we carried our canoes to the lake. The narrow beam from my headlamp pierced the darkness and I could feel the the damp grass beneath my feet with every step.

Don and I set out to watch the show as our paddles dipped in and out of the water whispering an elegant song. As we sat in the middle of the lake the cloud cover began to thicken and I said to Don “I think we’re going to get skunked on our sunrise”. Don laughed, shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t think so. I placed my paddle in the water, turned my canoe in order to investigate a playful beaver who was splashing a little closer to the shore. All of a sudden I could see the skies reflection in the water turn to pink, orange and blue. Another dip of the paddle, my canoe turned and I was laying witness to a blazing fire in the sky.

Cheers!

Sunrise Nanticoke Lake Lisle NY October 25th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Sunrise Nanticoke Lake Lisle NY October 25th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Sunrise Nanticoke Lake Lisle NY October 25th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Don & I on Nanticoke lake October 25th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

The Last Hurrah

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Today I’m billing as the “Last Hurrah” for paddling in the Adirondacks until next year. I was fortunate enough to be able to meet three new friends who share my passion for the park.

We all met at 0930 this morning near Old Forge. Making our introductions, we were off to the put-in just south of Rondaxe lake. Gear unloaded we shuttled our cars to the take out returning shortly there after to begin our adventure. The upper middle branch of the Moose river twists like a snake but is a beautiful scenic and tranquil flat water paddle. There is quite a bit of “Blow Down” along this section adding that little extra to the day’s navigation.

The weather was pretty much perfect with some wind whipping us a round a little but we were mostly sheltered in the low lying river. Early on a flotilla of ducks kept a watchful eye on us making sure we weren’t sketchy characters. There were several sandy beaches along the way and we found a really large one to take a break and have some snacks.

Balsm could be smelt wafting through the air and if the large pines that stood guard along the river bank could talk I’m sure they would tell you that four new friends had a wonderful time.

Cheers,

Getting ready to launch, Moose river Old Forge, NY October 19th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Danielle Wright, Kathy Corey & Jan Fellenz Moose river Old Forge, NY October 19th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Danielle Wright Moose river Old Forge, NY October 19th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Our duck patrol has given us the ok to proceed along the Moose river Old Forge, NY October 19th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Kathy Corey & Jan Fellenz along the Moose river Old Forge, NY October 19th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Danielle Wright & Jan Fellenz along the Moose river Old Forge, NY October 19th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Taking a break along the Moose river Old Forge, NY October 19th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Kathy Corey along the Moose river Old Forge, NY October 19th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Danielle Wright takes in the tranquility of the Moose river Old Forge, NY October 19th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Jan Fellenz & Kathy Corey chatter as they enjoy the afternoon along the Moose river Old Forge, NY October 19th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Our adventure on the Moose river has come to an end at the North St. take out Old Forge, NY October 19th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Paddling the Park

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Have you ever had an adventure although small it just packs a punch? Or better yet fills your shoes with mud. Today was that day for me. I got out of work super early and rolled north to Inlet, NY.

First on my agenda would be Eighth lake adding yet another piece to my Northern Forest Canoe Trail puzzle. Today’s weather was wonderful with a light breeze rolling up the lake. I have now completed the first 20 miles of the NFCT from Old Forge, NY to Raquette Lake, NY and I am very excited. Except for one other person I had the lake to myself. I explored the primitive lean-to on the only island on Eighth lake and thought to myself that has to be a very popular camping spot during the summer. The crystal clear water and sandy shorelines make this a prime spot for swimming. You know my wheels or better yet paddles are turning for 2018.

My next adventure for the day would take me to the shores of Sis & Bubb lakes in Eagle Bay. Julie, myself and the boys were just here over the Columbus Day weekend as we hiked to the lakes from the Moss lake trailhead. While hiking I began to brainstorm about returning with canoe in hand hopefully before the weather turned.

Today I returned and here is where things get a bit muddy. First in order to get to the lakes I would have to carry my canoe in from the trailhead parking lot a half mile to Bubb lake. There were some sections along the trail that were muddy as I did my best to avoid what I could. I arrived first at Bubb lake and immediately noticed someone has stashed a canoe along the shore. I was able to easily get on the water exploring the 45 acre lake. There is a short portage from Bubb lake to Sis lake and I learned it is quite muddy. Before exiting my canoe I tested the density of the mud with my paddle. Hmm looks like only a few inches, no problem. Well when I stepped out of the boat my feet sank about a foot into the mud filling my shoes. Once I freed my feet they were extremely slippery making navigating the rocks difficult. I persevered and carried my canoe the 100 yards to Sis lake. I have to say this was my favorite of the two. Even though Sis lake is smaller there was something about it that just intrigued me. Maybe it was the pattern of the rocks that dotted its shoreline, the tall pines reaching for the sky, or the crystal clear shallow water? No matter it was my favorite. Hugging the shoreline and trying to stay away from the wind I was hoping in the back of my mind that I might see an Adirondack moose.

Once off the water I packed up and would have to carry back to my car 1.2 miles. I signed out at the trail register loaded up my gear and headed straight to the Sreamin Eagle in Inlet, NY for a beer. With 50 beers on tap it was a tough choice. However I went with the Alchemist “Focal Banger” albeit in a can… This would be my first time trying this brew and I’ll have to admit it was pretty darn good.

Cheers!

Starting out on 8th lake Inlet, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Along the north end of 8th lake Inlet, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Straight ahead starts the 1.3 mile carry to Browns Tract Inlet along the Northern Forest Canoe Trail Inlet, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Making my way back south along 8th lake Inlet, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Just finished up paddling 8th lake Inlet, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

The wind calms down a bit along 8th lake Inlet, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Beginning my adventure to Sis & Bubb lake Eagle Bay, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geroimo

Along the trail to Sis & Bubb lake Eagle Bay, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Bubb lake Eagle Bay, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Bubb lake Eagle Bay, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Sis lake Eagle Bay, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Sis lake Eagle Bay, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Sis lake Eagle Bay, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Sis lake Eagle Bay, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Finished with the days adventure I am all signed out at the trailhead register Eagle Bay, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

 

I closed my day with this beautiful sunset along Fourth lake Inlet, NY October 18th 2017. © Joe Geronimo