St. Regis Canoe Area of the Adirondacks…

Earlier this month myself and friend Gary Sharp spent several days camping at the Rollins Pond campground outside of Tupper Lake, NY. That morning as I left my home a light rain was falling however the further north I drove the rain began to dissipate. Over the next several days we were rewarded with blue skies and lots of sunshine. Temperatures would barely top 80 degrees and most importantly little to no bugs. September and October are my two favorite months of the year.

One of those days we would meet up with our friend Kim Wilkes and her pooch “Winnie” for an afternoon pond hopping adventure in the St. Regis Canoe Area of the Adirondacks. I’ve paddled and camped on these ponds before but they never get old.

The weather was sunny and warm with just a slight breeze if any. The water was refreshing and perfect for an afternoon swim. Below is a link to a video from the day.

Cheers!

Greetings from the Adirondacks!

It has been a while since I have last written but that does not mean I haven’t been busy. Seemingly time has flown by since the last flakes of winter melted into the greens of spring. As for paddling that has been somewhat quiet this year but back in July I was able to sneak away for an overnight canoe camping adventure in the Adirondacks with my friend Scott. We found this amazing campsite and pitched our tents for the night, the weather was absolutely perfect. During the overnight temperatures got down into the low 40’s which for me is perfect sleeping weather, I even brought wool socks. This was a relaxing adventure and just what the doctor ordered. Chef Ireland cooked some amazing steaks over the fire, we sipped a little Bearface whiskey and enjoyed a few New York State beers as well.

I’m headed for another Adirondack adventure next week as we head into two of my favorite months September and October.

In the essence of #tbt for your viewing pleasure is the video from my Youtube channel of this overnight canoe camping trip. As time allows I will post/write about other adventures that I have documented either in the past or current. I hope you all have enjoyed the summer as we inch closer to fall.

Cheers!

Happy New Year

It was back in 2012 that I spied an Old Town Pack canoe sitting on top of a shed in someones’ backyard as we would pass by it every day at work. Fast forward to 2013 and it had not moved in a year so I stopped and knocked on the door. After chatting with the gentleman for a little he sold me the canoe and that started my love affair with light weight solo canoes.

I loved this boat at 12 feet long and only weighing 33 pounds it was easily handled on and off the water. However my curiosity into lighter, quicker canoes was starting to peak. In 2015 I test paddled several brands of ultra light weight carbon/kevlar pack canoes made by Hornbeck, Adirondack Canoe Company, Slipstream Watercraft and Swift. I eventually purchased a Hornbeck “New Tricks” 12. This boat was 12 feet long, very narrow and only weighed 18 pounds and was extremely quick on the water, I was in love. Once I took delivery of this new boat I thought to myself I’ll never use the Old Town again so I sold it. I have regretted that decision ever since.

I currently own 5 canoes and back in mid November a Craigslist add popped up for an Old Town Pack canoe for sale, as luck would have it literally 10 minutes from my home. Now in today’s market this canoe is hot since Old Town stopped making it several years ago. It is affordable, light weight and pretty much bullet proof. It is made from a material called Royalex which isn’t produced anymore as well. If you didn’t jump on this it would be gone in an instant. I emailed the seller and picked it up the next day.

The weather and my schedule did not permit me a chance to get it out on the water until recently. I ventured out on a foggy but warm December 31st here in the Southern Tier of New York for a little while. The lake I went to was half covered with a thin sheet of ice but the rest was open. I spent an hour just enjoying the new boat and the calm and I was literally in shock that it was so warm this late in the year.

Below you’ll find several images of my Old Town canoe and a recent video from my outing on New Years Eve. I wish you all a Happy & Healthy New Year.

Cheers!

Paddling my Old Town Pack Canoe on a remote New Hampshire pond in October 2014. Image © Ian Clark.
Northern New Hampshire near the Canadian border Image ©Joe Geronimo
Old Town Pack Canoe Purchased in November 2021. Image © Joe Geronimo.
Old Town Pack Canoe Purchased in November 2021. Image © Joe Geronimo.
It is December 31st 2021 and I finally got my Old Town Pack Canoe out on the water. Video and images © Joe Geronimo

New Canoe Day!

September 9th 2021: Just coming off an overnight canoe camping trip to a lean-to in the St. Regis Canoe Area of New York’s Adirondack mountains (https://youtu.be/JeK0CwD7YKA) it was “New Canoe Day” for me. Earlier in the year I had ordered a Northstar Canoes “Northwind Solo” in the starlite layup. It was delivered to Raquette River Outfitters in Tupper Lake, NY in late August.

After picking up my canoe almost immediately I hit a small pond outside of Lake Placid, NY to get some time in my Northstar “Northwind Solo”. Later the same day I took it on a small section of the Chubb River also in Lake Placid where I tried to paddle over a beaver dam, I was successful! The next day I would spend some time paddling the canoe on the same pond but this time loaded with about 60#’s of gear. To date I have yet to take it on an extended trip. Although I am currently thinking I’ll be bringing it with me on my trip to Algonquin Park next summer.

My thoughts: The canoe is a dream to paddle, I love it. The tumblehome is great, it tracks amazingly, the glide is phenomenal, I just love how it handles and how it feels. The boats construction is solid and rigid. This canoe in my personal opinion is pretty much a do it all canoe, one of the best solo canoes I’ve paddled.

Why I opted for the starlite layup: #1. Cost #2. Ease of maintenance #3. Weight

My only complaint: The “Plastic” decks or end caps, they look cheap.

Northstar Northwind Solo specs: 15’6” Length 30” Max width, 26.5” at the 3” waterline and gunwale 17” Bow Height, 12” center height, 15” stern height 2.5” bow rocker, 1.5” stern rocker Weight: 27 Starlite / 29 Blacklite / 41 IXP Optimal Load: 170–340 lbs Displacement: 2” WL : 175 lbs 3” WL : 265 lbs 4” WL : 370 lbs

Time Lapse

In October 2020 my wife and I along with some family and friends were in Lake Placid, NY for a long weekend enjoying some beautiful mid October weather. In October of this year 2021 I was in Lake Placid with a friend spending time canoeing and just taking in the amazing weather and fall color we were treated to.

Below are two images of the same location taken 361 days apart. I’m fascinated by the difference a year makes!

View of the 4,867′ Whiteface mountain from Connery Pond Lake Placid, NY October 17th 2020 @JoeGeronimo

View of the 4,867′ Whiteface mountain from Connery Pond Lake Placid, NY October 13th 2021 @JoeGeronimo

Adirondack Fall Frolic

Taking a break at a campsite on Kiwassa Lake near Saranac Lake, NY.

October 12th 2021: 10.5 miles of paddling

I would meet my friend Jerry who lives in the Hudson Valley along I-87 at the Clifton Park rest area before continuing onto the Village of Saranac Lake, NY. The weather was stellar as we launched that afternoon on Lake Flower in Saranac Lake making our way through Oseetah Lake and into Kiwassa Lake. We would take a break and have a snack at the campsite on Kiwassa before returning. We also checked out the lean-to site which was recently rebuilt. Afterwards we stopped in at Blue Line Brewing for a few cold ones and some amazing food. My favorite brew of theirs is the “Leaning Pine IPA”. Food there is excellent as well and I love their wings smothered in the Gilly sauce “Sweet & Tangy BBQ” and the pizza is great too!

October 13th: 7.85 miles of paddling

We began our morning outside of Lake Placid, NY capturing a few fall sunrise images before the clouds rolled in for the day. Afterwards we drove to Follensby Clear Pond where we launched our canoes exploring most of the pond along with the island lean-to site. We then would make our way through Spider Creek into the Fish Creek Ponds and Upper Saranac Lake, taking the reverse route returning back to the launch on Follensby Clear Pond. Due to the cloud cover we couldn’t see but there was no mistaking the fighter jets roaring overhead while on Upper Saranac Lake. Once back into Lake Placid we had an early dinner and drinks at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery before Jerry would have to make the long drive home. After Jerry took off it was just about sunset and I found myself taking my 3 mile run through Placid and around Mirror Lake before settling in for the night. Our adventures were fun and it gave us time to catch up since we haven’t seen each other in a few years.

I look forward to returning next October!

Canoes: Northstar Canoes: Northwind Solo – Hornbeck Boats: New Tricks 14

Cameras: DJI Osmo Action – Canon EOS 7D – Canon EOS 60D

Here you’ll find a fun video of our adventures!

Final days of summer

As autumn approaches summer takes its final breaths. I find peace and reflection in a morning paddle on a small lake close to home. There is just something soothing about sipping a hot cup of coffee out in nature.

My newest addition to the fleet is a Northstar Canoes ” Northwind Solo”. This boat is in the starlite layup weighing 27#’s at 15′ 6″.

Enjoy the video!

St. Regis Canoe Area: Canoeing to a remote Adirondack lean-to

“The Bourbon Brothers” consisting of Scott Ireland, Gary Sharp & myself adopted a lean-to on a remote pond in the Adirondacks of New York.

Our brother Scott recently had dual knee replacement surgery and could not join Gary & I for our overnight journey to inspect the lean-to. Our trip into Fish Pond consisted of short and long carries. Our route began on Long Pond in the St. Regis Canoe Area as we paddled through Slang, Turtle and Clamshell Ponds in order to reach Fish.

Originally we had planned to return the following day via another route but had heard the mud on some of those carry trails was knee deep, so we opted to reverse route instead.

So please join us for our journey!

Canoes: Hornbeck Boats “New Tricks” 14

Camera: DJI Osmo Action Camera

“Recently the United States Military has been training over the Adirondacks. The roar of fighter jets could be heard above the clouds. Just as we arrived at the lean-to on Fish Pond an Army UH60 Blackhawk flew over. Although this stuff is neat it also disturbs the solitude that we seek in the wilderness.”

St. Regis Canoe Area

In early September myself and two other friends went on a canoe camping trip in the St. Regis Canoe Area of  New York’s Adirondack Park. The weather would be perfect with nights dipping into the low 30’s. I loved this adventure and hope you enjoy some of the images from it.

September 8th I left my home in the Southern Tier of New York arriving in Lake Placid, NY 4.5 hours later. Here I would meet my friend Gary with Placid being our home for the night. We would do some paddling in the area, also hitting a few of the local breweries as well.

Early the next morning Gary & I would meet our friend Scott at our starting point “Little Clear Pond” for our adventure. Our canoes loaded and I mean loaded we were off for 4 days/3 nights of adventure.

Once across Little Clear Pond we would have a 1/2 mile canoe carry to St. Regis Pond. Each of us wound up doing a “Double Carry” due to our packs being so heavy. Our goal for this trip would be to hopefully snag the only lean-to on St. Regis Pond. Our hopes would be dashed as it was already occupied. No worries we scouted a great primitive campsite not too far away. We unloaded our gear, setup our site and we were off for a great little pond hopping adventure for the rest of the day.

We would paddle across the 400 acre St. Regis Pond to the 116 meter canoe carry into Green Pond, followed by a 255 meter carry to Little Long Pond, followed by a 315 meter carry to Bear Pond and lastly a 121 meter carry to Bog Pond. I’ve paddled most of these ponds mentioned here before. I love these little ponds, especially Little Long Pond. We would make it back to camp around 5:30 in order to get dinner cooking and the campfire going for the evening. Later that evening we would crack a few beers, peer through the tree canopy as millions of stars shined in the night sky.

Morning came and our first order of business was coffee! Our plan for the day was another pond hopping adventure with one of the carries being 1.4 miles. The day would contrast in many ways. I mean we had periods of sun and light mist. We also battled a little mud especially at the aptly named “Mud Pond” where I sank down to my waist. As my cohorts were laughing I was able to free myself rather quickly. 

My favorite from the day was “Fish Pond”. This pond is remote and takes some getting into. It does have two lean to’s on it and we decided to sit out some of the passing weather at one of them enjoying a hot fire and some lunch.

After spending most of the day paddling and carrying we found ourselves back at camp around 5PM. This seemed like a perfect time to get things in order, cook dinner and relax and watch the day fade into night. 

We were still exhausted the next day from our prior adventure and decided a camp day was just what we needed. We sat around and told tall tales, sipped some whiskey, paddled and even took a nap. We knew this coming night would be cold as overnight temperatures would dip to just around freezing. The night sky was clear and in the distance we could hear the thunder of Vermont’s Air National Guard and their F16’s doing some night training. The Adirondacks see’s a lot of that my guess is because of the low volume of air traffic but I’ve been wrong once or twice in my life.

With silence restored Gary and I sat and watched the Milky Way begin to appear as Scott snored away in his tent. Later we would be awakened by a crashing noise in camp and I thought to myself we have a bear in camp. I sprang up quickly grabbing my headlamp and peered out of my tent. Gary immediately did the same as Scott was sleeping😂. It turned out that we had three skunks checking out or homestead. They quickly dispersed into the woods and we never saw them again. However I had a difficult time getting back to sleep because of the loons and owls that began to jam at 0330. I will admit it was an amazing symphony.

The next morning it was cold and we quickly got the campfire started for some heat as well as coffee. We ate breakfast and chatted about our adventures. Afterwards we would break camp, douse our fire with water, load our boats and begin our journey out. 

Once we were back to our cars with boats loaded and gear packed it was time to hit Raybrook Brew House in Raybrook, NY for a late lunch and a few cold beers. Yeah that hit the spot!

Cheers!

Gary Sharp Lake Placid, NY September 8th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

Pond hopping near Lake Placid, NY September 8th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

Gary & I pond hopping near Lake Placid, NY September 8th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

Loading up our boats at Little Clear Pond near Saranac Lake, NY September 9th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

We just paddled across Little Clear Pond to the 1/2 mile canoe carry to St. Regis Pond September 9th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

Scott Ireland walking the plank St. Regis Pond September 9th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

I stepped in a little mud trying to launch at St. Regis Pond September 9th 2020. © Scott Ireland

Scouting campsites on St. Regis Pond September 9th 2020. © Scott Ireland

Coffee & campfires at our site on St. Regis Pond. © Joe Geronimo

We are at the canoe carry from Ochre Pond to Fish Pond which is 1.4 miles. September 10th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

Taking a break on Fish Pond September 10th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

Checking out the Blagden lean to on Fish Pond September 10th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

Mud Pond, need I say more. September 10th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

We’ve just carried from St. Regis Pond to Ochre Pond September 10th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

Paddling across the small Ochre Pond September 10th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

Friday was camp day on St. Regis Pond. September 11th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

Scott Ireland paddling across St. Regis Pond on our way out September 12th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

Gary Sharp paddling across St. Regis Pond on our way out September 12th 2020. © Joe Geronimo

Our adventure has come to an end at the Raybrook Brew House in Raybrook, NY.

 

Canoeing The Upper Susquehanna River

In mid August I had the opportunity to paddle a portion of the upper Susquehanna river here in New York. In all honesty I really never thought much about it. When a friend suggested we do it I was intrigued.

We launched  from the Crumhorn Pond/Susquehanna State Forest a few miles north of Portlandville, NY. Upon arrival I was shocked to see a Waterway Steward at the launch site checking boats for invasive species and washing them before they enter the water. In the Adirondacks I have seen many of these stewards but not so much around here. I think this is a great program!

The morning was warm and sunny as we slid our canoes into the water making our way from Crumhorn Pond into the Susquehanna. This section of the river differs immensely from where I live. The river is narrow and has more water due to the dam on Goodyear Lake. I loved the way the river snaked its way through the rural farm land of Central New York, throwing in a few hairpin turns just for fun.

Paddling north 4 miles to where the Cherry Valley Creek enters the river, we hung a right hand turn exploring the creek for about a mile. One spot we had to navigate a narrow passage due to a fallen tree across the creek. Shortly after we came to a point where we had to exit our boats due to low water and a small rock garden. We decided to take a break and have a snack and chat here for a bit before turning around and heading back. “Cherry Valley Creek is a 34.1-mile-long headwater tributary of the Susquehanna River in central New York. Cherry Valley Creek flows southwesterly through the Cherry Valley in Otsego County, making its way through the towns of Cherry Valley, Roseboom, and Middlefield before joining the Susquehanna River east of the village of Milford”.

On our way back that beautiful sunshine gave way to some storm clouds. We could hear thunder in the distance and we dodged a few rain drops as well. Thankfully the storm steered clear of us. As we entered Crumhorn Pond the boat launch had a few more people starting their day on the river. This was a fun 10 mile round trip adventure. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the upper Susquehanna river in the near future.

Cheers!

Launching our canoes on Crumhorn Pond in the Susquehanna State Forest Maryland, NY August 22nd 2020 © Joe Geronimo

My friend Marty on Crumhorn Pond in the Susquehanna State Forest Maryland, NY August 22nd 2020 © Joe Geronimo

We’ve just entered the upper Susquehanna river paddling north towards Cooperstown, NY August 22nd 2020 © Joe Geronimo

Taking a break on the Cherry Valley Creek Middlefield, NY August 22nd 2020 © Joe Geronimo

Making our way back down the Cherry Valley Creek near Middlefield, NY August 22nd 2020 © Joe Geronimo

Dodging some rain and thunderstorms along the upper Susquehanna river August 22nd 2020 © Joe Geronimo

My friend Marty eases his Northstar Phoenix around one of several hairpin turns along the upper Susquehanna river August 22nd 2020 © Joe Geronimo