Lewey Lake and the Miami River

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

Exploring Ithaca by Kayak

With the miserable weather forecasted for this weekend I decided to drive to Ithaca yesterday evening to explore the canalways that flow from beautiful Cayuga lake. The weather was perfect to say the least. I launched from Allan H. Treman State Marine Park on Cayuga Inlet paddling the short distance into Cayuga lake. There was a good wind and chop on the lake as I made my way around the breakwall and light station into the calm waters of Fall Creek. Fall Creek flows into Beebe Lake but I couldn’t get that far as the water became increasingly shallower the further I went and plus there would be the Ithaca Falls to contend with as well.

Paddling back out into Cayuga lake as the evening progresses the wind and chop had begun to die down a bit as I headed out a little further to Explore the south end of the lake. I then made my way back into Cayuga Inlet to do more exploring. I wound up with 5.80 miles and didn’t even finish the entire Inlet as my evening light was fading quickly.

I really enjoyed this small adventure and will return again soon to do some more. I do like the theory of being able to kayak right up to the always popular Ithaca Farmers Market. And to be honest I’d really like to get an early morning start on a calm Cayuga lake as well.

I feel very fortunate to be able to live in and around such a beautiful area of our State.

Cheers!

Fall Creek Ithaca, NY May 18th 2018 © Joe Geronimo.

Fall Creek Ithaca, NY May 18th 2018 © Joe Geronimo

Cayuga lake Ithaca, NY May 18th 2018 © Joe Geronimo

Cayuga Inlet Ithaca, NY May 18th 2018 © Joe Geronimo.

Cayuga Inlet Ithaca, NY May 18th 2018 © Joe Geronimo.

Cornell University “Big Red” Rowing Facility on Cayuga Inlet Ithaca, NY May 18th 2018 © Joe Geronimo.

GPS map from my watch. Ithaca, NY May 18th 2018.

All finished and loaded back up at Allan H. Treman State Marine Park Ithaca, NY May 18th 2018 © Joe Geronimo.

Autumn Sunrise

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

New England Rendezvous

Finished with exploring Henderson lake I reloaded all my gear into and onto my car and began the slow journey from New York to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Making a quick stop in Ticonderoga for fuel and food before crossing at Crown Point. There is no highway that runs west to east in Vermont so the 158 miles to my destination was slow but the scenery more than makes up for it. Leaving the Champlain Valley my favorite section of this adventure is on route 17 as you cross the Green Mountains and descend into the Mad River Valley. There are six hairpin turns I believe on this section of road.

I would spend the next several days visiting with friends and doing what I enjoy most. Roaming around Vermont and New Hampshire taking in their beauty. Over the past several years I have visited the town of Newport, VT and Newport has really grown on me. Nestled along the US/Canadian border, Newport sits at the southern end of Lake Memphremagog. Lake Memphremagog stretches 32 miles to the southeastern Quebec city of Magog. I hope to someday kayak parts of this lake which oddly enough is part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. After a long day and as we were 200 hundred yards or so from the house my friends truck would lose its brakes to a ruptured brake line. All I can say is thank goodness it happened close to home.

On our way to Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch State Park we are climbing route 112 which is also called the Kanc (Kancamagus Highway) cresting near Beaver Pond we noticed smoke along the Kinsman Range. It appeared that a small forest fire had started and personnel were on the scene. Continuing on to Cannon Mountain we would take the tram to the summit. As the tram car climbed the winds increased quite considerabley and the temperatures dropped as well. At the top we made our way to the tower, a viewing platform where on a clear day you can see for over one hundred miles. The fog and clouds were rolling over the mountain tops playing a game of hide and seek with the sun.

Afterwards we stopped to check out the “The Basin”. The Basin is a 20 foot diameter granite hole at the base of a beautiful waterfall. Some say it had been eroded 15,000 years ago while the North American ice sheet was melting. Over time The Basin has been smoothed small stones and sand, whirled around by the Pemigewasset River.

Stopping in North Woodstock, NH at the Woodstock Station Inn & Brewery for lunch it was so sunny and warm at this point we chose to sit outside. I sampled some of their beers with my favorite being the 4,000 footer IPA. For lunch I would knock down their adult grilled cheese sandwich with a side of chili.

Heading back west over the Kanc we noticed there was a lot more smoke than earlier this morning. A helicopter was also on he scene making water drops on the mountain side. We would spend the next 90 minutes watching and photographing the efforts of all involved. I’ve never witnessed a forest fire of this size about (5 acres) at the time up close. Looking at the sheer rock cliffs one could see the firefighters trying to advance. The aggressive sound of their chainsaws cutting timber in efforts to battle the blaze could be heard echoing down below. The heat from the fire was causing slides and I could see trees falling. According to news reports that I have read there is speculation the fire was caused by a meteor strike which is unconfirmed at this time. As a note this section of the White Mountain National Forest is also part of the Appalachian Trail.

The next afternoon I would begin my long trek back home taking me 6.5 hours. The traffic on route 4 across Vermont was horrible and slow going. I was glad to be home!

See you in Old Forge….

Our morning begins in West Newbury, VT. © Joe Geronimo

On top of Cannon Mountain Franconia Notch State Park, NH. © Joe Geronimo

Cannon Mountain tram arriving the summit Franconia Notch State Park, NH. © Joe Geronimo

Cannon Mountain tram Franconia Notch State Park, NH. © Joe Geronimo

Echo lake view from the Cannon Mountain tram, Franconia Notch State Park, NH. © Joe Geronimo

The Basin Franconia Notch State Park, NH. © Joe Geronimo

Forest fire White Mountain National Forest N. Woodstock, NH © Joe Geronimo

Forest fire White Mountain National Forest N. Woodstock, NH © Joe Geronimo

Forest fire White Mountain National Forest N. Woodstock, NH © Joe Geronimo

Exploring Henderson Lake

Originally I was supposed to be hiking Mt. Washington today. I had to cancel my plans as Max was marching in the Maine Endwell homecoming parade on Saturday and I did not want to miss it. I love watching and listening to him play in the high school band.

Recently I had been reading that Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY was spectacular to paddle offering breathtaking views of the Adirondack high peaks. Henderson lake is also the headwaters of the 315 mile Hudson river. I contacted friends Gary Sharp and Chad Smith and made alternate plans. After the homecoming parade that afternoon I packed up and headed north to the Adirondacks stopping in Lake George for a couple of hours to catch up with friends. Afterwards I would continue my northward trek making it to Schroon Lake, NY for dinner at a bar called Flanagan’s. After dinner I drove to my new favorite place to car camp along Blue Ridge road in North Hudson. I threw on an extra layer of clothing knowing it was going to be a cold night in the mountains. All settled in it was time to get some rest.

I woke early Sunday morning 0430 and peered out the window to see the night sky littered with stars. Falling back asleep I would find myself wide awake by 0600 and the fog had rolled in, it was a chilly 33 degrees. Once the sun began to shed some light on the day I packed up and drove to meet Gary and Chad in Newcomb. Cell service in these parts is very sparse and I never saw Chad’s message that he had to cancel. Gary and I would make our way to the parking area, load our gear for the short half mile carry to the put-in on Henderson lake. As we arrived the last of the fog was pretty much all burnt off and the sun was warming things quite nicely. A good 5-6 MPH wind had reared its ugly head adding some small whitecaps to our adventure.

Gary and I were off exploring the shoreline and taking in some of the views. My favorite had to be the view of Indian Pass and the huge cliffs on Wallface. At the northwest end of the lake Gary and I would take out for a little exploration and coffee at a lean-to. This is a great place to camp and carry the 1.7 miles to the Preston Ponds. But we will leave that to another time. We spent about an hour enjoying our coffee, conversation and a small brook and waterfall. Back in our boats we zig-zagged along the lake back to where our adventure started. The color is almost nonexistent and what is there is very muted. The birch trees have been stripped bare of their leaves as well.

Great day spent paddling, see you all in Vermont!

Gary and I getting ready to set out on Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Poking around one of the bays on Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

View of Indian Pass and the cliffs on Wallface from Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Gary and I enjoying some hot coffee at the lean-to on Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

A small waterfall along a brook that empties into Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Gary and I exploring Henderson lake in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Gary signing us out at the DEC register Upper Works trailhead in Newcomb, NY October 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Welcome Fall

It’s September 22nd 2017 4:02PM and I am teaming with excitement as the Autumn Equinox has officially begun. Fall is by far my favorite time of the year. There is so much to be excited about. Crisp temperatures, changing and falling leaves and the fall harvest of fruits and vegetables. I personally love the apples and squash that come into season this time of year.

For me Autumn also enhances my love of running and canoeing. There is just something peaceful and magical about the crunching of leaves underfoot, our hillsides burning with reds, yellows and oranges or a placid lake at sunrise or sunset. No matter what you enjoy doing Autumn is a perfect time of year to be outside!

Autumn in the Air

While summer slips into Autumn I am reminded at how much I enjoy fall paddling in the Northeast. I try to take every advantage I can get to be out on the water whether by myself or with my family. Sadly this summer I/we have not been on the water much and Max and I have not even taken the Cownoe out together.

The boys and I had plans to camp and canoe in the Fish Creek Ponds area of the Adirondacks this summer but we had to cancel. However not all was lost. Julie, Max & I took advantage of the nice weather this past weekend and made the short drive to Nanticoke lake in Lisle, NY. Nanticoke is a small and quiet lake. This is partly due to the quarter mile hike in from the parking area.

I also learned a very valuable lesson for the future as well. An 18 foot 47lb canoe with gear and a 30 lb kayak strapped on top make for a heavy portage. The lesson I learned is two canoe carts instead of one and your shoulders will thank you.

To our surprise we discovered two other people kayaking, a sight I have not seen here before. Then again I’m mostly here at sunrise.

No matter what you enjoy doing Autumn is one of the best times to get out and do what you love, so enjoy!

Max and I canoe around Nanticoke lake in Lisle, NY September 10th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Julie kayaks on Nanticoke lake in Lisle, NY September 10th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Elsie getting her feet wet on Nanticoke lake in Lisle, NY September 10th 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Max and I walking Elsie back out to our car from Nanticoke lake in Lisle, NY September 10th 2017. © Julie Geronimo

Julie made this image of me portaging all our gear back to our car from Nanticoke lake in Lisle, NY September 10th 2017. © Julie Geronimo

Props to the Adirondacks

October 2016 I spent a couple days kayaking in the Adirondacks under amazing Autumn skies. While on 7th lake I discovered Payne’s Air Service and was immediately intrigued. I’m not really a big fan of video and I think this was literally the fifth time using the video feature on my DSLR camera, but gave it a go. I only took a few very short clips. I asked my son if he would take them to school for me and merge them together.

The video is a bit bumpy most likely due to the motion of my kayak, however I think it represents the uniqueness of the Adirondacks.

Cheers!

The Yellow Submarine & Grilled Cheese

Five hours of sleep, a cup of coffee and an amazing wife who got up to take me over to Grippen Park in Endicott so I can kayak the Susquehanna this morning. Almost immediately I was greeted by an eager beaver. A few “Thwacks” of his tail and had disappeared. Burnt reds and oranges were on borrowed time while the yellows seemed to be clinging to the ropes of life waiting for Mother Nature’s knockout punch. The mirror like waters of the Susquehanna reflected the darkening skies to the west assuring there would be rain on my parade.

It was very quiet for the most part except for the chorus of my paddle. Along the way I spied several bald eagles, ducks, duck hunters, geese and quite a bit of fisherman as I glided towards the river walk in downtown Owego. Luck would be on my side today because almost immediately as I arrived under the highway bridge the skies opened up. With my gear packed into the kayak I lifted it up and over the rocks onto the river walk carrying it 100 yards to the street. Standing in the rain waiting for Julie to arrive a very kind woman offered me the shelter of her front porch.

Shortly after Julie would arrive and it was time for lunch. Several friends had recommended the Owego Kitchen on Lake Street, so off we went. It was warm and inviting with a great menu. Julie and I both ordered the french onion grilled cheese and I had the farmhouse chili as well. If you are ever in the area I strongly suggest a visit.

I paddled 13.60 miles in 3:05:24 with an average speed of 4.4 MPH.  When my alarm went off this morning I was seriously considering not going because of my lack of sleep. However I’m glad I chose wisely and took the opportunity.

Cheers!

GPS of my trip: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1427554364

Almost ready to go, Grippen Park Endicott, NY October 30th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Almost ready to go, Grippen Park Endicott, NY October 30th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Along the Susquehanna river Apalachin, NY October 30th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Along the Susquehanna river Apalachin, NY October 30th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

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Along the Susquehanna river between Apalachin and Campville, NY October 30th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Approaching Hiawatha Island I came across several fisherman October 30th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Approaching Hiawatha Island I came across several fisherman October 30th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Getting close to Owego, NY October 30th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Getting close to Owego, NY October 30th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Arriving in downtown Owego, NY October 30th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Arriving in downtown Owego, NY October 30th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo