Oh Canadice

It was back in the fall of 2009 when I discovered Canadice lake in the pages of “Life in the Finger Lakes” magazine. The story was called “Canoes & Kayaks on Canadice”, and I recall thinking to myself I need to go here! Finally nine years later I did.

This morning I made the two hour trip to the western Finger Lakes and Canadice lake. Canadice is the smallest of the eleven Finger Lakes. It boasts a 6.5 mile shoreline, stretches 3 miles in length, has a maximum depth of 95 feet and is only 0.3 miles at its widest. The shoreline is void of any human presence as this is the source of drinking water for the City of Rochester.

Launching under overcast skies and wind I paddled towards the north end of the lake. There was some good chop once out on the water due to the wind whipping up the lake, which oddly enough I really enjoyed. I pretty much had the lake all to myself except for one other person. Although this lake is considered small it still is a large body of water, and having the ability to paddle in these conditions helped reinforce my confidence on larger bodies of water. After about an hour the wind calmed down quite a bit and things smoothed out. Eventually I made it to the southend of the lake. This was my favorite part of the paddle. Exploring the marshy area I was treated to some of the wildlife, such as Herons, different bird species fluttering around and possibly an Otter. I couldn’t get close enough to tell as it could have been a beaver also. Bald Eagles are pretty common here but none were seen today. However the rapid succession of a Pileated Woodpecker could be heard echoing in the depths of the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest.

Paddling back north along the eastern shore I discovered a small car top boat launch. Here you would have to carry your boat about 100 feet from your car to the water. After getting back to where I launched, boat loaded and ready to head home I saw a truck with a trailer and 8 canoes go right by me. I thought to myself that is pretty awesome! On my way home I wanted to stop and check out that small launch I mentioned. As luck would have it there was that truck and trailer loaded with canoes parked at the launch site. Coming to a stop I noticed the lettering on the truck “Hemlock Canoes”, things just got even more exciting. I pulled over and got out. It turns out that the Hemlock Canoes shop is very close to Canadice and they were demoing boats for two potential customers. Some people stalk cars, I stalk canoes. One of those canoes I drool over is a Hemlock Peregrine. She’s 15′ 9″ and weighs in at 27 pounds and wouldn’t you know it there was one strapped to the trailer. Well you know me blah, blah, blah and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to test paddle that Peregrine. I see a new boat in my distant future.

I feel very lucky to be able to live and play in such a beautiful part of our state, cheers!

Beginning my adventure on Canadice lake June 7th 2018, © Joe Geronimo
The overcast skies begin to brighten over Canadice lake June 7th 2018, © Joe Geronimo
Navigating through some trees along the south end of Canadice lake June 7th 2018, © Joe Geronimo
Emerging from the shoreline along the south end of Canadice lake June 7th 2018, © Joe Geronimo
Blue Heron Canadice lake June 7th 2018, © Joe Geronimo
Ending the days adventure on Canadice lake June 7th 2018, © Joe Geronimo
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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.

Snow, Rain, Cold & Wind = Seneca 7

For the past several years now I have been wondering when we would get stuck with some tough weather conditions for the annual Seneca 7 relay event. I’m here to tell you that Mother Nature did not dissapoint. Teams were subjected to hours of snow, rain, cold and wind for their 77.7 journey around Seneca lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region.

Looking back over the past five years since I have been running in the Seneca 7, I think this year had to be the most epic. We knew we would have it tough as the super fast and talented women of Red Newt Racing would put us through our paces. This all day battle where we traded the lead back and forth was nothing short of awesome. Red Newt Racing would beat us by 64 seconds according to official results. They ran around the lake in 7:54:28 for a pace of 6:06 and our team “Liar Liar feet on Fire” completed it in 7:55:42 for a pace 6:07. Can you say nail biter!

I’d like to extend a big thank you to our sponsors Bottomless Brewing and Zenolink Human Performance Center for their friendship, generosity and support as well as all the amazing race volunteers who stood with us in those conditions, cheers to you all.

L-R: Adrian Milisavljevich, Joe Geronimo, Ben Snodgrass, aaron Perry, Ryan Heinlein, Jeff Fahery & Jordan Varano. 1st place male, 2nd place overall.
Red Newt Racing 1st place overall and Liar Liar Feet on Fire 2nd place overall Seneca 7.
L-R: Adrian Milisavljevich, Ryan Heinlein, Ben Snodgrass, Jordan Varano, Jeff Faherty, Aaron Perry, Chris Welch owner (Zenolink Human Performance Center) Joe Geronimo and Tom & Carrie Thompson owners of Bottomless Brewing.

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

Cruising the FLX

Julie and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary yesterday. We didn’t go to some tropical island with deep blue waters and white sandy beaches or some far off exotic place, that is just not us. We kept it low key and took a drive to our favorite place the “Finger Lakes”.

The National Park system back in 2014 added to their list of storied places “The Harriet Tubman Home National Historic Park” in Auburn, NY. Auburn was our first destination and our day began with a tour. I’ll be honest I expected us to be the only people there. Boy was I wrong! On our tour there had to be at least forty people in the group and that is no exaggeration. Afterwards as we mulled around the visitor center more people came streaming in the door for the next tour. The park is a work in progress but our tour guide was pretty amazing in her presentation making it both informative and funny.

“Did you know that during the Civil War Harriet Tubman was a nurse? Did you know that Harriet Tubman was a spy for the Union Army as well? Lastly Harriet Tubman was born in 1820 and died in 1913 of pneumonia, she was 93. She was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York. I had no idea so I found this extremely fascinating”.

There are so many interesting things I learned about Harriet today. Most of us associate her with the underground railroad.

Next stop was a place rooted in Julie’s history. The Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls, NY. Back in 1988-1989 Julie used to be a Park Ranger here. We have been to this park several times before but since we were passing through the area we stopped to check in on things.

Now it was time for lunch and what better place than Mac’s Drive-In in Waterloo, NY. We absolutely love this place and do our best to eat here whenever we can. With our hunger taken care of it was time to visit two wineries we have yet to try along the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. However on our way back through Seneca Falls we stopped briefly to check out the very impressive “Double” lock #3 along the Cayuga-Seneca canal.

And just for the record we also had to make a pit-stop at McKensize-Childs. This is so not a dude place! Thankfully this was BRIEF pause and we got to Long Point winery in Aurora, NY. The gentleman doing our tasting was a spitting image of NFL football coach Rob Ryan. The only difference was he had a Hawaiian shirt on. Next was Treleavan in King Ferry, NY. I was excited for this because they offered a beer tasting as well. I sampled four New York brews. #1. Hopshire (Near Varna IPA) #2. Lucky Hare (London Gentleman Extra Special Bitter) #3. Grist Iron (Ely Pilsner ) #4. Lucky Hare (Rock Hound American Amber). All these beers were excellent but #3 & #4 really stood out for me. Julie really enjoy their wines and she left with a bottle Wobbly Rock Riesling. She is my Riesling girl…..

Our last stop for the day was Purity ice cream in Ithaca, NY, enough said!

Beautiful day in one of our favorite places, cheers!

Side Note: On our way down the east side of Cayuga lake is the small town of Cayuga, NY. Well Cayuga was featured not long ago on the HGTV show “Lake Front Bargain Homes”. Julie and I actually saw that episode together so we knew which house the family purchased. As we drove through we gave it a quick look and its just as beautiful in person as it was on TV.

Julie & I in front of the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged in Auburn, NY. © Joe Geronimo
Harriet Tubman residence Auburn, NY © Joe Geronimo. This residence is currently being restored and we were not able to see it.
Inside the visitors center Harriet Tubman home Auburn, NY © Joe Geronimo.
Women’s Rights National Historic Park Seneca Falls, NY © Joe Geronimo
Wesleyan Chapel “Women’s Rights National Historic Park Seneca Falls, NY © Joe Geronimo
The Wesleyan Chapel was built in 1843. On July 19 and 20, 1848, the First Women’s Rights Convention was held here. Even though Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the only one of the five organizers to live in Seneca Falls, the Wesleyan Chapel was well known to them all. The church was a local haven for antislavery activity, political rallies, and free speech events.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton home Seneca Falls, NY © Joe Geronimo
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) called her house at 32 Washington Street, Seneca Falls “Grassmere” and the “Center of the Rebellion”. She moved into the home with her husband and three sons in May 1847. In June her father Daniel Cady deeded the property to his daughter Elizabeth. Over the next fourteen years, the family welcomed two more sons and two daughters. The entire family enjoyed the large farm house, its several out buildings, orchards, and gardens until Elizabeth Cady Stanton sold the property in 1862 and the family of nine moved to New York, New York.
Mac’s Drive-In Waterloo, NY © Joe Geronimo
Mac’s Drive-In Waterloo, NY © Joe Geronimo
My favorite dish at Mac’s “Mac’s Plate” 2 hot dogs over macaroni salad and fries covered in chili sauce. © Joe Geronimo
Here we have the impressive “Double” Lock #3 along the Cayuga-Seneca canal in Seneca Falls, NY. In the image on the left the “Lock Master” is doing a routine check on the lock. Lock 2 and Lock 3 in Seneca Falls on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal are very unique in that they are combined together without a pool of water between them. The only modern lock like this on the canal system are Locks E34 and E35 on the Erie Canal. The two locks lift and lower boats a combined 49 feet from 430.5 feet above sea level to 381.5 feet. © Joe Geronimo

2017 Seneca 7 Wrap

I finally have a few moments to sit down and reflect on this years Seneca 7 relay race. A 77.7 mile circumnavigation of beautiful Seneca lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region. This years field consisted of 319 teams equaling 2,233 runners.

This year we had an unexpected short notice injury to team member Jordan Varano. Jordan reluctantly had to bail out a week prior to the race. However friend Juan Martinez answered the call and I cannot thank Juan enough for stepping up and taking Jordan’s spot on short notice. Juan was a perfect fit for our team!

Our team “Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire” had some pretty stiff competition in the “Renegade 7” another all male team from Binghamton, NY who would go onto win the event placing first overall. They completed the course in 7:34:02 setting a new course record. The “Cayuga 7” a mixed team from Ithaca, NY finished first place mixed, second place overall with a course time of 7:40:40. Our team placed second male and third place overall with a time of 7:53:40 a 12 minute PR from last year with an average pace of 6:04 per mile.

During last years Seneca 7 we formed a friendship with Tom and Carrie Thompson owners of Bottomless Brewing in Geneva. Tom and Carrie were gracious enough to sponsor our team for this years event. Not only do they brew some really great beer but they add that extra special to this great running community we have. I love to run but what I love even more is the people and friendships running has graced my life with and that is always a winning combination.

And lastly I was overwhelmed with pride at the sheer volume of runners from the Triple Cities area in which we live and who I call friends.

Cheers!

Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire 2017 Seneca 7.
L-R: Ryan Heinlein, Dan Cavalari, Juan Martinez, Joe Geronimo, Adrian Milisavljevich, James Wilson & Aaron Perry
Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire 2nd place male, 3rd place overall 2017 Seneca 7.
Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire with Tom Thompson of Bottomless Brewing in Geneva, NY.
A well earned beer after the 77.7 mile Seneca 7.
Just a small portion of runners from the Triple Cities area at the 2017 Seneca 7.

Bon Voyage

I’m throwing it back to July 30th 2016 in Skaneateles, NY. My wife and I stumbled across an antique boat show in this picturesque village tucked away in New York’s Finger Lakes region.

The "Barbara S. Wiles" heading out on Skaneateles lake July 30th 2016. Fujichrome Provia 100F, © Joe Geronimo.
The “Barbara S. Wiles” heading out on Skaneateles lake July 30th 2016. Fujichrome Provia 100F, © Joe Geronimo.