Adirondack Canoe Route: Rock Pond

We were sitting around the campfire, sipping whiskey from our new “Hornbeck Boats” whiskey glasses, pondering the next days adventure here in the Adirondacks. While we were poring over our maps we discovered a possible canoe route that did not appear to be marked on the map. A few more sips of whiskey and we decided that we would attempt this adventure.

The next morning we woke to a soft blanket of fog over Rollins Pond. A small crackling fire, a roaring jetboil and the aroma of coffee began to awaken our senses for adventure. Once most of the fog had lifted we set out on the placid waters of Rollins Pond with our sights set on Rock Pond. Where we would encounter low water, mud, beaver dams and a foot bridge.

Will you join us for our journey?

Note: There are no campsites on Rock Pond or the Rock Pond Outlet.

Canoes: Hornbeck New Tricks 14’s

Cameras: DJI Osmo Action, iPhone 13, Canon EOS 90D

Video footage: Joe Geronimo & Gary Sharp

Music: Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/

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

Raquette Lake to Blue Mountain Lake an Adirondack Adventure

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