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.
GPS of my trip: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1427554364
As we watch the colors of Autumn slowly fade into the grays of Winter I find myself taking advantage of every opportunity to be out on the water. Undeterred by the mornings brisk temperatures I decided to launch on the Susquehanna river along Conklin Ave yesterday. Paddling my way west under cloudy skies towards the “Rock Bottom” Dam I lay witness to the remaining pops of color grasping our hillsides. On my way back the wind would let me know who was in charge and the sun randomly checked on me the closer I got to my destination.
Back in my car it was time for some coffee at my favorite place, LaVeggio Roasteria
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Cool and crisp as an Autumn morning should be. This morning my cars thermometer read 38 degrees as I drove the backroads to Nanticoke lake. Arriving under a blanket of fog and now 35 degree temperatures it was time to unload my canoe and hit the water. My friend Don from Ithaca who I met last summer while paddling another area lake was joining me as well on this small hidden gem near Center Lisle. The fog seemed to roll across the lake as a slight wind kept the water from being glass like. Right before the 0659 sunrise the Canadian Navy (Canadian Geese) were doing maneuvers as well as the local beavers. One beaver in particular wasn’t too fond of me being close to his lodge and thought it would be fun to try and splash me with a few “THWACKS” of his tail, he was unsuccessful! I did however slowly back away to witness the three of them playing and pushing one another around for a short while.
The sun had finally broke over the tree tops creating pockets of beautiful color along the shoreline. The color is definitely beginning to show here and it made for a nice backdrop for a beautiful setting.
At 46 acres with a maximum depth of 20 feet, sitting at 1,400 feet of elevation, Nanticoke lake was originally constructed in the 1970’s with the intention of establishing a wild, self sustaining brook trout fishery similar to those found in the Adirondacks. Unfortunately, due to low dissolved oxygen levels in the summer months, brook trout survival was extremely limited.
Notes: From the parking area to the lake is a 1/4 mile carry on a well maintained trail. Having a 17lb canoe made this extremely easy, however Don used a set of canoe wheels to wheel in his canoe into the lake.
Growing up in the 1980’s I was treated in my opinion to some of the best rock music ever produced. Some of my favorites were Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Judas Priest, etc. In 1985 I discovered the band Stryper on a whim when I was given their “Soldiers Under Command” LP and I was instantly hooked. I was 14 and I loved the sound but really wasn’t all about the lyrics. But I thought to myself these guys sound great and who cares what they sing about. In late 1986 they released the blockbuster album “To Hell with the Devil” and I made sure I would get to see them live on tour. They were amazing back then!
Fast forward 30 years later to a small theater in Poughkeepsie, NY and I would once again witness how truly talented these guys are. It blows me away how lead singer Michael Sweet keeps his voice spot on. On June 11th Stryper rocked “The Chance” and I believe they sound even better now. Look how bad David Lee Roth sounds these days. I wouldn’t pay one dollar to see Van Halen in concert now. Stryper over the past two years or so has released two new incredible albums titled “No More Hell to Pay” and “Fallen”. Michael Sweet has also teamed up with George Lynch of Dokken fame to release Sweet & Lynch “Only to Rise”. There isn’t a bad song on it…
What I loved about the show is not only did they play some great music but they made it fun. They covered a few classic tunes as well. Below are a few short video clips taken with my iPhone. My iPhone does not do these guys justice.