Adirondack Throwback

I’m paddling backwards to May 21st 2016 when Julie and I spent the day at the “Adirondack Paddlefest” sponsored by Mountainman Outdoors of Old Forge, NY.

This year we will return on May 20th with a small paddling adventure in mind and the hopes of adding another kayak to our fleet.

Julie & I entering First Lake, Old Forge, NY May 20th 2016. © Joe Geronimo
A very small portion of the 2016 Adirondack Paddlefest sponsored by Mountainman Outdoors. Old Forge, NY. Image © Joe Geronimo

#TBT: Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater rafting August 15th 1985. © Collection of Joe Geronimo
Whitewater rafting August 15th 1985. © Collection of Joe Geronimo

Stepping back in time 31 years to a family experience in the Adirondacks. I can’t remember if this was on the Hudson River or the Sacandaga River?

Top left is my dad with my sister tucked in behind him followed by myself. In front left is my uncle Ralph and his son Anthony. Behind Anthony is my other uncle Pat. Next to the woman with the paddle is my aunt Lorraine and my mother is in the back of the boat behind woman with the paddle.  I do recall not listening to my uncle about the foot straps and I was promptly ejected from the boat in the first set of rapids. It was a great family vacation…

Another memory from this trip was coming home I was riding with my uncle Ralph, aunt Lorraine and Anthony. I remember saying to my uncle I had to go to the bathroom. He responded by handing me a Pepsi bottle… Again fun times and great memories.


History Past: Enchanted Forest of the Adirondacks

Front entrance of "Enchanted Forest of the Adirondacks" Old Forge, NY early 1960's. Image © Collection of Joe Geronimo.
Front entrance of “Enchanted Forest of the Adirondacks” Old Forge, NY early 1960’s. Image © Collection of Joe Geronimo.

Today I bring you another piece of our history here in America, however more importantly right here in New York. Enchanted Forest of the Adirondacks was opened on July 7th 1956 in Old Forge by A. Richard Cohen, a hardware store owner and commissioner for the Adirondack Authority in charge of the development of ski centres on Whiteface and Gore mountains. When opened, it had 35 employees and encompassed 35 acres of swampland. Admission was $1 for adults and 25¢ for children. Over time, the park expanded in size to its present 60 acres.

The design for the park, incorporating a large circus tent and a series of houses with themes from children’s nursery rhymes and fairy tales, was based upon research by Cohen’s daughter and wife, whom he sent to several amusement parks across the country to study how they worked. Concept watercolor paintings for the park were done by Russell Patterson, who also worked on the designs of the several individual fairy tale houses in the park.

The only mechanical ride at the park in 1956 was a train, the Enchanted Forest Express, that traveled around the park. However, this changed during the 1960s when rides were introduced to the park.

In 1977, Cohen sold the park to the Noonan family. In 1988, the park’s name was changed to Enchanted Forest Water Safari, as a result of the popularity of the Wild Waters Water Park (two 350-foot waterslides) that had been added in 1984.

Today’s Enchanted Forest Water Safari & Calypso’s Coves includes 32 heated water rides, including Curse of the Silverback, Killermanjaro, The Shadow, Black River and Rondaxe Run. The park features two circus shows, a petting zoo, an Enchanted Forest Water Safari museum and multiple video game arcades and side show games throughout the park. Adjoining the park is the Calypso’s Cove which includes an arcade, go-carts, children’s go-carts, rock climbing, mini-golf, batting cages, bumper boats and a zip line.

Photo of the Week:

Amtrak train No. 8 the "Empire Builder" with Glacier National Park in the distance. Photo by: Justin Franz.
Amtrak train No. 8 the “Empire Builder” Photo by: Justin Franz.

This weeks “Photo of the Week” submission comes from Justin Franz of Whitefish, MT. Justin created this stunning image on Thanksgiving morning 2015 of Amtrak train No. 8, the Empire Builder, heading east across the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, leaving the jagged mountains of Glacier National Park in its rearview mirror.

Get on board and visit Justin at

Scenes Along the Delaware

The "Mighty" Delaware river as we cross from Pennsylvania into New York at Millrift, PA February 11th 2015.
The “Mighty” Delaware River as we cross from Pennsylvania into New York at Millrift, PA February 11th 2015.

Delays in our northern terminus forced my eastbound train to be delayed by eight hours. Instead of leaving at 6PM on February 10th we weren’t called until 2AM on the 11th.

Our railroad snakes along the Delaware River between Hancock, NY and Port Jervis, NY crossing in and out of both Pennsylvania and New York several times.

I took advantage of the daylight and created a few images, ENJOY!

Crossing the frozen waters of the Lackawaxen River as it empties into the Delaware at Lackawaxen, PA.
Crossing the frigid waters of the Lackawaxen River as it empties into the Delaware at Lackawaxen, PA.
Dropping cars at Narrowsburg Feed in Narrowsburg, NY.
Dropping cars at Narrowsburg Feed in Narrowsburg, NY.
Cresting the Shawangunk Mountains and entering mile long Ottisville tunnel in Ottisville, NY.
Cresting the Shawangunk Mountains and entering mile long Ottisville tunnel in Ottisville, NY.
Crossing from New York into Pennsylvania at Tuston, NY.
Crossing from New York into Pennsylvania at Tuston, NY.
Making our way through the "Onion Fields" near Craigsville, NY.
Making our way through the “Onion Fields” near Craigsville, NY.

Completing 740-mile canoe trip is one way to spend a 21st birthday

By Julia Bayly, Bangor Daily News Staff


FORT KENT, Maine — Six days into his 38-day, 740-mile canoe trip up the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Eric McIntyre, alone on a New York river, came close to calling it quits. But on Saturday, McIntyre paddled into the trail’s terminus at the Fort Kent boat landing where he celebrated the end of his epic journey, and, it turns out, his 21st birthday.

“Wow, I can’t believe it’s done,” he said, grinning ear to ear as he hugged his mother, Laurie McIntyre, and his father, Kim McIntyre, who had driven up from Flemington, New Jersey, to meet him. “It was worth it [and] I’d do it again, definitely.”

Missing from the reunion was his twin brother, Benjamin, who could not leave work in Nashville, and an older brother, Ian.

McIntyre’s trip began on May 14 when he took off from Old Forge, New York, in his 15-foot Daggar Legend canoe. From there he paddled, poled and portaged his way north and east through New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, a small section of Canada and finally into Maine.

The trail, completed in 2006, passes through 22 rivers and streams, 56 lakes and ponds, 45 communities and three national wildlife refuges and includes 55 miles of portages over 62 carries.

According to its website, 62 people have “through paddled” the entire Northern Forest Canoe Trail, often referred to as the aquatic version of the Appalachian Trail, between 2006 and 2013.

“My original thought was to do this 40-day, solo trip,” he said. “But then I realized 40 days on my own was going to be sort of lonely.”

So McIntyre enlisted two friends — Laura Stasi from New Jersey and Kristen Gregory from Maryland — who spent three and 10 days, respectively, padding with him early in the adventure.

“For the other 24 days, I was alone,” McIntyre said, adding it was due in large part to Gregory he did not quit altogether hundreds of miles to the south.

“On Day Six I was on the Saranac River in New York and it was my third day alone and I started thinking, ‘What am I doing out here?’” he said. “So I pulled off and called Kristen and told her I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it.”

Gregory, who had just solo through-hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, was able to provide McIntyre with the advice that became the mantra for his trip.

“She told me, ‘Maine is impossible, but tomorrow isn’t,’” he said.

In other words, take it one step at a time and don’t look at the big picture.

“So that’s what I did,” McIntyre said. “I dealt with it one day at a time and if you do that, eventually you find yourself in Maine and then here you are in Fort Kent.”

Even with that, there were other times he questioned his decision embark on the trip.

“Yeah, there were times it was hard when you are wheeling the canoe up over rocks and rutted out trails that are muddy at 6 at night and you wish you did not have another 2 miles to go with the clouds of mosquitos around you,” he said. “But then you get to that next pond and look back and see the sun setting and you feel really successful.”

Early on, the route passes through towns and populated regions, McIntyre said, and he was able to purchase food and snacks to supplement the 30 pounds of food he had packed — much of it dehydrated meals prepared by his friend Gregory.

Meals included venison stew, clam chowder and a curry rice dish with sun-dried tomatoes.

“Eating on the river is not that hard if you do it right,” he said with a laugh.

In New Hampshire, friends Ray and Hildy Danforth met up with him with a box of cookies and invitation to shower at their house.

Once in northern Maine, McIntyre discovered two friends who were a week or so ahead of him on the canoe route had left a care package of beef jerky and gifts at the Churchill Dam ranger station.

“That is my only regret on this whole trip,” he said. “I was so excited to get that package I only realized a mile downriver I had not thanked the ranger named Josh at Churchill for hanging on to it for me.’”

His friends and parents were able to follow McIntyre’s adventures online thanks to a GPS tracking unit that sent out hourly updates on his location.

“That is how I have been surviving,” mother Laurie McIntyre said as she waited for her son on the banks of the St. John River on Saturday morning. “Every hour we knew where he was.”

Laurie McIntyre remembered initially thinking her son was “nuts” when he broached the idea of the canoe trek, but quickly realized it was a good choice.

“He definitely loves the wilderness and the simplicity of nature,” she said.

McIntyre received a great deal of financial and logistical support from St. Lawrence University, where he is a conservation biology major.

He received a grant through the school’s Tanner Fellowship, gear from the campus outing club and additional support from the school’s outing program.

This coming year he plans to write a book about the adventure as part of an independent study for publication.

But for the immediate future he was looking forward to an ice cream birthday cake with family and not having to ration his food.

“Hey look,” he said as he unpacked his canoe in Fort Kent. “I did not eat my emergency, everything-went-wrong hot cocoa, so now I can have it for lunch.”