Small Disaster at Oakley Corners

The dog and I woke early this morning traveling to Oakley Corners State Forest in Owego, NY under a thick blanket of fog. Undeterred our plan was to hike and have breakfast along the back side of the pond. The trail was still a bit muddy from the heavy rains this past Friday. Making our way under a canopy of trees and filtered sunlight the woods were alive with song as an owl hooted away in the distance while other birds provided the chorus.

The dog was in all his glory, kind of a dog Disneyland complete with a waterpark. We came upon the pond and immediately he went swimming, snorting and sniffing and loving life. I reached into my pack and pulled out my camp chair setting that up first. I wanted to use my new twig stove again but the leaves, pine needles and twigs were still damp. Poking around looking for my fire starters I realized I forgot to pack them. This wasn’t starting off well. I tried getting a fire going to no avail. It was just to wet and damp.

Disappointed I couldn’t use the new stove I did however remember to bring my Jetboil system as backup. Soon enough water was boiling and coffee was brewing. Now time to break out my new 8″ fry pan and cook our breakfast. This mornings delicacy would be salmon filet and bacon. I could see the dog licking his chops already. The Jetboil fry pan has folding handles and a plastic plate that clips to the bottom as well for easy storage. Glancing over at the dog I set the fry pan on the burner and all of a sudden smoke starts to billow from the pan. I was like what the heck! Then I noticed I set the pan on the burner but never removed the plate. Oh I was pissed to say the least and melted plastic was everywhere.

I was frustrated as the dog peered at me with the look of hurry up and get breakfast cooked, I’m hungry. I finally get the melted plastic cleaned up, pan back on the burner and warming. Reaching into my cooler pouch I pull out a bag with a Tbsp of butter and our season salmon filet. I open the bag and put the butter and fish in the pan. The butter goes sliding right out of the pan and onto the ground. A quick thinking dog snatches the butter. I couldn’t help but chuckle. I mean what else might go wrong!

Finally the fish and bacon were cooking and the dog kept inching closer with those please feed me eyes glaring at me. I sipped my coffee as the aroma of breakfast waft through the air. After we ate my fury compadre felt he needed another swim. Packing our stuff up and doggie finished with his swim we were back on the trail. It was about another mile or so back to the car and we were on our way home. Windows down and a wet dog hanging his head high!

Despite my little mishaps I had a really fun morning just being outside., cheers!

Along the trail at Oakley Corners State Forest Owego, NY August 5th 2018. © Joe Geronimo
Pond at Oakley Corners State Forest August 5th 2018. © Joe Geronimo
Wet dog at Oakley Corners State Forest in Owego, NY August 5th 2018. © Joe Geronimo
Melted and ruined plate from my Jetboil fry pan August 5th 2018. © Joe Geronimo
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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

#ThrowbackThursday

A typical dreary afternoon on Monday October 23rd, 2006 here in the Southern Tier. Josh Blay and I were out and about looking for something of interest, something cool to photograph. It’s now late afternoon and we had given up, threading our way east along route 17C from Waverly. We were talking about who knows what, and not really paying much attention to our surroundings. Suddenly my eyes became as big as saucers and with a few expletives we were witnessing a low flying helicopter above the Tri-Cities Airport in Endicott.  With our new found excitement Josh and I are now rapidly approaching the airport to get a closer look. A screeching of the brakes, doors flying open, camera gear spilling all over and upon closer inspection we excitedly discover this piece of magnificent machinery is the new Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel “V standing for VIP” (US101 Marine One) Presidential helicopter prototype doing what I’ll call Touch N Go’s…

Hands trembling with excitement as I fumble for a new roll of film, finally my camera’s motor drive begins to hum like the rotors of the VH71, I was elated. I couldn’t believe how lucky we were to photograph such an amazing subject despite the dismal weather conditions. Shortly after our excitement had settled Josh and I figured we should promptly leave before someone really takes notice of us and throws us out.

The VH-71 Kestrel program was canceled in 2009 and recently the United States has entered into contract for 23 new Presidential helicopters. The new, initial contract awarded to the American defense contractor Sikorsky, is valued at $1.24 billion. Under the terms of the new contract, the U.S. military will take delivery of two prototype helicopters—based on the Sikorsky S-92 medium helicopter–in 2016. Another 21 fully capable helicopters will follow.

Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel seen here at Tri-Cities Airport in Endicott, NY on October 23rd 2006. Image © Joe Geronimo Canon EOS 3 Fuji Press 800
Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel seen here at Tri-Cities Airport in Endicott, NY on October 23rd 2006.
Image © Joe Geronimo, Canon EOS 3, Fuji Press 800

From Wikipedia:

The Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel is a variant of the AgustaWestland AW101 (formerly EH101) built to replace the United States Marine Corps‘ Marine One U.S. Presidential transport fleet. It was developed and built by theLockheed Martin–led “US101 Team” of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego (LMSI), AgustaWestlandand Bell Helicopter.

In February 2009, President Barack Obama asked Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about placing the project on hold or canceling it because of its high cost: over $13 billion for the planned 28 helicopters. In June 2009, the U.S. Navy terminated the contract after spending about $4.4 billion and taking delivery of nine VH-71s. The helicopters were then sold to Canada for $164 million for use as spare parts for its fleet of AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorantsearch-and-rescue helicopters.