Autumn in the Air

While summer slips into Autumn I am reminded at how much I enjoy fall paddling in the Northeast. I try to take every advantage I can get to be out on the water whether by myself or with my family. Sadly this summer I/we have not been on the water much and Max and I have not even taken the Cownoe out together.

The boys and I had plans to camp and canoe in the Fish Creek Ponds area of the Adirondacks this summer but we had to cancel. However not all was lost. Julie, Max & I took advantage of the nice weather this past weekend and made the short drive to Nanticoke lake in Lisle, NY. Nanticoke is a small and quiet lake. This is partly due to the quarter mile hike in from the parking area.

I also learned a very valuable lesson for the future as well. An 18 foot 47lb canoe with gear and a 30 lb kayak strapped on top make for a heavy portage. The lesson I learned is two canoe carts instead of one and your shoulders will thank you.

To our surprise we discovered two other people kayaking, a sight I have not seen here before. Then again I’m mostly here at sunrise.

No matter what you enjoy doing Autumn is one of the best times to get out and do what you love, so enjoy!

Max and I canoe around Nanticoke lake in Lisle, NY September 10th 2017. © Joe Geronimo
Julie kayaks on Nanticoke lake in Lisle, NY September 10th 2017. © Joe Geronimo
Elsie getting her feet wet on Nanticoke lake in Lisle, NY September 10th 2017. © Joe Geronimo
Max and I walking Elsie back out to our car from Nanticoke lake in Lisle, NY September 10th 2017. © Julie Geronimo
Julie made this image of me portaging all our gear back to our car from Nanticoke lake in Lisle, NY September 10th 2017. © Julie Geronimo
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Tranquility in Vermont

Recently I was in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont near Island Pond exploring the Silvio O. Conte Wildlife Refuge with my two sons and friend. As always we were on the hunt for moose. I must have had my moose kryptonite on me this time because we didn’t see any moose. However we saw all sorts of fascinating birds.

If you know me or have read my many posts you won’t be surprised when I say “I have a major affection for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail”. In all honestly I have only paddled small portions of this beautiful flowing highway system spanning 740 miles from Old Forge, NY meandering into Canada and finally terminating in Fort Kent, ME. The Silvio O. Conte Wildlife Refuge sits in the Nulhegan river basin, wait for it, which is part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

As we exited the refuge the Nulhegan river was so calm and peaceful but just 100 yards away it’s rapids roared. Slamming on the brakes and testing the seat belts of the cars other occupants I leaped out to capture its serenity.

Cheers!

Exiting the Silvio O. Conte Wildlife Refuge near Island Pond, VT June 17th 2017. © Joe Geronimo
The Nulhegan river in all her tranquility. However just 100 yards away the rapids roared. Island Pond, VT July 17th 2017 © Joe Geronimo

Morning Paddle: Whitney Point Reservoir

Max & I on Whitney Point Reservoir this morning. Image © Joe Geronimo
Max & I on Whitney Point Reservoir this morning. Image © Joe Geronimo

This morning I got to spend some great father and son time with Max out in our canoe. Max and I got moving somewhat early this morning making the short drive to Upper Lisle at the north end of the Whitney Point Reservoir. We quickly noticed that there were quite a few boat trailers in the parking lot. We also saw that there was some wind and chop out on the water, undeterred we set out for a nice paddle.

Max, seated in the front of the boat suddenly yell’s “Dad did you see that!” Dad of course did not. So we stopped for a minute and floated quietly and sure enough a massive carp comes straight up and completely out of the water. This fish was HUGE… We were witness to this several more times and believe it or not I had so much fun watching this… We kept paddling and off to our right along the shoreline I noticed an Amish buggy. I also saw the horse that pulls the buggy tied to a near by tree and nobody around. Amish are no strangers to the area but I’ve never seen them near the reservoir before.

Moving on we saw several different species of birds, more flying fish, tons of fisherman  and an eagle overhead. However the chop worsened the longer we were out so we decided to cut it short and returned to shore after only an hour or so.

Packed up we headed into town for a quick breakfast at McDonalds and then made our way home. I had a wonderful time this morning with my son, time I will forever cherish.

Cheers!

Amish horse & buggy along the shore of Whitney Point Reservoir this morning. Image © Joe Geronimo
Amish horse & buggy along the shore of Whitney Point Reservoir this morning. Image © Joe Geronimo
View of the southend of Whitney Point Reservoir this morning. Image © Joe Geronimo
View of the southend of Whitney Point Reservoir this morning. Image © Joe Geronimo

Old Forge New York: Paddlefest

This weekend up in Old Forge is the annual Paddle Festival sponsored by http://www.mountainmanoutdoors.com

Julie had plans to head north for the day, check out some new canoes and kayaks and do a little paddling ourselves. The weather wasn’t perfect but it was warm and we had no rain. Upon arriving in Old Forge we made our way right to the waterfront where all the boats were and the test paddling was taking place. Julie quickly fell in love with a very light weight Swift Kayak http://www.swiftcanoe.com/#!adirondack-12-lt/c1wd4

This boat is beautiful and pricey so she is keeping it in mind for a future purchase. After spending time Oohing and Awing at all the beautiful products it was time to take “Elsie” off the car and hit the water ourselves.  We launched on Old Forge Pond and paddled the channel to First Lake where we would take in the views and the homes that dotted the shoreline.

A few hours later we were back on dry land and hungry. No trip to Old Forge would not be complete without a good meal at Walt’s Diner. Now that we were fed it was off to Mountain Man to see all the other cool products that were part of the weekend. There were lots more canoes and kayaks, shoes, clothing, paddles, etc. However there was one thing that caught our attention quickly, a Sylvan Sport camper http://www.sylvansport.com We absolutely loved it and are seriously considering one of these in the near future.

To finish out the day we took a ride north a few miles to Inlet, NY where we spent a little time taking in the views of Fourth, Fifth, Sixth & Seventh lakes. While stopped at Seventh Lake we bumped into an extremely friendly local resident. I didn’t notice at first but eventually I realized she was wearing a 2016 Binghamton Bridge Run shirt.

Our day was long but extremely fun and we scouted some new places to paddle on our next trip to the Adirondacks.

Cheers!

Adirondack Paddlefest Old Forge, NY. Image © Joe Geronimo
Adirondack Paddlefest Old Forge, NY. Image © Joe Geronimo
Julie and I paddle "Elsie" on First Lake in Old Forge, NY. Image © Joe Geronimo
Julie and I paddle “Elsie” on First Lake in Old Forge, NY. Image © Joe Geronimo

The Return to Long Pond:

For the first time this year I was able to finally get out in my canoe this evening. I made the 40 minute trip to Long Pond near Smithville Flats. Launching my boat I made my way down the pond. The water was placid and the surroundings quiet only to be disturbed periodically by the chorus of song birds. Looking off to my right I noticed a female Canadian goose sitting atop a mound. I instantly realized that she was with her young.

Female Canadian goose with her chicks. Image © Joe Geronimo.
Female Canadian goose with her chicks May 11th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo.

Moving on quietly the silence of Long Pond was interrupted by a fisherman hacking his brains out as I watched him return his cigarette to his mouth. I paddled into a cove on the east end only to be greeted by two more fisherman sitting along the shoreline. After a few words I was on my way again slowly paddling along the shore.

I paused for a few minutes in an attempt to photograph a Northern Flicker but it proved fruitless. Then I caught a glimpse of movement from the corner of my right eye. Slowly I turned and there I spied a beaver having some dinner. I dipped my paddle in the water and turned my boat cautiously toward him. A few soft paddle strokes to move closer. This beaver has yet to notice my presence as I ever so slightly reach for my camera. Click, click, click and he still does’t know I’m there. Click, click, click and now his attention turns to me and he disappears into the brush.

I patiently waited to see if he would return but to no avail. I returned back up the pond to the launch site feeling excited about my return to Long Pond.

Beaver having some dinner on Long Pond. Image © Joe Geronimo.
Beaver having some dinner on Long Pond May 11th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo.