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

"Along

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

A Short Susquehanna Sojourn

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

GPS: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1422611379

Along the Susquehanna river Binghamton, NY October 26th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Along the Susquehanna river Binghamton, NY October 26th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

The former Crowley's Milk plant and approaching "Rock Bottom" dam along the Susquehanna river Binghamton, NY October 26th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

The former Crowley’s Milk plant and approaching “Rock Bottom” dam along the Susquehanna river Binghamton, NY October 26th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Crossing under the railroad tracks the Binghamton Psychiatric Center is visible on the hilltop October 26th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Crossing under the railroad tracks the Binghamton Psychiatric Center is visible on the hilltop October 26th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Back on dry land and ready for some coffee Binghamton, NY October 26th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Back on dry land and ready for some coffee Binghamton, NY October 26th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Flying High on the Ti

This morning a friend and I launched our kayaks from Hiawatha Landing in Blodgett Mills, NY. Don’t blink because you’ll drive right by this very small town nestled a few miles south of Cortland. Heavy rains over the past two days rapidly brought the water levels up in the Tioughnioga river. The USGS stream gauge at Corltand, NY on October 20th was at 3 feet and this morning the gauge was up at 5 feet. The river was flowing fast turning a rather slow trip into a quick one. The weather was cool and slightly windy as we paddled through some nice riffles and dodging a few strainers along the way making this a really fun adventure. I noted quite a bit of color loss due to the storms the over the past few days but there was enough to gawk at. In theory this trip of 11 miles would take close to 4 hours under normal conditions, however today we flew completing it in 1:48.

I love to be out on the water most anytime but Autumn by far is my favorite. I hope to be able to keep at it until at least mid-late November. Hopefully Mother Nature will oblige!

Check my GPS of the trip: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1417726350

Getting ready to start our journey at Hiawatha Landing in Blodgett Mills, NY October 23rd 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Getting ready to start our journey at Hiawatha Landing in Blodgett Mills, NY October 23rd 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Warren and I near Messengerville, NY October 23rd 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Warren and I near Messengerville, NY October 23rd 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

 

Warren & I near Messengerville, NY October 23rd 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Warren & I near Messengerville, NY October 23rd 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Warren on the Tioughnioga river October 23rd 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Warren on the Tioughnioga river October 23rd 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Flying high on the Ti near Marathon, NY October 23rd 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Flying high on the Ti near Marathon, NY October 23rd 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Myself at the take out Marathon, NY October 23rd 2016.

Myself at the take out Marathon, NY October 23rd 2016.

Warren loading our boats for the trip back to my car, October 23rd 2016 Marathon, NY. Image © Joe Geronimo

Warren loading our boats for the trip back to my car, October 23rd 2016 Marathon, NY. Image © Joe Geronimo

Lake to 10K: Chenango Valley State Park

Thick fog covered Chenango lake this morning as I carried my canoe to the waters edge. The air temperature a brisk 33 degrees and the local Kingfishers were not thrilled with my presence. Paddling quietly through the fog a slight breeze came up and the silence broken as the woods began raining acorns. I had hoped that the sunlight would burn the heavy fog off the lake but it would be hours before that would happen.

It’s 9:00AM and I’m back to my car clothes changed, shoes laced and I’m off for a 10K run along the Tow Path. The Tow Path follows the remains of the Chenango Canal and it is just over 3 miles long. It has some single track that twists and turns bringing you along the Chenango river. This is my favorite section! I was feeling pretty good until mile 4 where my stomach began to feel unsettled, a short break and I was back at it… Despite my stomach this was a great run and it was exactly what I needed.

Cheers!

Chinning lake, Chenango Valley State Park October 14th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Chenango lake, Chenango Valley State Park October 14th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Chinning lake after the fog burned off. Chinning Valley State Park October 14th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Chenango lake after the fog burned off. Chenango Valley State Park October 14th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Along the wider section of the tow path on my run. Chenango Valley State Park October 16th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Along the wider section of the Tow Path on my run. Chenango Valley State Park October 16th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

This was a fun run! Chinning Valley State Park October 14th 2016

This was a fun run! Chenango Valley State Park October 14th 2016

Autumn Sunrise

A cup of day old coffee and I was out the door this morning headed to meet a friend at Nanticoke Lake. I’ll take any opportunity I can get to be out on the water this time of year because before I know it my boats will be nestled in for a long winter’s nap!

Don Welch wheels his canoe towards the shore of Nanticoke Lake October 12th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Don Welch wheels his canoe towards the shore of Nanticoke Lake October 12th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Don Welch paddling Nanticoke Lake Ocotber 12th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Don Welch paddling Nanticoke Lake Ocotber 12th 2016. Image © Joe Geronimo

Fall color is alive and well along Nanticoke Lake October 12th 2016> Image © Joe Geronimo

Fall color is alive and well along Nanticoke Lake October 12th 2016> 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.

Spring has Arrived: In Theory

The calendar claims Spring has arrived, however the mercury and Mother Nature aren’t quite so convinced. To say I have cabin fever is an understatement. This morning I looked at the extended forecast only to have my hopes thwarted once again. The weather just looks terrible for the foreseeable future or at least the next 7 days.

I’m longing for the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the water and the ever quiet glide of my canoe. I hope to visit a few more remote ponds and lakes in the Adirondacks this year, return to some of my favorite places in New England but most importantly spend some quality time just paddling by myself or with my family.

Here is to hoping Spring actually does arrive.

Paddling in northern New Hampshire in one of my favorite canoes "The Old Town Pack". In 2015 I sold this light weight canoe for an even lighter weight Hornbeck canoe which weighs a total of 17 lbs.

“2014” Paddling in northern New Hampshire in one of my favorite canoes “The Old Town Pack”. In 2015 I sold this light weight canoe 33 lbs for an even lighter weight Hornbeck canoe which weighs a total of 17 lbs. I also went with a light weight carbon fiber Werner “Cyprus” paddle that only weights 23.25 oz. Photo by: Ian Clark.

Moose-ssion Accomplished

A cool breeze filled the room where I was sleeping in West Newbury Vermont, it was 4AM and you know what they say “The early bird gets the worm” or in this case “The Moose”. After throwing on some clothes I quietly went into the boys room, they were sound asleep. I woke them and asked them if they wanted to come with Ian and I to Long Pond in search of the elusive moose. They responded with a a groggy NO.

Downstairs Ian and I are prepping for our morning adventure. Coffee, breakfast and a ton of expensive camera gear. Canoes had been loaded onto his truck the evening before. It’s 5AM as we make the forty minute foggy trip through the Upper Valley to Long Pond in Benton New Hampshire. Long Pond is a remote 96 acre body of water in the White Mountains with an average depth of 4 feet and a max depth of 8 feet. Its so remote that you have to drive a 3 mile dirt road in order to launch your canoe or kayak. We arrived just before sunrise and the pond was extremely still, the only sounds were the erie call of the Loon. I took a real short video in order to capture their sound. In our canoes, we quietly paddle out into the pond. https://youtu.be/iN8NE9Zs_xI

The placid waters of Long Pond in Benton, NH. Image © Joe Geronimo

The placid waters of Long Pond in Benton, NH.
Image © Joe Geronimo

Long Pond is abundant with wildlife. Otters, Beavers, Hawks, Osprey, the occasional Bald Eagle, Loons, Ducks, King Fishers, many species of birds and Moose make their residence here. I’ve been on the hunt to photograph the elusive moose in the wild for three years now with no luck what so ever. As Ian and I made our way around the pond we decided to split up in order to work several different coves. Paddling my way towards the south end I came across two adult Loons and their chick. I spent the better part of a half hour working with them before moving on.

I’m at the south end sitting in the shadows as the sun begins to highlight pockets of the pond. The water is like glass and I am just floating, thinking and taking in my surroundings. Actually I was really trying not to fall asleep. Then all of a sudden to my unbelieving eyes a young bull moose walks right out of the brush and into the shallows of the pond. I began to shake with excitement! I actually froze for a moment and then slowly reached for my camera. I was still shaking as I clicked off a few frames, my lenses imagine stabilization motor working making a humming noise as it works. The moose finally took notice of my presence and began to move around the shoreline. I clicked off a few more frames. The light was horrible but I didn’t care as this was my moment. This moose would stay in sight for about 10 minutes before disappearing back into the woods.

Young bull moose Long Pond Benton, NH August 28th 2015. Image © Joe Geronimo

Young bull moose Long Pond Benton, NH August 28th 2015.
Image © Joe Geronimo

Young bull moose Long Pond Benton, NH August 28th 2015. Image © Joe Geronimo

Young bull moose Long Pond Benton, NH August 28th 2015.
Image © Joe Geronimo

Putting my camera down, grabbing my paddle I raced back up the pond to find Ian with that triumphant feeling. A feeling of utter accomplishment that I have longed for. I found Ian sitting behind one of the many rock islands dotting the pond’s landscape in hopes of photographing the playful Otter’s. As I approached I was fist pumping and Ian knew right away what I had just photographed. We spent a few more hours on the pond pursuing the Loons, watching the Osprey fish and the King Fisher’s scramble like fighter planes on an aircraft carrier.

We would spend the next several mornings on Long Pond with the hopes of photographing another moose. Our hopes weren’t enough and we didn’t see another moose. However we the privilege of photographing more of the Loons in depth. I’ve been drawn to the Loon for quite sometime now as they are truly an interesting and beautiful animal.

At the end of this month Ian and I will embark on a trip through northern New Hampshire and Maine again in search of the moose.

Cheers!

Common Loons on Long Pond Benton, NH. Image © Joe Geronimo

Common Loons on Long Pond Benton, NH.
Image © Joe Geronimo

Common Loons on Long Pond Benton, NH. Image © Joe Geronimo

Common Loons on Long Pond Benton, NH.
Image © Joe Geronimo

Common Loons on Long Pond Benton, NH. Image © Joe Geronimo

Common Loons on Long Pond Benton, NH.
Image © Joe Geronimo

Common Loons on Long Pond Benton, NH. Image © Joe Geronimo

Common Loons on Long Pond Benton, NH.
Image © Joe Geronimo