Rail Trail Cycling

After work on Tuesday I walked 4 miles on the rail trail and my knee felt sore and irritated. Yesterday I thought why not take my bike off the trainer and ride the trail instead. I’m not a huge fan of cycling, its a huge time suck. However it does have its benefits.

It was cool and sunny with a strong westerly headwind but felt great to be outdoors. I started at the western most end of the trail cycling the 3.5 miles to the eastern end. I would do 3 complete laps for a total of 22 miles rounding up in the neighborhood before finishing. This also showed me how seriously out of shape I truly am as this was the most amount of exercise/effort I’ve done since getting injured back in December. My knee felt great though and I got a nice cardio workout as well.

I’m planning on returning to the rail trail tomorrow morning for 16 miles before meeting friends for coffee. My bike is old probably close to 30 years but it gets the job done. Maybe next year I’ll replace it with a new one???

Cheers!

The western side of the Vestal Rail Trail crosses Choconut Creek.
The Choconut creek flows towards the Susquehanna river.
Back where I began at the western end of the Rail Trail.
My stats for the day…..
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The Journey Begins

Jenneken’s Junction on the East Service Road in Hillcrest, NY (Former Nelson Ellis Furniture Store) will become “Your Needful Things” today.

Your Needful Things is a 5,000+ square foot multi-vendor shop with wares of all sorts. There is even a fabric reupholstery business located there as well. Last month I took a chance at what I believe will be a successful venue as it evolves and grows.  I currently lease wall space in the hallway leading to Phil’s Gift Shop a Binghamton institution.

There will be a grand re-opening celebration come April and I will post updates as the specifics become available. However in the meantime take a ride and see for yourself.

Current store hours:

Wednesdays 10:00am to 5:00pm, Thursdays 10:00am to 6:00pm, Fridays 10:00am to 5:00pm, Saturdays 10:00am to 5:00pm & Sundays 11:00am to 4:00pm

New Adventures

This coming April will mark 27 years at my job and I’m hoping to retire once I hit 30 years. A long time ago I went to school for Advertising Art & Design and received a 2 year certificate. I was all convinced this was the career path I wanted. I worked in small ad agencies long before computers did the work and I began attending a SUNY college here in New York taking business classes.

Things changed rather abruptly when suddenly I had the opportunity to hire on the railroad. I dropped the arts like a hot potato. My passion for art in its many forms lay dormant like a bear in winter hibernation waiting for the right time to leave its slumber.

Back in the mid 2000’s I was laying i my hotel room watching TV when I saw an interview with a woman named Diana Walker. She had just written a book called “Public & Private” 20 years of photographing the Presidency. When I got back home I went to my local bookstore and purchased her book and immediately I was hooked. Then I got this crazy notion I wanted to be a photojournalist, and in 2007 that dream became a reality when I was hired by our local newspaper (A Gannett Rag) as a part time staff photographer working four days a week. To be honest I couldn’t believe they hired me. I spent about a year there when I saw the writing on the wall with layoffs. I despise being fired for something I did not do, so I resigned. Almost immediately I was handed a freelance contract and now I was working for the paper on my own terms.

I would spend the next few years shooting for the paper and small assignments for the Associated Press. On a whim I threw out an email to the PBA (Professional Bowlers Assoction) and sure enough they began having me shoot several events in the northeast for a few years. One of my favorites was an outdoor match at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. I also landed a few years of work with NYSUT (New York State United Teachers) union. I was having fun! All while working my job on the railroad.

I haven’t been doing much freelance work these days. Over the past three years I have been shooting running race photos here in New York and Vermont. I like it and it fits well into my schedule.

Recently a friend of mine purchased a multi vendor store and talked me into leasing wall space to sell some of my work. I also just opened and Etsy shop as well. I hope to slowly build both into a small business to keep me occupied after I retire.

With that said I encourage you to visit my Etsy shop, like and share it with friends and family. It is definitely a work in progress as I try to navigate the ins and outs.

Cheers,

Joe

Raquette Lake to Blue Mountain Lake an Adirondack Adventure

For the past year now I have had this desire to paddle across Raquette lake and into the Marion river. Here I would make the flat half mile carry to Utowana lake continuing through Eagle lake and reaching Blue Mountain lake, a total distance of about 14 miles. On Sunday September 30th myself and three other friends did just that.

We arrived at Raquette lake just as the sun was rising and the fog was rolling across the surface of the lake like the stage of a rock concert, however the silence was deafening.  It was a cool 39 degrees as I unstrapped my kayak from the roof of my car. Yes I brought my heavy kayak for this adventure. For some reason I have always been intimidated by the size and notorious winds of Raquette lake. The weather report for the day was calling for 8 MPH winds and I had visions of white caps dancing in my head. With that said I chose poorly and that decision would haunt me a little later in our adventure.

The water was like glass as we set out to cross Raquette lake under the watchful eye of Blue Mountain towering 14 miles in the distance. With only a small navigation snafu we reached the mouth of the Marion river in 3.30 miles according to my GPS. The Marion river was beautiful with its mirrored reflections of autumn beginning to paint the landscape. We twisted and turned up the river several miles before we reached a somewhat large beaver dam. We knew this dam would be here and that we would have to exit our boats in order to get around it. Once we got over the damn it was only another quarter mile or so to the Marion river carry.

This carry from the Marion river to Utowana lake follows the former road bed of the Marion River Railroad. It is only a half mile long and was the world’s shortest railroad. Here is where my kayak would come back to haunt me. Without gear my kayak weighs in a 52 pounds at 14 1/2 feet long. I probably had at least 8 pounds of gear stowed in the boat. So I had the pleasure of carrying 60 pounds on my shoulders for a half mile. A huge departure from my 17 pound canoe…

Once we reached the put in on Utowana lake we were about half way through our journey. In other significance this is where the wind would finally kick up as we paddled our way up through Utowana and into Eagle lake. The entrance from Eagle lake into Blue Mountain lake has two routes that go under bridges and around a small island. Entering Blue Mountain lake we would see the only other paddlers during our trip. From here it was about a mile or so to our take out spot in the hamlet of Blue Mountain Lake.

Once we were off the water and boats loaded I was ready for my long trip back home. As I approached Old Forge I had thought I might want to stop quick at Fulton Chain Craft Brewery. But I was exhausted and just wanted to get home. I made a quick stop to top off the gas tank, grabbed some coffee and kept rolling for home. Not only did I rack up another 425 miles on my car I was part of some great memories with some amazing friends. I look forward to doing it again soon somewhere in the Park.

Cheers!

Pulling into Raquette Lake, NY the sunrise was amazing. This is one of my favorite views in the Adirondack Park. © Joe Geronimo
Starting my day on Raquette lake. © Joe Geronimo
Crossing Raquette lake on our way to the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo
Wayne, Jan & Hugh crossing Raquette lake on our way to the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo
When the autumn colors are just starting to pop you improvise and bring your own. Jan giving a big wave on Raquette lake. © Joe Geronimo
Jan & Hugh on Raquette lake. © Joe Geronimo
Wayne making his way across Raquette lake. © Joe Geronimo
Blue Mountain keeps a watchful eye as Hugh crosses Raquette lake. © Joe Geronimo
Hugh and Jan entering the mouth of the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo
Making my way along the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo
Hugh and I on the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo
Hugh and I on the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo
Hugh and I on the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo
Wayne and I chatting it up on the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo
Wayne & Jan along the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo
This was a cool obstacle along the Marion river. The reflection in the water was amazing. © Joe Geronimo
Wayne & Jan along the Marion river. © Joe Geronimo
Hugh & Wayne getting their boats over the beaver dam. © Joe Geronimo
Wayne assisting Jan getting her boat over the dam. I dragged my heavy kayak around the beaver dam through the mud. © Joe Geronimo
Jan & Hugh carry their canoes between the Marion river and Utowana lake. © Joe Geronimo
Wayne & Mya make their way along the Marion river carry. © Joe Geronimo
On Utowana lake the sun peaked out from behind the clouds for a few minutes. © Joe Geronimo
Wayne paddling up Utowana lake. © Joe Geronimo
Hugh & I paddle up Utowana lake with Blue Mountain looming in the distance. © Joe Geronimo
We’ve gotten a little further up Utowana lake. © Joe Geronimo
Hugh & I along Eagle lake. © Joe Geronimo
I’ve just entered Blue Mountain lake. © Joe Geronimo
Wayne & I on Blue Mountain lake. © Joe Geronimo

The Chicago “L”

I made my first visit to the Windy City back in July. My wife and sons have already spent time here before so this was unchartered territory for me. We were staying with family in one of the suburbs of Chicago and rode the Metra into the city the several days we were there. We navigated the city by either walking or riding the subway which is affectionately knows as the “L”. Riding the “L” opened up a whole new perspective on photography for me. I instantly fell in love with the intricate infrastructure cramped between towering buildings, parking garages and everyday life below. The photographic possibilities are endless and all you need is time.

Prior to my arrival in Chicago I had done absolutely no research on this gem so I was totally in the dark as to the “Prime” locations in which to photograph. The day I made the most of my images started off bright and sunny with weather conditions crumbling like an old building as the day progressed. I believe I have created several images that convey mood, as most of these were grab shots. I particularly like the ones where I was shooting out the front window as we rode the “L”. I shot color slide film but really liked them even more converted to black & white.

The other day I had mentioned to my wife how we need to return so I can spend a good 3-4 days photographing the “L” now that I have done my research.

Cheers!

Waiting at the interlocking of Lake 7 Wells on the Chicago "L" July 15th 2016. Lighting conditions were horrid and I was down to 1/60th @ F2.8, but I love the mood of this image. Agfa CT Precisa Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo
Waiting at the interlocking of Lake & Wells on the Chicago “L” July 15th 2016. Lighting conditions were horrid and I was down to 1/60th @ F2.8, but I love the mood of this image. Agfa CT Precisa Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo
The Chicago "L" July 15th 2016. Agfa CT Precisa Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo.
The Chicago “L” July 15th 2016. Agfa CT Precisa Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo.
The Chicago "L" July 15th 2016. You can notice walking ahead is Julie, Michael & Max. Agfa CT Precisa Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo
The Chicago “L” July 15th 2016. You can notice walking ahead is Julie, Michael & Max. Agfa CT Precisa Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo

 

The Chicago "L" July 15th 2016. Agfa CT Precisa 100 Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo
The Chicago “L” July 15th 2016. Agfa CT Precisa 100 Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo
The Chicago "L" at Lake & Wells July 15th 2016. Agfa CT Precisa 100 Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo. I would later discover that this is one of the most photographed sections due to its intricate design and track work here. I recently bid on a 1982 Kodachrome form this location and lost as it sold for $41.00.
The Chicago “L” at Lake & Wells July 15th 2016. Agfa CT Precisa 100 Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo. I would later discover that this is one of the most photographed sections due to its intricate design and track work here. I recently bid on a 1982 Kodachrome from this location and lost as it sold for $41.00.
Adams & Wabash station Chicago "L" July 15th 2016. Agfa CT Precisa Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo
Adams & Wabash station Chicago “L” July 15th 2016. Agfa CT Precisa Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo

 

The Chicago "L" July 15th 2016. Agfa CT Precisa 100 Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo
The Chicago “L” July 15th 2016. Agfa CT Precisa 100 Slide Film, © Joe Geronimo

Here you’ll find a link to an image from Lake & Wells on the Chicago “L”. It was photographed from either a parking garage or rooftop. However it gives you the perspective of its complexity. I love it! https://flic.kr/p/rUyXih

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