New England Rendezvous

Finished with exploring Henderson lake I reloaded all my gear into and onto my car and began the slow journey from New York to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Making a quick stop in Ticonderoga for fuel and food before crossing at Crown Point. There is no highway that runs west to east in Vermont so the 158 miles to my destination was slow but the scenery more than makes up for it. Leaving the Champlain Valley my favorite section of this adventure is on route 17 as you cross the Green Mountains and descend into the Mad River Valley. There are six hairpin turns I believe on this section of road.

I would spend the next several days visiting with friends and doing what I enjoy most. Roaming around Vermont and New Hampshire taking in their beauty. Over the past several years I have visited the town of Newport, VT and Newport has really grown on me. Nestled along the US/Canadian border, Newport sits at the southern end of Lake Memphremagog. Lake Memphremagog stretches 32 miles to the southeastern Quebec city of Magog. I hope to someday kayak parts of this lake which oddly enough is part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. After a long day and as we were 200 hundred yards or so from the house my friends truck would lose its brakes to a ruptured brake line. All I can say is thank goodness it happened close to home.

On our way to Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch State Park we are climbing route 112 which is also called the Kanc (Kancamagus Highway) cresting near Beaver Pond we noticed smoke along the Kinsman Range. It appeared that a small forest fire had started and personnel were on the scene. Continuing on to Cannon Mountain we would take the tram to the summit. As the tram car climbed the winds increased quite considerabley and the temperatures dropped as well. At the top we made our way to the tower, a viewing platform where on a clear day you can see for over one hundred miles. The fog and clouds were rolling over the mountain tops playing a game of hide and seek with the sun.

Afterwards we stopped to check out the “The Basin”. The Basin is a 20 foot diameter granite hole at the base of a beautiful waterfall. Some say it had been eroded 15,000 years ago while the North American ice sheet was melting. Over time The Basin has been smoothed small stones and sand, whirled around by the Pemigewasset River.

Stopping in North Woodstock, NH at the Woodstock Station Inn & Brewery for lunch it was so sunny and warm at this point we chose to sit outside. I sampled some of their beers with my favorite being the 4,000 footer IPA. For lunch I would knock down their adult grilled cheese sandwich with a side of chili.

Heading back west over the Kanc we noticed there was a lot more smoke than earlier this morning. A helicopter was also on he scene making water drops on the mountain side. We would spend the next 90 minutes watching and photographing the efforts of all involved. I’ve never witnessed a forest fire of this size about (5 acres) at the time up close. Looking at the sheer rock cliffs one could see the firefighters trying to advance. The aggressive sound of their chainsaws cutting timber in efforts to battle the blaze could be heard echoing down below. The heat from the fire was causing slides and I could see trees falling. According to news reports that I have read there is speculation the fire was caused by a meteor strike which is unconfirmed at this time. As a note this section of the White Mountain National Forest is also part of the Appalachian Trail.

The next afternoon I would begin my long trek back home taking me 6.5 hours. The traffic on route 4 across Vermont was horrible and slow going. I was glad to be home!

See you in Old Forge….

Our morning begins in West Newbury, VT. © Joe Geronimo
On top of Cannon Mountain Franconia Notch State Park, NH. © Joe Geronimo
Cannon Mountain tram arriving the summit Franconia Notch State Park, NH. © Joe Geronimo
Cannon Mountain tram Franconia Notch State Park, NH. © Joe Geronimo
Echo lake view from the Cannon Mountain tram, Franconia Notch State Park, NH. © Joe Geronimo
The Basin Franconia Notch State Park, NH. © Joe Geronimo
Forest fire White Mountain National Forest N. Woodstock, NH © Joe Geronimo

Forest fire White Mountain National Forest N. Woodstock, NH © Joe Geronimo
Forest fire White Mountain National Forest N. Woodstock, NH © Joe Geronimo
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Splorin The Rez

It wasn’t raining, the sun was shinning, the wind was blowing and it felt like a spring afternoon for once. After work I made the short drive to the Whitney Point Reservoir where I normally launch from the north end at Upper Lisle but today I decided to be different and put in on the south end and begin from there.

Today’s adventure would have me exploring the three islands that dot the lake. The largest of the three islands is where I beached and began to check things out. I’d love to know if its possible to camp here. I never noticed any signs on the road in that said “No Camping”, however this is something I’ll have to ask the DEC. Following the shoreline north I would be treated to a chorus of song birds. Several vibrant colored Baltimore Orioles and Cardinals fluttered from tree branch to tree branch teasing me with their beauty. I came upon several fisherman, three kayakers and  brief spring shower.

Today was a great day to start the month. I hope we are finally going to have some good weather.

Cheers!

Approaching the largest of three islands on the Whitney Point Reservoir June 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo
Doing some exploring on the Whitney Point Reservoir June 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo
I bumped into a brief rain shower while on the Whitney Point Reservoir June 1st 2017. © Joe Geronimo

Here is a link to a video I shot and edited. This would be my first attempt at editing. I have more to learn but hey it was fun. Enjoy the show! https://youtu.be/JXaxdPFapKg

Just What the Doctor Ordered!

The sun was warm, the breeze light and not a cloud in the sky is just what the doctor ordered for a perfect day spent at the Adirondack “Paddlefest” held in Old Forge, NY this past weekend.

Julie and I got our game faces on for an early start Saturday morning as we snaked our way north arriving at Mountainman Outdoors about 10AM. I’ll admit I was very excited for the day. Wheeling into the parking lot we noticed there was already a good size crowd pouring over all the goodies. Kayaks, Canoes, Campers, Cars, Trailers, Gear, etc. Making our way into the grounds we quickly noted there were quite a few dogs as well and we immediately began missing our fury beast. However we were on a mission.

Michael at 6′ 5″ had out grown his 10 foot kayak so we had a few in mind that we new he was comfortable in. We settled on one of his top choices, a 2017 Perception “Prodigy” 12 in tiger camo red. We got the last one in that color! After browsing for a while it was time for us to do some test paddling. I test paddled one kayak because I knew if I tested others we would be leaving with another boat. Julie on the other hand test paddled a few. The first was a very sexy Swift Adirondack 12LT in the color “Purple Rain” weighing only 24 lbs with the heavy price tag of $2395. Next was the same boat but in the 10LT version. She absolutely loved these boats. I was able to convince her to try another kayak. This time it was a Hurricane Santee 116. She was skeptical but did so. After she was done test paddling I asked “So what did you think?”. She responded I loved it and even more so than the Swift. The Santee weighs a little more but comes with a $900 price tag instead. She loved its smoothness, tracking and speed. With that said Julie still likes her current kayak and is sticking with it for now.

After our test paddling we headed to the small town of Inlet, NY for lunch at the Screamen Eagle. Traveling along route 28 in Eagle Bay we came upon “The Donut Shop” and it hit me, they had been voted best donuts in Adirondack Life magazine’s 2016 “Best of the Adirondacks”. A quick turn of the wheel and a few screams from Julie I was in the parking lot. The Donut Shop only makes two types of donuts, plain and cinnamon sugar. We ordered two of each and were back in the car. The first bite was heaven! Crsipy, fluffy and oh so amazing Julie and I were raving.

Our destination for lunch was The Screamen Eagle. The Eagle itself was voted runner up in Adirondack Life magazine’s 2016 “Best of the Adirondacks” in the pizza category. Although we didn’t order pizza we did enjoy our phenomenal peanut butter wings. All I can say was wow!

Finished with lunch we would go for a short paddle along the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Launching on 4th lake at Inlet we paddled into the channel that brings you to 5th lake. A perfect small adventure in the middle of our day.

Headed back towards Old Forge to pick up Michael’s kayak I had wanted to visit the Fulton Chain Craft Brewery. I was on the hunt for the “Go Fluff Yourself” Peanut Butter Fluff Ale (Notice the theme here!). I happen to have a pint or two locally at Food & Fire recently and really enjoyed it. Sadly when I got there they had just kicked the keg and wouldn’t have anymore until Monday. Perched in our Adirondack chair bar stools, the kind that are so comfortable you don’t want to leave I found myself tasting “Bear Road: Bluberry Coffee Stout” which I immediately fell in love with. Thankfully I had an empty growler with me just in case.

After picking up Michael’s kayak we began our trek home, making a dinner stop in Utica at Babe’s Macaroni Grill & Bar.

Our day was short but packed with fun little adventure’s. But best of all barely any black flies. We can’t wait to return for next years event.

Cheers!

Michael’s 2017 Perception Prodigy 12.
Julie test paddling a Swift Adirondack 12LT Old Forge, NY May 20th 2017.
Julie test paddling a Swift Adirondack 12LT Old Forge, NY May 20th 2017.
Adirondack Paddlefest Old Forge, NY May 20th 2017.
I’m test paddling a Perception Carolina 14 Old Forge, NY May 20th 2017.
Julie & I between 4th lake & 5th lake Inlet, NY May 20th 2017.

2017 Seneca 7 Wrap

I finally have a few moments to sit down and reflect on this years Seneca 7 relay race. A 77.7 mile circumnavigation of beautiful Seneca lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region. This years field consisted of 319 teams equaling 2,233 runners.

This year we had an unexpected short notice injury to team member Jordan Varano. Jordan reluctantly had to bail out a week prior to the race. However friend Juan Martinez answered the call and I cannot thank Juan enough for stepping up and taking Jordan’s spot on short notice. Juan was a perfect fit for our team!

Our team “Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire” had some pretty stiff competition in the “Renegade 7” another all male team from Binghamton, NY who would go onto win the event placing first overall. They completed the course in 7:34:02 setting a new course record. The “Cayuga 7” a mixed team from Ithaca, NY finished first place mixed, second place overall with a course time of 7:40:40. Our team placed second male and third place overall with a time of 7:53:40 a 12 minute PR from last year with an average pace of 6:04 per mile.

During last years Seneca 7 we formed a friendship with Tom and Carrie Thompson owners of Bottomless Brewing in Geneva. Tom and Carrie were gracious enough to sponsor our team for this years event. Not only do they brew some really great beer but they add that extra special to this great running community we have. I love to run but what I love even more is the people and friendships running has graced my life with and that is always a winning combination.

And lastly I was overwhelmed with pride at the sheer volume of runners from the Triple Cities area in which we live and who I call friends.

Cheers!

Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire 2017 Seneca 7.
L-R: Ryan Heinlein, Dan Cavalari, Juan Martinez, Joe Geronimo, Adrian Milisavljevich, James Wilson & Aaron Perry
Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire 2nd place male, 3rd place overall 2017 Seneca 7.
Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire with Tom Thompson of Bottomless Brewing in Geneva, NY.
A well earned beer after the 77.7 mile Seneca 7.
Just a small portion of runners from the Triple Cities area at the 2017 Seneca 7.

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

Halloween 13K & Relay: “If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball”

This past weekend my friend Tom Hanselman and I ran the Halloween 13K & Relay right here in Endicott as team Hanselween 2016. This was our second year running this race and it has quickly become a favorite of ours. For starters this race is right in our backyard so to speak. The cost is inexpensive, the fleece jacket this year is awesome and the candy corn on the cake is all the costumes the runners came up with. I just love all the effort that was put into this race. For me personally I try to find something easy to run in. The movie Dodgeball so happens to be a favorite of mine and I found an “Average Joe’s gym costume and hit the pavement running. Tom brought back his Yukon Cornelius costume minus the “Stache” due to technical problems…

Tom and I would finish 2nd place in the relay with a time of 54:57 besting last years performance by 21 seconds. Time and place aside this was a fun time and we are already talking about next year.

A huge thank you to the race director, volunteers, Police and everyone else that made this race a success, Happy Running!

 

Tom & I prior to the Halloween 13K & Relay October 29th 2016.
Tom & I prior to the Halloween 13K & Relay October 29th 2016.
Tom Hanselman running leg #1 along the Halloween 13K & Relay October 29th 2016. Photo courtesy of Confluence Running.
Tom Hanselman running leg #1 along the Halloween 13K & Relay October 29th 2016. Photo courtesy of Confluence Running.
Joe Geronimo runner #2 Halloween 13K & Relay October 29th 2016. Photo courtesy of Confluence Running.
Joe Geronimo runner #2 Halloween 13K & Relay October 29th 2016. Photo courtesy of Confluence Running.

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