Polar Explorer Eric Larsen
Day 1: New YorkATHON
Eric Larsen
21 October 2019 | New York
After a final gear sort and pack, we loaded up our Old Town kayak and shoved off into the calm waters of Lake Champlain. We got lucky. The weather was nice and Surface was flat. On a Lake this big, it doesnâ??t take much to make paddling a small boat very difficult.

It was nice to finally be moving and working toward our goal of crossing the entire state of New York by kayak, foot and bike. This first leg will take us south along the western shore to Westport.

But first we had to sleep through an incessant squawking of geese throughout the night. As paddled away from shore, a several gigantic flocks of snow geese rose from a nearby cornfield. It was easily several thousand birds. It was a clear sign that our nice morning weather was a fleeting window rather than a trend. Still, we enjoyed the warmth.

I had told Gus the night before that we would have no problems unless it was a whiteout and it seems as the statement totally jinxed us. For nearly two hours, we paddled in a low layer of fog, getting only fleeting glimpses of the shore line. Finally, the lake cleared and we were treated to a stunning view of the surrounding area. In the distance, the Adirondack mountains. Along the shore, houses and cottages of every shape, size and style and in the lake Loons in winter plumage and flocks of cormorants.

We talked a little bit while we paddled but I am comfortable in silence and often turn inward during these types of activities that require constant repeated effort. Iâ??m not exactly sure why Iâ??m drawn to things that require sustained physical activity over large distances. But I am. So in my kayak on day one I sit and paddle steadily toward (another) distant horizon.

There is adventure here I can feel it!

Lastly, giving back is also a primary goal of this adventure. Please help raise $5,000 to support NYC ICO adventures. Donations will go directly to their programming and can be made through the online fundraising page: https://www.classy.org/campaign/new-yorkathon-supporting-nyc-inspi

Image: Gus in a fog on a lake.
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