Adirondack Canoe Classic-“The 90 Miler”

There is a traditional Canoe Classic race in the Adirondacks, called “The Adirondack Canoe Classic” always the first long weekend of September.  The route of the race follows the original road routes before the present day road as it is now.  Here is a link that can explain it better than I could ever try…

My husband, John Homer III, has entered it 5 times now.  His enthusiasm for this “90 Miler” grows with each race he enters.


The 90 Miler Cap and Pins


Being in the Military sometimes makes it strategically challenging, but he’s done his best, except for the year we were out in WA State at JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-McChord).  His first race was in 2009, in a boat he made himself, an Adirondack Guide-boat, fashioned from a pattern he made out of a half of an antique guide-boat, built originally by William McCaffrey, that he purchased in Saranac Lake, NY.  Never having built something of this magnitude that he knew he’d have to ensure was safe to ride and row in, he jumped right in, often working late nights, after coming home from work all day with the military at Fort Drum.  A good friend of his who had built a few boats himself helped out, enduring the late evenings himself.  Six months later, the boat was ready!  My house was full of sawdust, as our garage was under our bedroom, but he was happy, and its a gorgeous boat.

Finished Boat

This year he rowed with a friend we met at last year’s race, Ed Van Keuren.  They made an amazing team, work great together, and are in it for the pleasure of maintaining the tradition of the 90 Miler, and making the full 90 miles, and enjoying the camaraderie.  His lovely wife, Rose and I were the “Pit Crew”. Our job is to replenish their water, and food supply while on foot, during the carries.  Rose is way more experienced at this than I, and more mobile then I am, so she hiked into the areas she knew I’d never make it into, she never failed to amaze me with her experience at making sure all the items needed were packed into the black tote and carried by the all terrain cart (which I will be buying before next year’s race).  We attend to the hotels, restaurant/food arrangements, making sure easy to grab sandwiches or high energy snack foods are plentiful.

Our crew on day 3


The infamous wagon!


All the racers and their pit crews are close knit-if someone needs something, there isn’t anyone that wouldn’t offer help.  This year, a few people tipped at the Brown’s Tract Racquette River beaver dam, and there was always another paddler coming up behind that person offering to lend a helping hand.

Infamous Browns Tract
Almost under Bridge

This race is a three day race, the final day winding up at Lake Flower in Saranac Lake, New York, with a ceremony shortly after the last racer gets in.  This year, unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating.  Rain doesn’t deter these paddlers, but high winds and advice from the DEC (NY State Department of Environmental Conservation), halted day three.  Wind gusts between 20-35 MPH is a huge safety hazard for alot of the paddlers.

Last year John won the Terry Healey award, the Tom Evans award, and this year he won the Pete Clark award, so very proud of him!!!

We look forward to next year’s Adirondack Canoe Classic 90 Miler, I’m already looking at making reservations!  The last two years of the race we have stayed at Shaheen’s Motel, right in Tupper Lake.  Very nice people and great accommodations!  There are other wonderful hotels/motels in the area, but book early!  Here’s the link to Shaheens.



More to come next fall on the 90 Miler!!

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