This overnight training trip was dedicated to Staff Sgt. Tracy A. Tidwell of the 160th Night Stalkers, 2nd Battalion who lost his life in a training mission in 1996. He left behind a family and two girls. A donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will help provide a college education to his kids. http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/billwhale/ufc2012
Completed the 38 mile paddle of the Santa Fe River. The Santa Fe joined with the Suwannee so this gave me a chance to scout some of the Suwannee. The trip was a great trip. Very few people on the river and the group of folks I paddle with were not only great folks but they had tons of wisdom and tips. The goals of this trip was to continue building my endurance and test some of my new gear. Due to the low temperatures ( 29 degrees on one night) it was an opportunity to test my cold weather gear and procedures. Overall pleased with my new sleeping bag and cold weather sleep system. Still need to practice more with my new sleeping mat. Seems to take a long time to inflate but once inflated it was very comfortable and kept me warm. Tried a new breakfast this trip, dehydrated scrambled eggs and bacon. Needless to say that breakfast will not be going on any more trips. New stove worked great. Fired up very quick and boiled water fast. I do question how good it will be for warming food so I will continue bring my old stove. Saw a lot of potential campsites on the Suwannee but due to the low-level of the river I question if those site will be there in March. Did identify lots of places to get water. Trip tested some of the changes I have made on my arrival and departure procedures. These still need lots of work and practice to get to a point that I can do them without thinking.