I just got back leading a 50 mile canoe trip with 12 boy scouts and 3 leaders down part of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. We had a great time. Here is our picture report.
We stayed in free screened sleeping gazebos most nights with hot showers and flush toilets--not bad for a primitive wilderness trip. The last night the gazebos were tree houses--to everyone's delight.
They worked on the backpacking part of the cooking merit badge, with everyone having to prepare one lunch, one dinner and one snack for four using if possible no more than boiling water, with varying results.
The first day it poured rain the whole 13 miles. The second day we canoed 19 miles with a strong head wind. The third night it got down to 28 degrees, but we were in tents in a youth camp, 3 to 4 in a two man tent and we had a nice campfire with wood we purchased from the park ranger so everyone says that was the warmest night. The leaders had to rough it in their own tents.
Other than the rainy day, the temperature was perfect for canoeing during the day if you remembered to layer the clothes--no sweating, no mosquitoes, and there was no complaining about being in your warm sleeping bag by 9 or 10 at night instead of running around camp. I've never had so much sleep in my life--10 to 11 hours each night while waiting for the morning sun to warm things up a bit.
Kim stopped by from Chile for a two day visit on her way to a conference in Atlanta. Half the family (including 20 nieces and nephews) greeted her at the airport or at the cabin for two days of Thompson fun on the farm and at the beach. Chrissy and Randy even popped in from below zero weather in Minnesota. We celebrated birthdays for Victoria, Tatum, and David. Note that each birthday child had candles grouped on their own section of the cake so they could blow them out together and all get a wish. We'll let the pictures tell you what we did before we sent her on her way (though it was too dark to show the piles of ribs, hot dogs, and hamburgers we ate.)