We are fortunate to live in a world that offers many options for all types of wilderness exploration. But where do you acquire the skills necessary to engage in these activities with confidence? The goal of Central Florida Expeditions is to provide fun, safe and informative trips for small groups into undeveloped areas. Our guides have years of experience gained from traveling to remote areas all over the world.
An expedition has an objective. Unlike a camping trip, where you may take an abundance of gear and maintain a leisurely pace, an expedition requires you to make efficient choices. Having a sleep system (tent, sleeping pad and bag) that is not too cumbersome but adequate to provide a good night’s rest is one of those important choices. Knowing the likely weather conditions you will face and bringing the proper clothing is another one. It usually takes a few expeditions to find the right mix of gear to provide a minimum of comfort in the wilderness.
Rod Price Adventure is pleased to announce its first Central Florida Expedition. The Wekiva River Basin is located about 20 miles northwest of Orlando and includes the Wekiwa Springs State Park, Rock Springs Run State Preserve, Seminole State Forest and the Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park – a total approaching 60,000 acres. There are four primary waterways in the Wekiva River Basin: the Wekiva River, Rock Springs Run, Little Wekiva River and Blackwater Creek. The 16 mile long Wekiva River is one of only two rivers in Florida that has a Wild and Scenic design- nation. Despite ongoing challenges from encroaching development the Wekiva River Basin is teeming with wildlife. Over 150 species of birds have been identified in the Basin and sightings of alligators, black bears, deer, wild turkeys, raccoons, otters and manatees happen frequently.
During the expedition team members will learn efficient paddling techniques, basic navigation, wilderness first aid and some basic history of the Wekiva River Basin. Canoes, paddles and PFDs will be provided. A recommended gear list will be sent to all registered team members.
Friday, Oct. 17th – Ten expedition team members will meet at Wekiva Island at 6 pm. At 7 pm the team members will board the expedition van with their gear and be transported to a private camping area in the Wekiva Basin.
Saturday, Oct. 18th – Team members will load canoes with their gear and be ready to paddle shortly after daybreak. Approximately 20 miles will be covered on the water at a moderate pace. There will also be a mid-morning hike of two to three miles. The expedition will arrive at their day two campsite at approximately 5:30 pm. A light lunch and dinner will be provided.
Sunday, Oct. 19th – Team members will be instructed on basic navigation and wilderness first aid. They will also have the opportunity to try out different paddle craft. Breakfast and lunch will be a sampling of freeze dried meals. The expedition will arrive at Katie’s Landing at 3 pm where team members will arrange their own transportation home.
This expedition is designed for individuals who are in fair to good physical shape and have a thirst for exploration and knowledge. The details of the expedition route have been hidden to heighten the sense of adventure. While this trip is not an endurance test, it is far more than a casual float trip down the river. By the end of the expedition you will be more confident and omfortable spending an extended time in a undeveloped area. This expedition will open the door to the many wilderness adventures that are waiting for you to experience.
Garrett Cooper, 29, Orlando, FL – Cooper has a degree in Expeditionary Studies with a focus on paddlesports. He has earned awards and teaching certifications through the British Canoe Union and the American Canoe Association. Cooper is also a wilderness EMT. His first expedition was a solo trip down the Mekong River in Cambodia. He has paddled off both coasts of the U.S. and in Wales and Scotland. Cooper is currently in Peru paddling down the Amazon River.
Rod Price, 54, Orlando, FL – Having won over 200 canoe races, Price is used to paddling down rivers as quickly as possible. The Wekiva River is his favorite destination for a training run or a recreational paddle. He has served on the board of directors of the Friends of the Wekiva River for six years. In multi-day paddling races like the Yukon 1000 and the 1200 mile Ultimate Florida Challenge, Price has learned what type of gear is needed to maintain a minimum comfort level. Having paddled on the waters of the Wekiva River Basin for over 35 years, he is eager to share his knowledge and passion of the area’s history.
The expedition is limited to 10 people and the cost is $185. per person. Each team member will receive an autographed copy of one of Rod Price’s adventure books and literature on preserving the Wekiva River Basin. If you are interested in joining the team, send an email to RodPriceAdventure@yahoo.com. Please respond by Oct. 4th and include a brief description of your paddling and wilderness experience.
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