An obnoxious rooster announced the prematurely. We departed at 4:40 a.m. heading to Nacogdoches ICP for breakfast and orientation. We were introduced to the search technique being taught and we orientated to the map system that was going to be used. Meeting with Tom Minor from Washington USAR was an enlightening step in determining what our true purpose was.
Grabbing a bag lunch and headed into the field to watch the teams in action. The terrain was mild and did not give us any clues to what was to come. We loaded up and headed off to our ICP in Palestine where we would make our home for the next several weeks. Texas roads are barely big enough for 2 cars but people feel the need to pass on every double yellow line there is.
Palestine ICP was located at a small livestock showing grounds. There were 2 indoor arenas and 1 outdoor arena. Not a traditional Type 1 Camp but then what is? Although there were sheltered places for tents no one was allowed to use them. There was a livestock show in a few days and we were not allowed to use the shelter. The person setting up camp seemed to think this was all right. However, having 600 people in tents when there was 2 inches of rainfall a day was not going to work for this mission.
They had their mind set on a fire camp not a camp in the middle of winter. We checked in to find out that they had no idea who we were or why we were there. Feeling wanted just gives you a warm fuzzy first impression. They asked us a lot of questions we had no answers to. Who hired us that type of stuff? Everything seemed to be complicated and the ICS team was not sure what our role was going to be. We could tell that this was going to be a struggle inserting ourselves into this structure. Herb worked on getting us Motel rooms because of the lack of room at camp.
We had lunch and jumped into teaching one of the crews how to conduct a grid search. The crew happened to be from our area so it was refreshing to see some familiar faces. We were done earlier than expected so we headed off to our motel rooms. Dan and I played some rescue knot poker. It is a new kind of game. Starting with a set of cards that have knots on them instead of the traditional stuff. We got distract ed by the fact that neither of us knew any games besides 5 card stud so we began trying the knots that were on the cards. We discussed the differences and the similarities. I really think we should get credit for a TNT. Anyhow, we soon shuffled off to our beds knowing that tomorrow we would see the rest of our crews come into camp.