F. Dale Sanders, is a multiple Guinness world record holder, spear fisherman athlete of the year, river angel, parks, and recreation professional. He has set age records on the Mississippi River, Appalachian Trail, Florida Trail, Pinhoti Trail, and in the Grand Canyon.
Matt Briggs was the expedition leader on this Mississippi River Guinness Age record paddle and he agreed to serve as the Specialist Witness for Guinness. His qualifications include familiarity with the river. Also, his previous paddling of the Mississippi River, Source to Sea is already in his resume. He has personally hiked the the Appalachian trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the Florida trail and the Pinhoti Trail. Two of those trails with Dale. We thank Matt for his service. He served in Iraq, US Army, in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Matt was the first to come forward and join this expedition. We are so fortunate to have him on board.
Matthew Taylor was born and raised in Southern California. Growing up, his exposure to the outdoors was limited to the occasional fishing trip and reading a Cabela’s catalog. In 1994 and while still a junior in high school, he enlisted in the Army Reserve and attended Basic Training that summer. The following year he joined the Active Army, and never looked back. For the next 22 years, the Army provided him the adventure he was seeking, with four combined combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan before he finally retired from active duty in 2018.
In 2021, Matthew began looking for the next adventure. One late night, he stumbled upon Warrior Expedition, a veterans group that provides extended hiking, biking and paddling adventures for combat veterans seeking to reset their minds. After nine months of waiting, he was selected as part of Warrior Expeditions 2022 Mississippi Source to Sea Veterans team. On June 18th, the inexperienced group of four Veterans launched just three days after Team Greybeard began their adventure and for the five weeks the two teams would often leap frog each other down the river.
On July 23rd, the Warrior Expedition team split up. Looking to continue to challenge himself and learn from other experienced paddlers, Matthew was accepted into the Greybeard team. From then on, he attempted to keep pace with the team despite having less skill and a slower canoe. On September 8th, Matthew completed his source to sea adventure with team Greybeard and became to the first Warrior Expedition member to complete the Mississippi River via the South Pass.
Matthew currently resides in Clarksville TN with his wife and has a son who is currently serving abroad with the US Navy. When not outdoors paddling, hunting or fishing, he can be found working part-time in the outdoor industry somewhere in Clarksville. Matthew is currently planning another paddling adventure, this time in 2024 from the source of the Missouri River in Three Forks, Montana to his hometown in Clarksville (nicknamed S2C). The great outdoors are not just hobbies for him. They’re a passion in which he never stops trying to promote as a way to change others for the better.
Matthew J. Taylor
SSG, US Army (Retired)
“Live, Love, Laugh, Learn and (most importantly), Listen”
Text box item sample content