Death Valley National Park journey has begun!

Marshall and Dave Heckman are off on their epic journey around Death Valley National Park. They started yesterday on the route that Dave researched and mapped out for them (I can’t even imagine the hours — no, days — of work he put in) along the eastern border, from CA highway 190 just west of Death Valley Junction, and headed north. You can follow their progress online because they’re carrying a SPOT Tracker.

“Easing” into it, at least by typical Marshall Ulrich standards, they did “only” about 20 cross-country miles today. Of course, you have to remember that Marshall just finished the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon at about midnight on Tuesday. Recovery? What recovery? He don’t need no stinkin’ recovery.

Seriously, in addition to all of the route preparation work Dave did, both Dave and Marshall have put a lot of serious thought, planning, and training into this journey. Two months ago they had to have all of their water, food, and gear purchased, organized, and buried at 37 different cache locations around the perimeter of the park. Some of the holes they dug hold water only, around 8 to 12 miles apart for mid-day resupply, and some have overnight food and supplies (things like batteries, Sportslick, ENGO patches, electrolyte replacement tablets). Each day is planned for a total of 26 miles – sometimes more – meaning they will do at least a marathon distance each day through some of the most remote, desolate, hot places on the planet. Oh, and beautiful, too! The desert is an amazing and magical place. If you’ve never visited Death Valley National Park, put it on your list of “must visit” places today!

I’ll be posting updates and photos on Marshall’s Facebook page as much as I can, when I have Internet access. You can check out photos from Day 1 here. Roger, our neighbor and friend, and I are at Long Street Inn and casino again tonight, then will be heading to Beatty tomorrow for another day or two, so I should be able to keep you updated. THANKS to everyone for your interest, support, and comments. They are noticed and appreciated!

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