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!

This entry was posted in Death Valley National Park circumnavigation July 2012. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Death Valley National Park journey has begun!

  1. Lisa Bliss says:

    Living it up in Death Valley! Basic, simple… but nothing easy about it. You guys are incredible and inspiring. May the desert and her raw beauty bring you peace and warm your soul as you make your journey around the Valley.

    Always wishing you all the best,

  2. Barbara Szeprethy says:

    What a fun idea! I hope everything works out as planned, take lots of photos and enjoy that beautiful desert! So excited for those guys, and thank you Heather for all of your time and updates, I do hope our paths cross soon. Hugs!

  3. Barbara and Lisa, THANKS so much for your thoughts and well wishes. This is an extreme adventure for sure – even by “Marshall” standards – so good thoughts for Dave and Marsh are truly appreciated. Know you “get” the draw of the desert 😉

  4. Doug Combs says:

    Marshall and Dave-

    Continued success and safe travels on your Death Valley Palooza! You have a pretty awesome support crew there. Take good care of each other!

  5. brthomas says:

    WOW, thats an epic hike at a crazy hot time of the year! I agree that lots of people would enjoy planning a trip to Death Valley, but most of us will want to go there for the mellow weather in springtime when the wildflowers are blooming at Death Valley.

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