The Death Valley Express is the name I have given to my attempts at single or multiple crosssings of Death Valley to Mt. Whitney. Death Valley Express II will start on August 8th 2011 at 6:00 PDT.
The name Death Valley Express also comes from the rich history of Death Valley - the famed twenty mule teams that took borax out of the valley to the west. Two wagons, a trailing water-tank, a horse, and twenty mules made up the iconic image of a "Death Valley Express."
This journey will be a single crossing from Badwater Basin to Mt. Whitney. It includes the extreme temperatures of this region, arduous climbs out of Death Valley, Panamint Valley, and from Owens Valley. My five person crew will make sure I am safe, watered, and fed - and most of all give me the best possible chance at completing my journey.
Because of a seriously herniated lumbar disk, I will be walking most of the way. But, the very fact that I am making this attempt at all has taught me a valuable lesson -- to never, ever give up because dreams do come true.
I am often asked why a solo effort and not participate in the now famous Badwater Ultramarathon race? Two primary reasons. First and foremost, I enjoy the environment, the challenge, and just being with myself -- hearing nothing but my footsteps and the sound of silence. Last year, I was paced at night for a time by a young fox, a definite high point. That would not have happened on the crowded roads during the race. Also, the Badwater Ultramarathon has become an elite race with high qualifying standards and a recently reduced cut off time. With these changes and my bad bad. I can no longer meet the standards to be in the official race. So, I pit myself against the distance and the environment alone with no pacers and no racers to distract me, only an outstanding and supportive crew to see to my safety and needs.
Follow me and Team Badwater Bill here as we make our way across the desert. Something interesting will surely happen!
An account of my first attempt at a double crossing is here: http://deathvalleybill.blogspot.com/