Brian Brawdy's 26 Mile Death Valley March
United States CA Death Valley
Exploration and Survival
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to explore Death Valley National Park in California. Known as the “Hottest, Driest and Lowest,” it has always called out to me. That call never louder than the moment I was diagnosed with skin cancer. My doctor’s warning to avoid the Sun at all costs simply triggered a desire to meet the Sun in its Death Valley strong hold. I don’t know why the pull is now stronger than ever before. I don’t know why. I do know that lacking a clear or sound reason to go in no way lessens my need to do so. A feeling that I can’t turn my back on.
So I called my friend Matthew Cox, the kind of guy that can picture nearly anything in his mind, sketch out a diagram on any available piece of scratch paper and then spark his newborn schematic to life in no time. We talked about water around the clock, light at night and the ability to carry everything I will need to survive my adventure. With names like Badwater Basin, Furnace Creek and Stovepipe all with temperatures that can exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months, I couldn’t think of a better backdrop to put the rickshaw through the paces.
I hiked from Furnace Creek Campground to Badwater Basin--the park's famous location as it is the lowest elevation in N. America. I started about 3am & arrived at Badwater at roughly 11-12 noon. Total distance was 26 miles.