[NO NEW UPDATES] Expedition Dispatches: Desert Grand Slam with Dean Karnazes
The Desert Grand Slam challenges Dean to participate in the "4 Deserts" and race in the Valley of Death (Mojave Desert), all in one year. .
Visit www.thenorthface.com/deserts for more exciting details.
"4 Deserts" includes Atacama Crossing (Chile), Gobi March (China), Sahara Race (Egypt), and The Last Desert (Antarctica). Visit www.4deserts.com for series details. Photo Credit: Wouter Kingma/Racing The Planet Limited.
- December 04, 2008
In hindsight, we were fortunate to make it to Antarctica. Our boat had a hole pierced through the steel hull by an iceberg. Thankfully, repair efforts were successful and we were able to get to the frozen continent.
Once there, the running on Antarctica was absolutely spectacular. We ran past thousands of penguins in some of the most stunning and unique settings imaginable, turquoise ice formations and huge frozen glaciers as the backdrop.
The 4 Stages of running we were able to complete went by fairly quickly, the soft snow and restricted timeline for getting back onboard the boat making these stages rather compact endeavors. During the first three stages, I was plagued by vertigo and lightheadedness to the likes I’ve never experienced before (presumably a byproduct of the seasickness medication I’d taken on the boat journey over from Argentina). By the fourth stage, my legs were feeling less wobbly. I was really looking forward to Stage 5, the infamous ‘long stage.’ But it was not to be. Severe weather hit the night prior and we were forced to discontinue the racing after Stage 4, which was a bit of a disappointment.
But in Antarctica, you get what you can take. We were incredibly lucky to be able to hold the event at all. When the weather turns bad down here, survival is top of mind.
As far as results go, we held a small ceremony on the boat during the passage home. Paul Liebenberg, of South Africa, had the most cumulative mileage logged after 4 Stages of racing and was thus declared the winner of The Last Desert race in Antarctica. It was a pretty close race after four stages of running—just a few miles separated the top handful of competitors—but I was very glad to see Paul come out on top. He had worked so hard throughout the year to be able to complete the 4 Deserts series, he really deserved a win.
As for my performance, I managed to bag the coveted 4 Deserts Series Championship crown, my overall performance during the deserts races throughout 2008 putting me in first place. There will be an awards dinner held in San Francisco for winning this title. I’m honored to have captured this award as it was a lengthy and hard-fought battle that required consistent performance stage after grueling stage, across a multitude of climates, terrains, environments and settings. You really couldn’t have a bad race, there was just no margin for error.
That said, the 55-hour boat ride back to Argentina from Antarctica was an endurance event which paralleled any stage. The Drake Passage is one of the most treacherous waterways on earth, and it shined in all its glory for us. There are distinct bands of winds across the world’s latitudes. The equator has the ‘trade winds,’ which are fairly consistent and moderate. Moving out from the equator toward the tropics, you have the notorious ‘doldrums’ in which the wind may be nonexistent for days or weeks at a time. The doldrums are sometimes referred to as the “horse latitudes” because early sailors used to push their horses overboard with a tether line attached so that they could tow their boat out of this windless confinement. Moving further out toward the world’s poles, you have distinct latitudinal bands of wind that become progressively more intense the closer you get to the poles. First it’s the ‘roaring forties,’ then the ‘furious fifties,’ and finally the ‘screaming sixties.’ Explorers to Antarctica had a saying, “Beyond 50 degrees south there is no law, Beyond 60 degrees south there is no God.”
The wind on the boat ride home howled as if coming from an enraged Cyclopes, whipping the ocean into a frothy torrent of white and kicking up massive swells of mythical proportions. Only, there was no mythology involved, those gigantic liquid mountains outside our portholes were real. We made the crossing on a modern research vessel with all the latest technology; still, it was a harrowing experience. I couldn’t imagine what the early explorers a century ago must have gone through. During that heroic era, it’s been said that ships were made of wood and men of steel. I couldn’t agree more.
Antarctica is the coldest, driest, and windiest, place on earth (the coldest temperature ever recorded, negative 126.8 F, was recorded on Antarctica). Because the cold receives much of the attention, the katabatic winds are sometimes overlooked. They shouldn’t be. Routinely they gust to near hurricane strength, literally flattening everything in their path. When the katabatic winds kick in, it’s time to run for cover. And after Stage 4, that’s precisely what we did.
It’s just that a boat isn’t exactly the ideal place to seek refuge. For the past two days, there’s been lots of moaning and sounds of anguish onboard as we tossed about violently like a cork in a washing machine. All of us on the ship can run, but riding out a storm in a small vessel is a different story. Never have I been so happy to place my foot on solid ground. If they ask for my suggestion on where to hold the awards banquet in San Francisco, I’m definitely not recommending a harbor cruise.
For those of you who have followed my progress throughout the year, it’s been a tremendous ride which I am both relieved and saddened to see come to a conclusion. The 4 Deserts races have been grueling, arduous, and incredibly rewarding. If you’ve ever considered a race of this format (i.e., 250 km, six-stage, self-supported), I would say give it a try, you’ll never forget the experience. Racing the Planet (the organization which hosts the 4 Deserts events) does a superb job; I have been extremely impressed with how well these races have been coordinated in some of the most remote and exotic places on earth. As exhausted as I am after completing all four races this year, I’m already eying a couple of the new deserts they’re planning on adding in Africa and Australia. Who says all good things must come to an end?
From the airport in Tierra de Fuego, Dean Karnazes heading home.
Be well.- The North Face
- December 02, 2008
Antarctica (Nov 19 – Dec 5) EMBRACE THE RACE:
The final leg of the Grand Slam Desert takes place on the coldest, driest, and windiest continent. Antarctica has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Since there is little precipitation, except at the coasts, the interior is considered the largest desert in the world, composed of 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock.
By this point, the runners have put themselves through some of the most grueling conditions on the planet. One former Desert Slam Challenge runner gave this advice to future runners about how they would feel by the time they reach Antarctica: "Think about something to flavor your water. Adding some powder can make water much more palatable. We learned in Sahara that putting a flavored tea bag in our water bottles made drinking more enjoyable."
FACE THE REALITY:
For over a billion people around the world, the taste of clean, safe drinking water would be a delight. Many rely on local, open water sources or resign themselves to hand-dug open pits that are sometimes shared by humans and animals. Surface water can contain microbial contaminants or industrial pollutants and can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Through projects funded by Blue Planet Run, experts can provide education and community-based evaluation and problem solving. Implementers work with local communities to build systems to trap rainwater or tap into groundwater and keep it clean. For only $30, you can provide one person with a lifetime of safe, clean drinking water.
WALK IN THEIR SHOES:
An enormous amount of fresh, potable water is used to water lawns and gardens. This places an unnecessary burden on local water sources and municipalities. It also assumes reservoirs will continue to be able to replace what is pumped out. Do your part to
conserve water using these simple tips. They will save you money! • Replace water-thirsty lawns with native plants.
• Install water-saving drip systems.
• Water during the coolest part of the day to reduce evaporation.
For real savings, some people divert their grey water (water used in showers, sinks, etc.) to feed their thirsty outdoor plants! In some regions, rainwater catchment systems can be installed to collect water from rooftops and gutters.- The North Face
- November 25, 2008
The Last Desert race in Antarctica is an invitational event only open to those who have successfully completed at least two of the '3 Deserts' – the Gobi March (China), the Atacama Crossing (Chile) and the Sahara Race (Egypt). In order to participate in The Last Desert race, you must first have successfully qualified by finishing at least two of these races. The race format during these three desert races is the same: six-stages, 250-kilometers (155 miles), self-supported. Of course, the elevation, terrain, temperature, environmental conditions, etc… are different in each.
The Last Desert competition is the only multi-day stage race on the Antarctic continent. Twenty-eight individuals will be traveling to Antarctica to compete in the 2008 Last Desert race. A special medal is awarded to anyone who completes the 4 Deserts series by finishing The Last Desert event, regardless of the number of years it has taken to do so. Fourteen individuals this year are attempting to do just that. Two of us—Paul Liebenberg of South Africa and myself—are vying to complete the 4 Deserts series in a single calendar year, which has never been done before. One person will also be crowned the 4 Deserts series champion, based on rankings in previous desert races, regardless of the year they were completed.
The race will be held in three or four locations on and around the Antarctic Peninsula. There are some notable differences, however, with format the format of The Last Desert race when compared to the others in the series. For one, each individual competitor is only required to carry a minimal amount of equipment, not everything needed to support oneself for seven days. Additionally, competitors in The Last Desert event will generally sleep on the ship at night, not in tents. Though perhaps best of all, morning and evening meals will be provided by the crew. Yes, no more astronaut food!
The Last Desert race is an epic expedition across the final frontier, Antarctica. Deserts are separated into four categories: subtropical, cool coastal, cold winter and polar. The 4 Deserts events are located in the largest desert of each category, which also represents the driest, hottest, coldest and windiest places on Earth. All of the courses have been set up to pass through some of the most beautiful and pristine land on Earth. Antarctica is the dramatic conclusion to this remarkable series.
Racing locations on Antarctica have been carefully chosen with special consideration to the environment, wildlife and landscape. Competitors will be transported between land and the ship on small transport crafts (called Zodiacs), though passage will be entirely dependant on favorable wind conditions. Along the course, racers will pass a number of international research stations, penguin rookeries, iceberg-scattered coastlines and even an active volcano. Due to the unpredictable weather, race stages can vary in distance from 10 to 100 miles per stage.
Below are some of the particulars:
Flags and Banners –
Custom made flags and banners are used in The Last Desert. Sometimes the katabatic winds are so strong that the flag poles can't be used, so an alternative method is utilized. In the past, race officials have had to secure the flags and finish line with large chucks of ice that had washed upon on the shore from the severe winds.
Special Bibs –
Because the winds can be so relentless, competitors in The Last Desert will be using specially designed bibs that are designed to withstand these extreme conditions.
Satellite Event Coverage –
Five satellites are being used in Antarctica, called BGANs. BGANs provide broadband internet access virtually anywhere in the world. Breaking news, photographs, features, results, daily stage updates and videos will be uploaded through BGAN terminals. However, satellite reception over Antarctica is not always 100% reliable, so information may occasionally be delayed.
Ship to Shore Transfers –
Competitors are delivered to each stage by special boats called Zodiacs. Zodiacs can only be used in moderate winds. If the katabatic winds become too intense, competitors will have to wait on shore until the winds calm before returning to the ship. All equipment must be transported in waterproof bags, as ice cold water can sometimes splash into these small transport boats.
Spectators Along the Course –
Are not human. The only spectators in Antarctica will be the ever-friendly penguins. Competitors will see thousands of penguins and other forms of wildlife as they conquer The Last Desert. Penguins reside in the exterior of Antarctica and not the interior, such as at the South Pole. On my last trip to the interior of Antarctica, I saw no wildlife whatsoever, so it will be nice to see the course this time lined with our little waddling friends.
Course Markers –
Special biodegradable bags are used to mark the course for The Last Desert race. These bags are filled with snow and designed so that no wind can blow them away. The bags are dyed a bright pink color keeping with the pink marker color used in all 4 Deserts races.
------------------------------------------------------------------- P.S. For those of you who have been asking when the 50 Marathons DVD will be available, I’ve finally got an answer: it’s out now. Visit www.50Marathons.com for more details.- The North Face
- November 23, 2008
In an effort to immerse you in the experience, I thought it might be helpful to describe what it takes to get to Antarctica.
From the West Coast of the US, I boarded a flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina (via Atlanta, GA). Travel time to Buenos Aires was 17 hours 15 minutes. From there, I caught another flight to the tip of Argentina, Tierra de Fuego. Travel time was 7 hours 23 minutes (with 1-stop at El Calafate). I’ll overnight in Tierra de Fuego. Tomorrow, we’ll board a ship in the port of Ushuaia bound for the frozen continent, a two-day journey across one of the most treacherous causeway on the planet, Drake’s Passage (it’s been reported that 98% of the prior participants in The Last Desert race suffered from some form of seasickness).
The ship we are traveling on is called The M/S Professor Molchanov. She was built in Finland in 1982 for polar research and has been refurbished for expeditions to Antarctica. The Molchanov carries a maximum of 52 passengers. While the crew is mostly Russian, the official language on the ship is English.
That’s what’s involved in getting to Antarctica. You have to work almost as hard to get here as you do to run the race (with the seasickness part being especially taxing).
Now to dispel a widely held myth, there are no polar bears on Antarctica. There are plenty of penguins, and there are these terrifying creatures called leopard seals, but no polar bears. For those of you interested in reading a great adventure book about penguins, leopard seals, survival and leadership, I would highly recommend: ‘The Endurance,’ the story of Ernest Shackleton’s legendary Antarctica expedition.
While us participants in The Last Desert race signed up without duress, Shackleton recruited his men for the expedition with the following post:
FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. SMALL WAGES, BITTER COLD, LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS, CONSTANT DANGER, SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL. HONOUR AND RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS.
Only question: how do I sign up?
From the tip of South America, Dean Karnazes signing off.
P.S. For those of you who have been asking when the 50 Marathons DVD will be available, I’ve finally got an answer: it’s out now. Visit www.50Marathons.com for more details.- The North Face
- November 18, 2008
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting entries about the upcoming Last Desert race in Antarctica. If you’re like me, you probably didn’t realize that Antarctica is classified as a desert, given that the continent is largely covered in snow. It is. In fact it is the largest desert on earth, just a cold one.
Antarctica is also very remote. How remote? The continent is 1.4 x larger than the USA, yet there are only about 3,000 inhabitants. Could you imagine just 3,000 people living in all of the US? Clearly, urban sprawl isn’t a problem they’ll be facing anytime soon.
The Antarctic is filled with superlatives and remarkable facts; it is a fascinating and astounding place that captured my senses from the moment I first stepped foot on the continent six years ago. I’ll pontificate on the wonders of this frozen land in upcoming postings. As an introduction, though, I thought what we’d do first is revisit my historic maiden journey.
As some of you know from reading my book, Ultramarathon Man, I first visited Antarctica in 2002 to participate in the inaugural South Pole Marathon, an event that has yet to be replicated (which speaks volumes about the intelligence of attempting a marathon on the polar plateau). But this marathon wasn’t the only harrowing event that took place during my travels to the South Pole. Something even grander transpired afterward.
Huddled near the finish line, one of the other participants, a friend of mine by the name of Don Kern, had another bright idea: “Now that we’ve become the first to run to the South Pole, let’s be the first to run around the world naked.”
My initial thought was that I’d either heard him wrong through my earmuffs, or that he was suffering acute hypothermic dementia.
“Around the world naked?” I asked.
“I’ve been doing some calculating,” he said.
At the South Pole there is actually a candy-striped Barber Pole with a stainless steel orb on top. Don went on, “If we run around that Pole, we’re literally circumnavigating the globe, just at its smallest circumference.”
He was technically correct; there was only one small problem, “Don,” I said, “It’s minus 40 degrees outside.”
“Just don’t let any of your appendages touch that metal ball and we should be fine.”
Being the gentleman that he his, he volunteered me to go first. Geez, thanks Don.
I made him promise that if the situation got “sticky,” under no circumstances were they to deploy a tourniquet. Thankfully, the endeavor was completed without incident or loss of limb.
Now we have the dubious distinction of being in the first party to run to the South Pole and being in the first pair to run around the world naked. Gives new meaning to the term: “being buff.”
Stay tuned for frequent updates on The Last Desert Race in Antarctica. As Don likes to say, “And the journey continues…”
P.S. For those of you who have been asking when the 50 Marathons DVD will be available, I’ve finally got an answer: it’s out now. Visit www.50Marathons.com for more details.- The North Face
- November 03, 2008
EMBRACE THE RACE:
The Sahara Desert in western Egypt, North Africa, is the world's largest subtropical desert. 1600 kilometers wide (1000 miles) and 5000 kilometers long (3125 miles) East to West, it is also the largest non-polar desert in the world.
Sahara Race competitors face a land of contrasts: rocky mountains give way to gold, red and white sand dunes, stony expanses, the occasional palm-filled oasis and dried-up river beds. The heat is fierce with almost no relief, yet temperatures fall abruptly making evenings very chilly. Strong winds and sandstorms are common.
FACE THE REALITY:
Many African countries face severe climate conditions resulting in water crises. Let's examine two very different scenarios:
Egypt reports very encouraging statistics despite the fact that two-thirds lies in the Sahara Desert.
• 96% of the rural and 99% of the urban population has access to improved drinking water sources.
• Almost 100% of the urban and 96% of the rural population has access to improved sanitation.
• To control water pollution, Egypt established new legislation to increase organic farming, limit use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
• Nile basin countries cooperate on protecting and managing the river’s water
• Bilharzia, a common disease in rural Egypt, has greatly decreased with the provision of improved drinking water to most rural areas.
Tanzania reports major environmental problems due to inadequate water management, inadequate monitoring, and inadequate involvement of stakeholders:
• Lack of accessible, good quality water for urban and rural inhabitants • Deterioration of aquatic systems
• Pollution and poor management threatens the productivity of lake, river, coastal, and marine waters
You can create the change these families need.
By donating to the Blue Planet Run water fund just $30, you can provide safe drinking water to one person for life.
Currently, these students leave valuable classroom time to walk long distances and collect water from a hand-dug, open water pit. This water source is used by animals and people for all purposes. It's a source of mosquito breeding and is not reliable drinking water. The community uses it very sparingly.
Based on reports of other communities in the region that have received wells, a well can greatly impact lives. Children attend school more regularly. Communities can grow gardens which impacts health and commerce. Life becomes hopeful.
GO THE DISTANCE:
Athletes all over the nation and beyond have committed to running, walking or cycling 30 miles in 30 days thru November 1 to raise funds for the three school communities in Tanzania. By pledging $1 per mile, people can make their miles matter. Make Your Miles Matter! http://blueplanetrun.org/30-mile
View the Blue Planet Run Foundation slide show and see for yourself the change you can make! http://www.blueplanetrun.org/desert_grand_slam
Spread the Word:
Send the message to your friends and family. By sharing this email with others, you are ensuring that more people embrace athletes such as Dean, learn more about the water issues we all face, and potentially save lives.
You can give a tax-deductible donation to water projects that save people's lives. Just $30 provides safe drinking water to one person for life! Donate on-line. https://blueplanetrun.org/ext/donationformR2/g_donation_stp_new1.php?lang=en&dedicate=DesertGrandSlam- The North Face
- November 01, 2008
After spending five days crossing very remote stretches of the Sahara Desert without getting lost, it is ironic that on this final day of racing—while running through a bustling section of Cairo—we would make a wrong turn. Put us in the desert searching for little flags and we’re fine, have us run down a paved road with street signs and we’re hopeless.
I ran the final stage today with the 3rd and 4th place finishers, Paolo Barghini and Rob James. As we were chatting spiritedly about what a remarkable week it had been, we ran right past the finish shoot and just kept heading down the road. Classic.
Other than the navigational blunder, the finish at the Great Pyramid of Giza was spectacular. A large crowd of locals had gathered to see us in and there was food and festivities awaiting our arrival.
I’ll post a longer update in the next couple days. Right now, I need to get packing for the trip back home. The top 10 finishers are listed below and you can visit the 4 Deserts website for complete event details: Sahara Race
Overall, it’s been an incredible experience.
-------------------------------------------- 1. Ryan Sandes – South Africa
2. Dean Karnazes – United States
3. Paolo Barghini – Italy
4. Rob James – Hong Kong
5. Paul Liebenberg – South Africa
6. Nina Breith (F) - Germany
7. Angelo Salvetti - Italy
8. Olivier Lhoas – Belgium
9. Sean Abbott – United States
10. Andrew Whiteside – United Kingdom- The North Face
- October 31, 2008
Today’s run took us from the White Desert to the heart of the Black Desert. The terrain was lunar like, with numerous plateaus that we climbed, traversed, descended, and then climbed the next. The final stretch was a grueling deep sand section that took us through the small village of Bahariya and eventually on to our camp at El Ris Village.
I spent most of this “long day” running with the event winner, Ryan Sands. We ran the entire 100 km distance together and it was really great. In the previous 16 stages of running—in the three deserts of Atacama, Gobi and Sahara—I’ve run solo almost the entire time. Yesterday was different, and the change was refreshing.
Ryan is a tremendous athlete, and a super person overall. Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, he is an engineer by training, but his passion is for ultrarunning. Clearly, there is no lack of talent there. We watched the day pass while running across the Sahara, chatting about the upcoming US elections, life in South Africa, family, the future, basically, life. When the sun set the moonless sky was filled with stars like neither of us had ever seen before. It was simply amazing, like being in an observatory.
We were first to arrive at the finish and we crossed the line side-by-side, the 100 km slipping by as pleasantly as could be expected for a rather long run across the soft sand and heat of the Sahara.
Tomorrow, we run a short stage around the famous Pyramids of Giza. And then it’s on to the hotel for a swim in the pool, where I’ll be supplying my own poolside beach with the sand that’s accumulated in my hair. And it won’t be a small beach!
Signing off from the sands of the Sahara,
Dean- The North Face
- October 29, 2008
Today we ran through an area known as the Qarawin dunes. Right in the middle was a small oasis brimming with water and, of course, the token palm tree. It was like the scene from a Hollywood movie, only it was real (or I was hallucinating, which is a distinct possibility).
Ancient Roman ruins were everywhere and a mummy’s located just to the left of the oasis (reportedly as a reminder to visitors’ of how unforgiving the terrain can be). Though, when you’ve been running through it for hours in 115 degree temperatures and no breeze, there’s not much need for a reminder.
My run today was dreadful. Legs felt like lead, only heavier. Pretty much just grunted through it. So, instead of boring you senselessly with the details of my floundering performance, I’ll talk instead about the luxuries we’re afforded out here in the Sahara. The list really isn’t that long, actually. In fact, it’s just one item: water (and not a whole lot of it). Basically, you’re allotted 1.5 Liters per check point during the run, of which there are usually three, and when you arrive at the finish (should you be so lucky), you are given 4.5 Liters of water for the night and following morning. Oh yeah, you can also have the water heated for you.
Heated water in the Sahara Desert you ask? It’s to “cook” your dehydrated food. You know, freeze dried food, the stuff that the astronauts eat. Unless your British. In that case, you use the hot water to brew your tea. There’s no need to reconstitute your meal, because you subsist on small packets of Parmesan cheese. The Italians don’t need hot water either, because they live on test tubes filled with Olive oil. Light is right. What you strive to achieve is the maximum amount of calories with the minimum amount of weight. Simple math, carbohydrates and protein supply 4 calories per gram, fat 9 calories. Fat has more than twice the calories by weight, so foods high in fat are the standard (e.g., oil, nuts, dried cheese). Yes, it’s a regular smorgasbord out here in the desert.
Tomorrow is the much anticipated “long day.” We’ll be covering 100 km’s to the next camp, much across soft sand. Temperatures are forecast to be even higher, so there’s plenty of anxiousness in camp tonight (mine included).
Okay, off to enjoy my scrumptious dinner. Yum, my mouth would be watering, except I’m too parched.
Sweltering though still shuffling,
Dean- The North Face
- October 28, 2008
Stage 3 is the beginning of what is called “Hamada” in the Bedouin language or “flat out” in English. We were in an area today where only sand was in sight, leading to a dune section known for its harsh and unforgiving winds. The area resembles a paradise with no water.
As far as the run today, I can pretty much sum it up in a single word: “survived.” That ‘bout captures it. The desert landscape was spectacular; spectacular and mercilessly unrelenting. The sand in the Sahara is seemingly infinite, sometimes stretching absolutely flat in every direction, then, for no apparent reason, jutting skyward in these magnificent towering mountains of sand.
We ran through it all. Sometime the footing was stable, more often it was loose and soft. Trying to maintain a steady pace is frustratingly difficult when the sand breaks away underfoot so easily. Even on the flat sections, averaging 15 minute miles is nearly impossible in the soft stuff.
Oh well, I’m still having a remarkable time. If someone had told me ten years ago I’d be running in the Sahara Desert, I never would have believed them. Though, I did have a lengthy heart-to-heart conversation with Paul Liebenberg today after the run. Paul is the other racer left who is vying with me to be the first to complete all 4 Desert races in the same year (four of us set out this year to be the first to accomplish this, only Paul and I are left). He said it’s hard to enjoy the experience when your body is so wrecked from the other two desert events we’ve done. At a point, it becomes grunt work, sheer struggle. As much as I’m enjoying the experience, it wasn’t hard for me to relate to his words. I’ll definitely be glad to see those Pyramids at the finish of this event.
Finally, I’ll include a photo of me typing this blog. I’m using a specially designed Intel PC with their new Atom processor hooked to a satellite receiver. I hope this image puts you in the desert right besides me. Like I said, as ravaged as my body feels, the setting and the overall experience is just too extraordinary to lose sight of.
Sand saturated but still smiling,
Desert Dean- The North Face