After a year of planning for a 380 mile crossing of three of North America’s deserts (Sonoran, Mojave and Great Basin), starting at The Salton Sea and ending atop Mount Whitney Peak, we were all set to get underway. The drive to California from Pennsylvania went smoothly, the buying of new truck tires / tune ups, final food selections, etc. were all green lights. We saw that there was a heat wave which passed through Death Valley bringing some of the hottest weather since July 10, 1913 at 128 degrees Fahrenheit. In the beginning we had decided that food and water caches would be 20 miles apart, but after hearing about the increased heat, we agreed to add additional water caches at every 10 miles just to be smart.
After all of this set up, the last thing we expected upon arriving in a region which gets roughly .07 inches of rain, per that time of year, was to have a series of immensely heavy storms roll through for several days and close multiple roads for a week or more. An enormous amount of land was transformed beyond the usual. 12 of the 27 caches we needed to survive became unavailable to us, and because of this, we had to bag the event which was an extremely heavy blow.
Well, we weren’t going to just drive back to Pennsylvania, so we decided to research the maps and still pass through the same natural sanctuaries we initially planned on (Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve, Salton Sea State Recreation Area and Death Valley National Park). Instead of a single course which had a start and a finish, it would now be accomplished in either multiple loop or out and back treks. We wouldn’t be able to establish the same amount of miles in the time allotted or expend the amount of money necessary to drive every inch of the landscape, but we’d still allow ourselves the privilege of seeing some of the most remarkable topography available to the human eye and hopefully allowing others a glimpse through the images and video we’d put together.
And now to KÜHL. We had another sponsor which provided us with a few shirts, but HANDS DOWN, the COFFEENNA L/S shirts and the LIBERATOR CONVERTIBLE pants were incredible and worth their weight in gold. The flexibility, wicking action and coolness of the Coffeenna shirts were so noticeable that they became our primary source of protection out there. Even though our hydration needs were high, they would have been higher if we’d been routinely wearing other inferior shirts. This same amount of hand raising praise goes out to the Liberator Convertible pants. Each member has owned a few versions of another companies zip off pant, but KÜHL’s version is VERY different for too many reasons to fully mention. The zipper doesn’t end in the wrong location to cause aggravation when hiking or kneeling, the weight of the pants offered effortless travel in any terrain we came across, they seemed frictionless against rough surfaces and never appeared to be damaged by abrasion. These pants are truly impressive to the wearer.
There’s so much more which could be written here about our journey and the KÜHL products which carried us through, but we’ll leave you now with two images of the team and a link to a YouTube video we put together.
Thank you for taking a moment to read through our trek and hopefully any questions can be answered by what we put together or if it’s about the most amazing adventure clothing we’ve come across, I’m sure KÜHL can do that.
Have an adventurous day!
Team TASSC (Scot Greevy, Anthony Mancuso)