Many years ago, when our son, Ben, was a Boy Scout, his Troop undertook a multi-day backpacking expedition through Cottonwood Canyon in Death Valley. Unfortunately, most of the Scouts and adults were defeated by the combination of distance, terrain, heat, and lack of water, and couldn’t hike out on the last day. Ben, his friend Garrett, and two adults conducted a successful forced march back to the vehicles, then drove in to rescue the stranded Troop. I’ve always been very proud that Ben had enough strength and determination to march out and help rescue the other Scouts.
Why do I bring that up? After yesterday’s rides to Badwater and Mustard Canyon, today I plan to pedal the Ogre from Stovepipe Wells to Cottonwood Canyon and back. It’s an ambitious plan with 1200 feet of climbing on a 24-mile round trip on rough, sandy roads, and I might need Ben—hundreds of miles away—to rescue me if it all falls apart.