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During a recent trip to Death Valley in early November 2011 with my good friend Billyjack Jory, we rented a Jeep which we used to grant us access into some of the “less accessible” locations of the park in order to get away from the more touristy areas and really experience the park for what it was. While heading to Palm Springs located in the Saline Valley we ran into a group of individuals who’d been stranded in the middle of the valley for 24 hrs due to a flat tire. While we stopped to help with what we could, we met an inspiring couple who had just started a journey from San Fransisco down the Pan-Am Highway to the southern most tip of South America via the method, “overlanding.” Although at this point in my life I have commitments that would hold me back from something as large as that, I have always wanted to do something to that scale. Baby steps right? These two individuals truly inspired me and gave me the extra push I needed to get up and start doing things of my own! With my passion of the outdoors, my education in a field which is significant to the task, and my enthusiasm in fitness, I decided what the hell? Although I don’t yet have the time to travel across two continents in a truck, I do have some time to run across one of the largest national parks in the United States while getting the chance to experience all of the amazing features within it! This will be the starting point of many great things to come. It is experiences such as these that begin with crazy ideas, which give you a greater appreciation of life, the world and the people who live in it!!!

– Ryan Mills

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