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Salt to Summit - A Vagabond Journey from Death Valley to Mount Whitney - cover

Salt to Summit - A Vagabond Journey from Death Valley to Mount Whitney

Daniel Arnold

Publisher: Counterpoint

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Summary

This account of one man’s trek as he tests the limits of his endurance is “a spellbinding journey” (Page Stegner, author of Winning the Wild West).   Badwater Basin sits 282 feet below sea level in Death Valley, the lowest and hottest place in the Western Hemisphere. Mount Whitney rises 14,505 feet above sea level, the highest point in the contiguous United States. Daniel Arnold spent seventeen days traveling a roundabout route from one to the other, traversing salt flats, scaling dunes, and sinking into slot canyons. Aside from bighorn sheep and a phantom mountain lion, his only companions were ghosts of the dreamers and misfits who first dared into this unknown territory.   Rejecting manmade conveniences, carrying a backpack full of empty two-liter bottles, he walked in the footsteps of William Manly, who rescued the last of the forty-niners from the bottom of Death Valley; tracked John LeMoigne, a prospector who died in the sand with his burros; and relived the tales of Mary Austin, who learned the secret trails of the Shoshone Indians. This is their story too, as much as it is a history of salt and water and of the places they collide and disappear.   Guiding the reader up treacherous climbs and through burning sands, Arnold captures the dramatic landscapes as only he can with photographs to bring it all to life. From the salt to the summit, this is an epic journey across America’s most legendary desert.

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