Let’s Get Lost in Death Valley

Let’s Get Lost in Death Valley

For our next podcast series, we’re going back – way, way back. We’re calling it Backtracks. This series, we’re reading The White Heart of Mojave, by Edna Brush Perkins, and adding plenty of commentary along the way.

Usually, when we’re out on the road, we hate turning back. It feels like admitting failure, like giving in and giving up. But often, there’s some good stuff back there, stuff we missed on the way out, and we appreciate the chance to see it again with new eyes.


A hundred years ago, it was considered by most to be foolish, absurd, unthinkable for two women to travel on their own, especially to an undeveloped place like Death Valley. A hundred years later, anyone who thinks that idea is foolish – well, they are the ones considered absurd now.

A hundred years ago, in the early 1920s, Edna Brush Perkins and Charlotte Hannahs Jordan, both in their early 40s, went to find the heart of the desert in Death Valley, CA. A hundred years later, in the early 2020s, I, on the verge of 40, found the book Edna wrote about the experience, The White Heart of Mojave. As I devoured it, I wondered why it didn’t have a more prominent spot on the shelf of adventure classics. This is my attempt to make that book and these two women more widely known and to modernize this classic adventure narrative on the centennial of its publication.

Have you ever read a mashup novel like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or watched a Mystery Science Theater 3000 riff on a movie? This is going to be similar – I’m taking an existing story that’s in the public domain, reading it, and adding my thoughts, experiences, and some historical perspective along the way.


The White Heart of Mojave has a total of twelve chapters that I’ll be releasing two at a time, every two to three weeks.

The first two chapters are out today! Subscribe to Road Tripping in America now on your favorite podcast app to ensure you don’t miss an episode.


See you on the road!



Photos and captions from 2011 visits ;)