Unsupported Solo Death Valley Crossing to Support Homeless Children

Starting December 14, 2018, Roland Banas will walk across Death Valley, from the southernmost to the northernmost point, about 145 miles away. He will cross salt flats, sandy dunes, rocky dry-river beds and mountain washouts. Off-trail and unsupported, he will carry all the food, water and equipment required for the 8-day journey in a 90lbs+ backpack. This journey has been successfully done only once (in the reverse direction) by Louis-Philippe Loncke, a Belgian explorer, adventurer and motivational speaker. A few others have tried, including Roland; all have failed.
Roland is not an extreme explorer or adventurer like Louis-Philippe. He is a regular dad and small business owner. But he welcomes a challenge. Years ago, one of his friends came back from a failed attempt to summit Mt Denali. Roland asked him what it’d take to do something this difficult and remote. His friend answered that the first step is understanding that the people doing these incredible things are no different from the rest of us. It struck Roland as true and changed his outlook on outdoor adventures, as well as on other areas of his personal and professional life.
He has tried this journey before and failed three times. He learned from the problems he faced and the chances are strong that he will accomplish my goal this year. But just in case, he wants a little additional motivation to get him through to the end. He is asking family and friends to help him raise money in support of the Mustard Seed School on GoFundMe.com (gofundme.com/sacmustardseed). After his journey is completed, the money raised will be donated in its entirety to help care for the children at the school. For him, it is an opportunity to pass along this spirit of adventure to those children, who have had a rough start in life. Roland knows he is privileged in many ways and the challenges he imposes on himself are nothing in comparison to the challenges they face on a daily basis. He hopes to remind the students to dream about and focus on possibilities and reject the idea that their current situation is definitive.
34927266_1543434955337316_r.jpegMustard Seed School  is part of Sacramento Loaves & Fishes  and it was established in 1989 to help meet the needs of homeless children. Many school age children do not attend school because of their homelessness; so lack immunizations, birth certificates, or other documents, some are in transit, and almost all lack a support system. In spite of their situations these children are eager to learn and to be accepted. Mustard Seed is a free, private school for children 3-15 years old which provides a safe, nurturing and structured environment, a positive learning experience, happy memories, survival resources of food, clothing and shelter referrals, medical and dental screenings, immunization updates, counseling for children and their parents, and assistance entering or reentering public schools. (A short video introduction about Mustard Seed here)

If you can help him support them, it’d mean a great deal to them and it’d would strengthen his will to finish this.

You can donate here: gofundme.com/sacmustardseed

And you can track his location and progress real-time here: