It’s been almost a week since we returned from Alene’s Badwater ultramarathon adventure, and I am still in a deep Kansas-sized pit in regards to engineering projects, training, and sleep. Particularly sleep. This is because in Death Valley I (like the rest of the crew) only got 36 hours of sleep in 7 days, tacking on another 20-23 hours to an already not insignificant sleep debt.

Hence the delay in the Badwater write-up. But here is a photo-documentary of another notable event: an excursion into a Walmart Supercenter, my first in years. I have written in the past about my disgruntled experiences in this big box store that I otherwise see no reason to patronize (especially since Walmart’s goods aren’t even that cheap!), but race logistics and compressed time spurred us into one of the Waltons’ warehouses in the “Precious Slut” town of Pahrump, Nevada.

What did we purchase here? A few coolers, enough junk food to feed the entire island of Guadeloupe, a pillow, and a few extra “necessities” like a tiara for Princess Alene and a pink padded bikini for her brother, Nathan “Haboob” Nitzky. Don’t ask. :)

The total bill came out to nearly $400 worth of stuff, but it all fit in our two support vehicles. Most of it went unused and actually got in the way of finding items we really needed, not to mention really challenged my minimalist and simplifying sensibilities. No one, however, could have accused us of being unprepared—we probably had more stuff than a full Mt. Everest expedition.

Enjoy the photos.


We found the way to Walmart in Pahrump, NV by following these folks. We were considering getting Alene some of this in case she became menopausal. A fan/mister.  We did not end up getting it for the race. Ed was in a baseball mood. Ed now in a basketball mood. Ed and Stephanie discussing the virtues of padded bras. "Mmmm, baby food," thought Alene. She bought a few for the race. Loading up the cart with about 28 Starbucks Double Shots.  Ultimately we ended up using hardly any of them. We thought Nathan might like having this friend for the journey. (Photo: Ed) A typical Walmart shopper? (Photo: Ed) Pink powdered snowballs. Only 98 cents! We bought three shopping carts of about $400 worth of stuff for the Badwater race. Amazingly it all fit in the van and Nathan's support vehicle.

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