Death Valley Jim Donation Fund

$8,500 of $10k goal

Raised by 113 people in 2 months
My name is Jim Mattern, better known as the adventurer, author and photographer - Death Valley Jim. 

I have authored the Secret Places in the Mojave Desert, and Hidden Joshua Tree book series, and operate the website,  www.deathvalleyjim.com .

Over the past seven years, Death Valley Jim has been a self sustaining operation. I would release new books several times per year, and provide a guide service for those that wanted an adventure in Mojave Desert Region. The Death Valley Jim website was regularly updated with new locations and history that I uncovered along the way.

If you are a regular follower of my work, you have probably noticed that there has been no new content added to the website since October 31st, 2016.

...and there is where the difficulties began.

In early November, I found that my website had been attacked by hackers. The entire website was destroyed in a matter of minutes. This single thing literately sent everything into a death spiral.

While working on restoring content to the website, the bandwidth usage from all of the uploads exploded, and my hosting company cut off the website until I moved it to a dedicated server (at a 300% cost increase). I gave in and made the move.

I spent the entire rest of the month of November, and the first half of December doing nothing more than restoring content to the website.

Mid-December rolled around and I was still restoring articles and photographs to the website. I had the website restored to about 60% of what it once was when the hard drive containing my life's work decided to fail.

The hard drive that failed contained two terabytes of photographs spanning the last seven years. It also contained all of my project files for books, and other projects that I had been working on. Literally everything DVJ related was no longer accessible. 

I've been looking into ways to restore the hard drive, but it is a very expensive process that doesn't guarantee anything, but it needs to at least be attempted.

Adding insult to injury at this exact same time my Jeep decided that it was time to start acting up. First it was shocks (not really that big of a deal), then the clutch went (a really big deal), and I've just now learned that the front drive shaft needs to be replaced (another really big deal).

It has been a heck of a ride, one that has caused a lot of emotional and financial stress.

I don't like asking for donations or help, which is why I have appeared so absent lately, it has felt easier to suffer in silence. But I realize that in order to get everything back on track, I have to reach out and ask.

Funds raised will be used to restore the failed hard drive, finish getting the website back in order, hosting fees for the server, and getting my Jeep back in running order.

Those that donate $100 or more will be provided with one year access to the new premium members section of the website, where GPS coordinates, maps, and out of print books are being made available. 

Thank you for following my work, and for you consideration.

Jim Mattern
aka. Death Valley Jim
www.deathvalleyjim.com
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Update 1
Posted by Jim Mattern
2 months ago
   Share
Many, many thanks to all of those that have donated or plan to in the coming days.

I am overwhelmed with the amount of support that this campaign has brought in. A big part of me didn't believe that it could work.

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Shirley Terral
1 month ago

Sorry to know of your financial problems. I met you in Ridgecrest, November something, at Matarango Museum. I gave you copies of my old, growing up neighborhood, at Saltdale, California, photographs. I hope you can use them during your effort to restore your website. Not exactly "monetary" assistance I know, but could be useful. I believe your readers will be interested in seeing the photos and learning of life as it used to be; those were poor, dirt poor really, times. My dad, and the men who worked with him were not kindly treated by the "company" they worked for. I suspect that was common experience in those days.

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$8,500 of $10k goal

Raised by 113 people in 2 months
Created January 17, 2017
CG
$25
Catherine Gallagher
1 month ago

Your work is beautiful and inspirational. Thank you.

GL
$25
Gordon Lull
1 month ago

An honor to help, even in a very small way, Mr. Adventure himself.

DR
$100
Doug Robertson
1 month ago

Jim, I planned on donating $100 even without the addition of the premium section. When you're up and running again, I'll gladly buy the full collection I've been eyeing for a year or more. Have you thought of making them available as e-books? That'd seal the deal for me, not a lot of room in the camper but plenty of GB available on my iPad!

$25
Anonymous
1 month ago
$20
Anonymous
1 month ago
$100
Anonymous
1 month ago
MS
$100
Melanie Shannon
1 month ago

You are providing a wonderful connection to amazing places. I hope this helps you on the journey!

RY
$100
Richard Yarno
1 month ago
NY
$20
Noah Youngelson
1 month ago
LM
$20
Linda Mackay
1 month ago
Shirley Terral
1 month ago

Sorry to know of your financial problems. I met you in Ridgecrest, November something, at Matarango Museum. I gave you copies of my old, growing up neighborhood, at Saltdale, California, photographs. I hope you can use them during your effort to restore your website. Not exactly "monetary" assistance I know, but could be useful. I believe your readers will be interested in seeing the photos and learning of life as it used to be; those were poor, dirt poor really, times. My dad, and the men who worked with him were not kindly treated by the "company" they worked for. I suspect that was common experience in those days.

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