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On this “episode” of 67 Designs Customer Spotlights, where we share the stories of some of our customers, we get to know Duane Cassone. Cassone, who currently resides in Palos Verdes, California, is the Director of Applications for Providence Health and Services. On top of this, he also works for the Creative Photo Academy as an instructor. Not just any instructor, though—a night photography instructor!
Proud owner of: “Off Road Soda”— a tan, hardtop 2017 JK Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited
Featured upgrades: Duane’s Jeep is decked out with the following…
Customer of 67 Designs since: January 2019
Inspiration for buying Jeep: For Duane, his Jeep allows him to get to places that others cannot.
First adventure with vehicle: While one of Duane’s first trips was out to Death Valley with one of his classes, his first significant overlanding trip was in May of 2018 to Overland Expo West. He went on the trip with his daughter and some others to upstate Arizona. He drove through Marble Canyon, White Pockets and the Vermilion Cliffs. (Shhh! But he even let his daughter drive some of the way!)
Most recent adventure/COVID-19 adventures: Duane’s last trip was a self-lead trip for the Southern California Offroad Trail Association (SCOTA) through the Monache Jeep trail in the Inyo National Forest. He successfully led and camped with about 15 rigs! While on the trip, he ran across 395jnky and made HAM Radio contact on 20 meters with ZL1WN Ross Biggar in New Zealand. Pretty neat stuff!
Most memorable adventure: April 2019. The trip to Canyonlands National Park, inspired by TrailRecon, went through Elephant Hill. He went with a friend from Portland and his two kids, CJ and Brooklyn. He described the trail as “epic.”
Upcoming trips: Duane is about to go on his 18th trip to Death Valley to teach night photography to his students. This summer, the family is planning on a run to Glacier National Park with a week-long stop in Big Sky, MT. In the fall, he plans on getting out to Arizona to Sedona and Flagstaff (as a potential SCOTA trip)—he hopes to do the Broken Arrow Trail!
Dream trip: Providence Health and Services has 50 ministries (hospitals) from Texas to Alaska and Duane’s dream trip is to travel to all of these ministries by overlanding. He and his coworker, Geoff, want to make the trek from Lubbock, Texas to the Arctic Circle in 2021 or 2022, stopping at each ministry to work for a couple of days. Duane has already set up a Yammer group, “Providence Overlanders”, in the hopes of getting more PHS caregivers to join him on the road.
Advice for those who are just beginning overlanding: “You don’t need the best gear, just a sense of adventure—take risks and go get out; Adventure is getting out and exploring safely—that needs to be the drive; Find like minded people to overland with.”
#1 place he has camped: Grandview Campground in the Inyo National Forest. As a night photographer, the starry skies in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest are “awesome.” (Fun fact: bristlecone pines live extended lives - some are 4,000 years old!)
Fun fact about Duane: He tends to overdo the cooking aspect during overlanding trips. He has his oversized fridge for a reason—more food and more choices.
Jeep club memberships: “SCOTA, and only SCOTA”
Notes from the writer: Duane has an obvious passion for adventure that he loves to share with his family, fellow SCOTA members, students and even his dog, Skippy. He loves photography as well, but he made sure to mention that adventure comes first—photography, second. There is nothing more important than taking in a scene by looking at it through your own eyes, not just through a camera lens. I have no doubt Duane will be leading and inspiring more students and SCOTA members for years to come!
Check out his work here: You can see his photography and travels on both of his Instagrams and shameless plugs for SCOTA and Creative Photo Academy as well.
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