A film of fine desert dust settles onto both legs and bike, while the rocky plateau growing closer awakens a vein of excitement just as the morning sky begins to break. A slow progression of black to blue, the sky suddenly erupts; sending accents of color cascading over a foreign landscape like paint on an impressionist’s palette. Purples transform to pinks, resurrecting peaks of alpenglow in the distance while nearby light sends shadows dancing across the rocks and sand.
No longer pedaling, I stand with my body rigid, diaphragm tight, and eyes wide open in a frenetic attempt to absorb the staggering beauty. My senses are heightened; every sight, sound, and smell is detected for an instant before the influx of new stimuli takes over, and my mind becomes feverishly charged with a thrill only experienced in moments such as this.
No thoughts, no worries, no monotonous tasks to perform. Only one question preoccupies my electrified mind: Why?