The desert is a vulnerable place to be in. It took my country coordinator to make me repeat, “Its hot in the desert. It is also cold in the desert” multiple times to break down preconceived ideas and plan accordingly. Even so, I do not even think she had planned on seeing snow. Like passively watching a caged animal, the sense of danger is ever present in the Devil’s Highway, but you enter knowing you have shelter for the night and a Klean Kanteen full with drinking water. You feel the beauty but know that if stared at too long, it means peril. The sweeping mountain ranges turn to looming mazes, the sporadic vegetation to thorny-arms and the crystalline snow scarcely more than a mirage.
Picture credit to Andrea and Luke Roske-Metcalfe