Many hours spent in the same landscape now. Many rotations of the wheel, beats of the heart, breathing, water, peddling, and the view remains; desert. In the hours passing, I figure out how I relate to this landscape, and how can I tell its story. Unless it were fiction, I have no other perspective to take but my own. As a Canadian, I shall look at the desert through the eyes of the Great White North. How my experience here compares to my experience of winter, and time spent
First is the sound. Walk 300, 400 yards away from camp and listen. Away from the hustle and bustle of the tents and the kitchen, and listen. It’s windy in the desert. There is no one around. You hear not a sound, yet realize that you are deafened by the sound of the wind whirling past your ears. That whistling song of the wind; the soundtrack of rural solitude. You start to walk, a new sound, the sound of your feet crunching through the top crisped layer of sand. In the abyss of the surrounding wind, the volume of your footsteps sound is as if they’re coming from a speaker nestled just in front on your ear. Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch. Whirl, the wind keeps whistling.
Like breaking the frozen layer of snow in blowing winter storm. Step out of winter for a moment, and look at the human geography. Rural, sparse living where resources dictates residence. Much the same the whole world over. Without a map or road signs, one could pass through a dozen villages in a full days drive, or least a handful in a full days ride. The desert is flat, you would think you could see the next one coming. Yet kilometre after kilometre, the official road-sign demarcations of towns come and go without a blink of change to the landscape.
Stay where you are for long enough, and a donkey cart or pick-up will come wheeling past and straight to the horizon. Spend a few hours on the highway to the arctic in Canada, and we’ll see who wins for the count on gravel tracks into the sunset. Why are these roads being paved? Same reason they take care of our Canadian north coast roadways. Oil.
You best be sure to take proper precautions driving here or there also. The only thing that will get your tires more stuck than 2 meters of snow, is most certainly 2 meters of soft sand. We’ve helped with more than one sand sunken vehicle and we’ve only been here a week. The one that makes me laugh the most.
The most unbelievable similarity between life at 30 degrees in the middle of the desert and winter in Canada; it that it is currently winter here too, so you can believe me, that all the kids are wearing insulated parkas home from school!
— Adele Woodyard