After waking up at zero dark thirty the morning of the Bataan Memorial Death March, I opened my back door to let the dogs out. Well, I was hit by a blast of wind that took my breath away. Spring in the Desert Southwest can bring wicked wind storms and this is the only place I’ve ever lived where “blowing dust” is an actual weather forecast. The strange thing is that the forecast for this morning wasn’t calling for high winds. Nevertheless, our mountains create their own weather at times bringing the worst conditions to run in.
The great plant hunter and explorer of Tibet, F. Kingdon Ward said it best, “It is this wind which makes life on the plateau…so unbearable. It has a cumulative nervous effect; possibly its action is electrical, due to the constant friction of dry air. I do not know. I only know that it is slow torture; you are waging a losing fight all the time, up against something which gradually, but no less surely and ruthlessly beats you. It makes no terms; it is war à l’outrance.”