I crossed most of the low desert between the Santa Teresas and the Pinaleños last night. The cool evening air and dirt roads sped me across the open expanse until I smashed up against the first fingers of ridges that begin a wall-like rise toward the sky.
Today, it felt like a plane taking off from the runway. I shot up 4,000 feet as the desert floor dropped away into toy-like trees and roads. I jumped entire ecosystems stacked one after another like layers on a cake, rising until I stood among giant pine trees and peered out at the snow capped peaks ahead, still 1,500 feet higher, waiting for me along the spine of mountains.