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Shifting Sands by Steve Donahue

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Prologue

Are You Crossing a Desert or Climbing a Mountain?

Upon the endless sand dunes The camel shall always rule. But it’s wiser in the mountains To ride a stubborn mule.—Desert proverb

The Sahara is the largest desert on earth, covering an area approximately the size of the United States. My buddy Tallis and I were halfway across it, camped on a rocky hill in open desert a thousand miles south of the Mediterranean, with another thousand miles of sand dunes and sandstorms ahead of us. We were quite literally in the middle of nowhere.

The blistering Saharan sun had just set, bringing the evening’s cool relief. But we both knew that within an hour the temperature would drop almost 40 degrees, and by midnight we’d be shivering in our sleeping ...

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