Even though I wore denim pants, the sharp grains of sand bit through to my knees like so many small razors, so that the intense heat of the desert floor was able to freely burn my skin in a hundred tiny sparks. I crawled with my toes lifted off the sand as best I could, because the heat was so intense in the midafternoon they burned with only a momentary touch. My calves cramped almost hourly, forcing me to stretch and then I touched the desert – inflicting another burn atop a previous wound. My hands were not so lucky, yet in a way they were fortunate. One hand was always in contact with the sand, so they burned red; but it didn’t take long for my palms to callus and scar, so I couldn’t feel the destruction happening, I just knew that it was.