Hand to Heart

The terrain of the Atlas Mountains has a unique resemblance to parts of Utah, Arizona and Colorado. Immersed the red, orange and yellow hues of the landscape, Leilani Bruntz keeps her eyes on the trail.

Hand to Heart Changed Perspectives in Morocco

Sweat drips down my face as I tear off a piece of bread and pinch it between my fingers and thumb

to fashion a vessel for the veggies in front of me, roasted in a clay pot that looks like a tiny teepee. I scoop up bits of potato and a chunk of carrot, popping them both into my mouth. Savoring the bite, I reflect on the past 10 days of riding in Morocco’s Western Atlas Mountains.

We’re only 40 miles southwest of Marrakesh, the country’s fourth-largest city, and with landscapes that resemble those of the American Southwest, the trails here have an unexpectedly familiar feel. In a week and a half, we’ve ridden everything from smooth, flowy singletrack to steep and chunky terrain that left me hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. It’s been like a greatest hits playlist with a few new songs thrown into the mix.

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