Chicago Tribune

45 days, 400 miles: Hiking the new Jordan Trail

AQABA, Jordan - On Day 38, the temperature hit 106 degrees Fahrenheit.

Like a slow animal, I slid into a narrow crescent of purple shade, napping beneath a rocky overhang until the sun softened in the late afternoon. The song of a shepherd's flute echoed off the canyon wall, and the sky glowed an almost digital blue.

By dusk I was hiking once again, shoes in sand, sifting through a mile of empty desert as a full white moon rose from behind a broken wall of mountains. The rippled dunes went on forever. Camels hovered on the horizon. The silence was tremendous. Night came with a spread of stars

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