Lights of city fade behind the shadow of the ridge, and the road tilts up, now between sheer granite walls. Cacti surrender to dwellers of higher country. Scrub oaks replace the saguaro along the murmuring stream down in the gorge. The car passes a sign saying they have climbed a thousand feet. Water plunges over a ledge of banded gneiss into a pool where tiny frogs have gathered to mate and feed on the abundant bloom of fireflies.
He is tempted to stop, to soak in the smell, the touch of trees, of living breath, but proceeds upward. His pulse rises as he takes the tight hairpin that leads up again, out of the canyon onto the contour up to Windy Point. Hoodoos stand like sentinels against the sky, the watercourse now far below them. A sky full of with moon and stars deepens above them while shadowy silhouettes of stone stand on either side of the highway.