Ducks and pigs and chickens call, animal carpet wall to wall

The Marrakesh Express

I'm flying to Marrakesh this morning. The Red City: former imperial capital of Morocco and home to about 1,070,838 storytellers, water sellers, dancers, musicians and just plain folks there at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. I could tell you why, but that would assume I knew myself. The truth of it is relatively simple. Some of our friends at BMW were putting together a little 565-mile loop through the High Atlas Range. A chance to beat up on the new GS? Catterson was booked. I volunteered. Everything else I know about Morocco comes from Humphrey Bogart, the U.S. State Department website and that Crosby, Stills and Nash tune. Embarrassing, but true.
At 172,413 square miles, the whole country is slightly larger than California, but Californians outnumber Moroccans, 39,961,644 to 34,859,364. Most live to the west of the aforementioned Atlas Mountains, which stand between them and the Sahara desert, running 1500 miles across Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Beyond that, it's supposed to be hot, but it could be cold. And mostly dry, with a chance of rain at various points along the way. Be ready for anything, they say. Roger that. The bags are packed. I'm leaving in a couple of hours. I'll let you know how it goes when I get back in a week or so.