Climbing Sulfur

There were rungs cut into the mountain, which made it easier to climb. The view from above was astonishing. We were at least two miles high, perhaps more - to the coast below. In back of us was the strange descent, bolted handhold feeling secure. I grabbed one and held myself out into space, swinging around to the other until eventually I descended into a high plain bamboo forest.

The warthogs were there, and one of them ran as fast as he could, butting his head against me. White tusks gleamed. He snorted then ran on. The impact was strong but it was almost symbolic. I lost my fear of the pack. A strange feeling of calm enveloped me as the herd ran all around.

When I awoke, I could still see the coast. It was a view that inspired both awe and fear. I awoke wondering how I could launch a hang glider off such a narrow ledge. As I worked through the dark of the early morning, it occurred to me that perhaps JATO was the way to go there.

And as I sent my son to school, walking back from the bus stop, I quietly resolved in the back of my mind that JATO on superlights wouldn't be the way to go and ruled out strapping an engine on my back.

The mountain looked like sulfur , and was round and jutted out at the top like a great rounded stalagmite. The landscape reminded me of mars. But below it looked like California coastline, so far down it took your breath away.

This must be how Mars will look in a hundred years.