Journal Entry–Day 1:
The voyage lasted about six hours; much shorter than I expected. We touched down at 11:22am local time. I assumed Mars was in a different time zone but was greatly surprised to learn it’s only two hours behind the east coast. I know what you’re thinking. I didn’t really go to Mars. I don’t blame you for having your doubts. There are still people who believe we never really landed on the moon. It was all a government conspiracy, for what purpose I’m not entirely sure. If you didn’t believe them, there’s no way you’ll believe me. I can’t produce a single shred of physical evidence. I can offer some photographs and my personal assurance they are unaltered in any way. Beyond that, the best I can do is try to describe the amazing, incredible, absolutely unbelievable things I saw, heard and smelled.
Journal Entry–Day 2:
I don’t understand the debate. Scientists have been wondering for decades if there is or has ever been life on Mars. The answer is yes. It’s all around me. I’ve seen huge, shaggy creatures that had to weigh a ton. I’ve seen others ranging in size from a small lizard to a large deer. Some animals have antlers. Others are equipped with huge twisting horns. What they use them for is beyond me. The abundance of life forms here is astounding. What I don’t understand is how even the simplest organisms can survive in such a hostile environment. Life begins with water. We all know that and there’s plenty of it here. Well, there’s liquid of some sort. But when it’s so toxic, so acidic it can melt rock, I’m not about to get close enough to find out if it’s actually water.
Journal Entry–Day 3:
I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the smell here. I mentioned the abundance of liquid. I’m even more convinced that it’s not really water. For starters, it doesn’t look like water. Although I have come across some pools that appear perfectly calm and clear, perhaps even safe to drink, others hiss, bubble and steam and are every different color of the rainbow. I saw one that looked like a giant bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup. Another was the brightest blue you’ve ever seen. Water isn’t supposed to look like that. But it’s the overpowering, pervasive odor that really gets to me. This whole place smells like fireworks and rotten eggs.
Journal Entry–Day 4:
The world exploded today. There was no warning. I was watching this phenomenon I scarcely have the words to describe. Initially, it looked like nothing more than an area of bare rock. There was some hissing and steaming, and of course the smell, but nothing else out of the ordinary. The hissing and steaming turned into bubbling, and a pool of water appeared seemingly out of nowhere. For several minutes it roiled away like a giant caldron straight out of hell. Then, looking and sounding exactly like someone had come along and flushed a toilet, it all disappeared. I know you don’t believe me but I swear that’s what happened. I’d barely recovered from this shock when I heard what sounded to me like an approaching train or maybe a jet engine. I turned and saw a cascade of steam, water, foam and who knows what else spraying hundreds of feet into the air. I learned later that the locals call this thing a geyser. I call it damn scary. I head home tomorrow, God willing, and will be very glad to leave this place behind.
In the winter of 1807 – ’08, John Colter became the first well known mountain man/explorer to venture into what’s now Yellowstone National Park where he encountered numerous geothermal features including geysers, mud pots and fumaroles. Stories of his discoveries were generally met with ridicule and derision and the area was jokingly referred to as “Colter’s Hell.” Over the next forty years, many other trappers and explorers told similar tales of fire and brimstone. They were generally regarded as myth. The Cook-Folsom-Peterson Expedition (1869) was the first detailed survey of the Yellowstone area. Three years later it became the world’s first national park.