A two hundred-mile shadow

Kibo shadow at sunrise 1.jpg

Kilimanjaro casts a shadow upon a veil of vapor. The colors are magnificent. Deep tropospheric blues are warmed by the rising sun. Striations build upward from the horizon: purple to mauve to grey and orange. Cutting through these layers are rays of light; these transparent slashes converge with the shadow.

It is frigid at 19,000 feet, but there is little wind today. It is a gift of the morning.

All mountain shadows have this same triangular shape regardless of the mountain’s profile. This is a phenomenon known as perspective effect. The finite size of the rising sun behind me causes the shadowed air to taper away to a vanishing (or anti-solar) point. It is not unusual for large mountains like Kilimanjaro to cast a shadow that is two- to three-hundred miles long.

I inhale the scene and its colors. It is cold in my chest.

The slope has become gentle. From here it is a stroll to the summit.

Bryan scrambling 4.jpg

I play in Africa but work in Israel-Palestine.

If you are a pastor, church leader, or educator who is interested in leading a trip to the lands of the Bible, let me hear from you. I partner with faith-based groups to craft and deliver outdoor academic experiences. Leaders receive the same perks that other agencies offer, at competitive prices, and without the self-serving interests that often derail pilgrim priorities.