Great sheets of ice flanked our walk on Kibo's rim. Aside from the fact that we were tripping along a corridor that was 19,000 feet in the sky, it could have been someone's gravel driveway. Or one of Jupiter's moons.
The icy peak was silhouetted against the night sky. But the longer I looked, the more I saw. And the more I saw, the less I noticed the mountain of our obsession. It was stars--sweet Jesus!--the stars that dominated this glorious night. They were everywhere, from horizon to horizon.
At some point in the distant past, planetary nausea triggered a spew of subterranean chunder. The blow was horrific enough to empty a mountain of structural support, causing it to collapse into its own throat.
The ten of us sat around the long wooden table. We looked like members of the board, but this was no committee meeting. Robert, sporting the "please-recover-my-body" orange of Kandoo Adventures, introduced himself as our lead guide. I liked him immediately.