Sojourner Truth
Ares Vallis

July 6, 1997


We landed as scheduled on July 4th, but this will be our first day of scheduled activities. I exited pathfinder last night and had to take measurements with my alpha proton x-ray spectrometer (APXS). The Earth Team woke me up this morning with the song "Final Frontier," from the "Mad About You," TV show. It was just like my clock radio at home.

It's sol 3 here now. But for me, it's sol 1. I've been so tired. Spaceship lag, I guess. Today, the Earth Team wants to see if I can hold still five of my wheels while turning my sixth. Piece of cake. Then, I get to meet my first real Martian. His name's Barnacle Bill. In order to reach him I must turn my wheels 70 degrees in the direction of "The Barnacle" and then move backward to touch him. Then I must gather all the info on what Bill's made of with my APXS during the night. The Earth Team wants pictures of me holding hands with Bill. The IMP is delighted. He specialized in scandals back on Earth. He finds it kind of boring to take pictures of the landscape, but, of course, it's part of his job. I get to take a picture of Carl. Who's Carl? you may ask. Well, yesterday, Pathfinder had his name changed to Carl. He's now the Carl Sagan Memorial Station. It's a bit stuffy, so I just call him Carl. He wanted to be named for the famous Earth scientist who was interested in locating E.T.s, and who recently died.

Mom, you should just see this landscape! There are twin mountain peaks on the horizon. They are layered in ribbons of different colored rocks. Maybe they were transported by water on Mars a long time ago. The Earth Team thinks the ribbons show multiple episodes of flooding due to catastrophic events.