Talk about a mountaintop experience for your birthday! Today is Marlys Tieszen’s birthday, and she hiked with her husband Duane to the top of the mountain of Herod the Great’s Machaerus Fortress in Jordan, where (according to Josephus) John the Baptist made his last stand. Marlys is not saying how old she is but has given me permission to say that the number includes a 2 and an 8. In the background of this photo is the Dead Sea. Tonight we are at a hotel at the entrance to Petra—tomorrow’s adventure.