Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 6 - Ideas and Decisions

I woke to a splendid 6th day even though it appeared I must have accidentally kicked my campfire in the night. It had been snuffed, meaning I had no ashes. The only way I was going to use it again was to use my steel and flint, and that was simply out of the question. I moved to another spot on the peat and made a new campfire so I could be warm while I figured out what I would do next. Obviously, I was going to make some more tools, but which?

I made a saw on my second attempt. It was strange, actually. I was beginning to feel almost comfortable in my efforts to make things. I guess I felt like it didn't matter as much if I failed making a tool because I had acquired enough to remove the feeling of being vulnerable. Maybe it was because I didn't have to hunt for branches any more. Oh, if I never saw another branch it would be too soon! Maybe it was the fact that my nutrition was up to 45 percent from all the hot casseroles I was feeding myself. Anyway, it felt good to be in charge of my day.

Having more tools in my inventory, especially the anvil, made me realize I could not hope to continue travelling around toting all my gear. I shed some unnecessary items - things I could now easily make. But what I needed was a safe place to "live" for a while. I needed a cave! Turning out a pickaxe head rather quickly, and turning to see an old pine, I reached for my new hatchet. I noticed the anvil and the other real tools suffered damage with each use. I therefore took extra precaution to repair my tools as often as they needed it. This was good practice for two reasons. First, they would be less likely to shatter on me if their damage was low. And second, repairing would increase my skill in, well, repairing.

Taking my first whack at the pine tree, I examined it to find that I did 20% damage. This meant I would have to hit it about 5 times to drop the tree. Once the tree was on the ground, I could use the hatchet again on the felled tree to create logs. From the logs I could make a shaft for my pickaxe head. Once the tree fell and I had logs, I no longer used peat in the fire. My shovel was still an unrepairable item, but I had unlimited wood now, so I needed to save it for clay later on. And then I had a most wonderful thought. I had an unlimited supply of shafts from logs, and shovel blades from the iron rocks! I could easily make more crude shovels until I could make a large anvil for a real shovel. I felt so industrious!

Looking at the crude knife in my hand gave me another idea. Why not make a short sword so I could have protection and maybe even some meat? Ideas and decisions were fluttering about my brain with many new options being opened to me. Every action gave me more skill; every tool more options. I felt as if the rest of my journey would be a breeze compared to my first five days.

Returning from my second trip getting logs I also realized I had no reason to stay at the peat. I could support a campfire anywhere there was wood. However, I was working so hard to get wood and make tools that my food intake was not keeping up with my hunger. Even though I did not want to fast again, I realized it was inevitable. Night fell and rather than walking back to my ledge from two days before, I decided to spend one more night on the peat-bed. Day six came to an end and I felt pretty confident. Life was so good.

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