I tended my crops and removed everything from my inventory that would weigh me down in case I had to make a hurried escape from some predator. I made a casserole to get my stomach full before leaving. But I decided to take a frying pan with me. I could make a campfire on the trail and, taking my beloved fishing pole, I could catch some fish and add it to foraged items to make meals to sustain me.
I left Refugio and headed for the coast. I wanted to obtain some fish to make a meal on the trail. My journey would likely take me far from water. Once I had fished and foraged, I left the coast and ventured southeast. I walked for miles it seemed. Climbing a large hill, I found that the road ended at a construction sign indicating some south pass was being constructed. Just before the sign was a cave with signs pointing to unknown destinations - destinations made possible by the cave. I decided to enter. The cave was long like a tunnel and seemed to stretch an unknown distance. I lit my lantern and made my way down the cave. It dropped, and dropped, and dropped some more until reaching what appeared to be the lowest point. Then, the angle turned upward and I followed along until reaching the light of day. Emerging from the shaft of darkness, I found a crisp, clean world of forests, cobblestone roads, and bushes. The tunnel had taken me through the mountain. I found a well nearby and capped off my two pottery jars. I then drank and headed down the road.
Cresting a hill I was met by an ominous site - a huge scorpion! He was in my path and the road was walled on both sides with low stone. A dead adventurer was on the ground next to him. I knew I could not hope to kill him. In fact, I was scared that he would strike me down at the sight of me. I stopped and pondered what to do. I did not want to go back. For all I knew, mushrooms, deer, and bulls were just around the corner. I had emptied my inventory of most of my tools to make myself as light as possible for just this kind of scenario. What I needed to do was run past him and keep running until he stopped giving chase. But due to the angle of the road, I had no idea what was beyond him. I could not see over the hill. Determined to continue in my chosen direction, I took a deep breath and ran towards him. My lean body was quite agile. I sprinted past him, hugging the left wall as he turned from beside the right one. Fortunately, the road beyond him was all down hill and as he attempted to strike at me, I raced down the mountain at a frantic 22kmh. So determined was I to put distance between him and me that I ran all the way down the mountain before turning around. Gratefully, he was no match for my long, lanky, and mostly starved body. I stopped to catch my stamina before climbing the next hill. I had made it past the beast unharmed, but I knew I would have to face him coming back - and possibly with animals in tow. I was not looking forward to that.
Continuing on, I eventually reached what appeared to be an old abandoned path leading gently up a mountain. With my food down to 20%, I felt it was time to stop and eat. I made my way up the grassy path to a spot that was favorable for building a campfire. I foraged and found an onion and cut down a cedar to make my kindling and get fuel for the campfire. Starting the campfire was not too difficult, and I placed my frying pan of fish and onion inside to make a meal.
|The campfire on the path.|
Once the meal was made and eaten, I placed my bowl (I remembered to bring it) of foraged items in it and made a casserole as well. Once I had eaten that, I decided to do some poking around. I wanted to know where the path led and so I followed along scanning left and right for signs of life and for my objectives. It wasn't long before I realized just how fortunate I was to have chosen that particular path on that particular day. Looking to my left, I caught a glimpse of something poking up just above the grass. It was a mushroom - a glorious mushroom! I climbed up to get it and then saw another one further up.
|My second mushroom.|
Climbing up to obtain that one, I saw yet a third and I was so excited I started slipping on the slope. Finding two was very hard to do, but three was a miracle! Because mushrooms decay very quickly, I decided to take screen shots of the mushrooms to show to my sponsors.
|The third mushroom|
|My miracle mushrooms!|
Satisfied with my venture up the path, I decided to head back down to the road and continue on my journey through the forest. One third of my mission was complete.
Moving on, I reached a small populated area. There were 3-4 adventurers leaving a fortified fort for who knows where. One waved at me as I continued on my way. I traveled on, following the main highway and signs that pointed to obviously important places. I eventually was led down to the main central bay on the Freedom map. There was a breath-taking view of the Dragon Fang and it showed me just how far I had traveled.
|Southern end of the central lake, facing north and the Dragon Fang.|
|My roadside meal!|