Pleasant Valley, or as I call it, Death Valley


Recommended Posts

I'll start by saying that if you have not already seen Pleasant Valley then you're are going to run into some spoilers and it's best to steer clear of this story.

Okay, now with the disclaimer out of the way, I'll start with a little background. I started my game in Mystery Lake on the Voyageur difficulty with the intention of surviving for as long as I possibly could. This meant getting the magnifying glass as quickly as possible and fueling fires with only sticks broken down by my bare hands. I explored nearly all of ML and even found a food cache! :big_smile:I decided to setup my base in the Camp Office. I saw many a nice sunrise over Mystery Lake...this was one of my favorites!


I was living comfortably a with a routine of making sure all necessary stockpiles had enough reserv20160724151439_1.thumb.jpg.5ab3b7336bee7es to get me through two days of bad weather. I've seen a daylong blizzard roll through followed by a day of dense fog so I wanted to make sure I was prepared. On the days when the wind blew hard enough to suck the heat right out of you, or those days when the snow would not let up, I was able to increase my knowledge by studying the books I had found around the area. When the weather permitted, I would go collect sticks behind the cabin and up by the train tracks, where I encountered an occasional fluffy but this was no big deal. Other days I would take a stroll along the shore of Mystery Lake, picking up sticks that had blown down in the previous windstorm. The fishing huts were producing well and I would fish on days when the pack of wolves had moved on. Life was great and survival had become easy. This however is a survival story thread and at this point I felt as though I was living comfortably, not struggling to survive anymore. At this point, I was at Day 41 and I thought it would be a good time to go visit Pleasant Valley! I was well equipped with fur clothing and all of the tools necessary to thrive in least that's what I thought. I had never been to PV and had never looked at a map online because I didn't want any spoilers so I truly had no idea what to expect once I got there. It seemed like a good idea to take a day to move everything over to the Carter Hydro Dam for the ensuing trip to PV. I spent my 42nd day in the Carter Hydro Dam deciding what to stash and what to take with me. I decided I should take some more water so I lit a fire in the small building in front of the dam and boiled some water. Tomorrow was the big trip!

When I woke up in the morning, I had a large breakfast and was eager to set out on my adventure. I stepped outside to check the weather and all way good, temps were in the mid 20s and there was no wind and clear skies. I made my way out of the lower dam and started down the hill to the river where I encountered a wolf, probably a friend or relative of fluffy! There was no running away and I didn't want to waste any food as a decoy, but I did set some down as a decoy. While the wolf was eating I eased to the left and drew my bow. Direct Hit! Right behind the front shoulder and I knew I would have additional food soon. I picked up my undamaged decoy and waited for the wolf to bleed out. I only harvest the meat because I didn't have a use for the pelt and it wasn't economical to take it to PV. Okay, I thought, I'm even better prepared now so this trip should go really well! I made my way to the cave and once inside lit my lantern. This is where my first mistake became evident. I had not topped of my lantern fuel before leaving the dam so I only had a half full tank. It's okay, I thought, this cave can't be that long and I have two torches and a flare...I'll breeze right through! Well, being in an unfamiliar cave was a bit more daunting than I thought it would be. I kept going down different passageways only to find dead-ends. This was followed by going back to my starting point and going down the same passageways. I've been down every single passageway, I the f*** do you get to PV? It was now getting dark so I made my way back to where the roof of the cave had fallen in and took out my bedroll. I slept for a few hours but not all the way through the night. This nap helped warm me back up and I was refreshed and ready to tackle the cave again. There was still about three hours of darkness left at this point but the sky above was clear and there was no wind so I figured I could travel at night. I made my way back to the main chamber with my lantern empty and torch nearly out....another mistake. Unbeknownst to me in my rush to get out of the cave, I had left my bedroll lying on the cave floor. This would not come back to hurt me in the end but it was a shock when I looked in my radial menu to find it missing once I emerged from the cave!

Once in the main chamber I noticed some boards overhead and found the slope that led up to them...finally the exit! I made my way to the mouth of the cave to find the wind howling i20160726215844_1.thumb.jpg.0dba1977f0efen PV (something I would become a lot more familiar with soon enough). The sky was still clear but this meant it was freezing and the wind chill made it even worse. By the time I emerged from the cave, I could feel the cold making its way down my spine and I knew I had to find shelter soon. There was a road in front of me but which way? I took a left and followed the road for what seemed like an eternity! Shivering under the moon in the winter wind, I noticed a wolf prowling through the woods to the left. I pushed on. This road just kept going uphill to seemingly nowhere! Finally, as I was turning into a popsicle, I could make out the faint outline of a cell phone tower. I hope there's a building there, I thought and as I crested the hill, there it was! Salvation! I ran inside, had a quick snack and a drink of water and took a quick power nap. The bed was really warm and I was feeling a lot better. I awoke to find a clear, beautiful morning! I finally had a better view of the outline that denoted my salvation and as I neared the edge of the cliff, I was blown away by the amazing view!


I took note of the climbing anchor, although I had no rope, and of the farmhouse, silo, and what appeared to be the outline of a barn off in the distance. I also took note of a bear in the field down below. There were plenty of supplies at Signal Hill so I decided to stay there for a few days. The struggle to survive was not far off and it would be caused by my passion, the weather. I hunkered down for the rest of the day and had a nice dinner and went to sleep. I awoke in the middle of the night to a blizzard so I waited for it to finish in the morning. Once it finished, dense fog rolled in and I couldn't go very far past the fence. I did stray a little ways away and to my surprise, I found this!


I chopped it down, stuck it in my backpack, picked up a few sticks and went back inside to warm up and wait for the fog to clear. The fog cleared up the next day and I figured I'd go exploring! After all, it was a whole new area. I heard the heavy footfall and growling of a bear coming up the trail toward me! I wasn't going to pick a fight with the beast so I went inside and waited a couple of hours for the bear to move on. When I stepped back out the door I was saddened to see the fog had rolled back in. Tomorrow I thought, tomorrow will be the day I go exploring! I went to bed and awoke to find fair weather but what is that noise? The bear is coming back! Again I was forced to go back inside and when I came back out? Fog again! I felt like I was living some sort of nightmare...trapped in this building...the building that had once saved me might be the end of me. I was running dangerously low on supplies and did not want to pick a fight with the bear because I knew that this could spell disaster. I ate my last piece of wolf meat and stepped outside. It was nighttime, a beautiful starry sky was in view with that aurora on the horizon. There was only a light wind and I saw hide nor hair of that old bear so I figured now was the time to make my escape! If I didn't leave I would starve to death. As I started down the path...I spotted the outline of a giant creature in the moonlit snow...there it was, that F****** BEAR! I decided to head off into the woods to give it a wide berth. I noticed a wolf on a nearby hill and split the bear and the wolf with no issue. I continued down the road with the wind, now stronger, at my back. It continued to pick up and the snow whipped wildly past me...sucking the warmth from my bones. I needed to find shelter and I couldn't go back to Signal Hill. The cave I thought, I can go back to the cave to my bedroll and just head back to ML! Oh $%@#, I don't have enough light and if I stumble through that cave it will be to my grave. I pressed on. I continued to get more and more chilled as I made my way down the hill. Finally, I saw power lines appear out of the darkness but no buildings in sight. I was once again at a I go left or right? Then I remembered from that first view from Signal Hill...there was a barn toward the left. I made my way across a bridge and finally it appeared again, salvation.


As I approached the barn I heard a bark cut through the wind. No, I can't battle a wolf now I thought. So I dropped a brand new jar of peanut butter...a sacrifice of 750 calories, and sprinted for the door. Inside I lit my lantern and noticed a truck...luckily it was unlocked. I slept through the rest of the night in the driver's seat. When I awoke and stepped outside, to my surprise, I was face to face with a bear! I decided to go back inside and tack stock of what was in the barn. I sorted my items into various containers and went back out. The bear was walking away up the road so I was able to search the outbuildings and the surrounding fields. I spent the rest of the day in the barn. The next day, I came face to face with that same bear. Since I was starving at this point (the whole reason I left Signal Hill), I figured 70 some odd pounds of bear meat would go a long way. I steadied my rifle and took the shot. Blood splattered and I knew I made a good shot, but not a kill shot. The bear charged and I scrambled to open the door. Whew! I stepped back outside and there he was still standing there. I fired again and once again it was a hit! But the bear would not go down. I ran back inside to safety. When I went back out I found the bear a little further away from the barn so I walked closer for a shot. I noticed the blood trail on the ground so I knew it was wounded. I landed a third shot and as the bear charged I made my way back into the barn. I was pretty chilled at this point so I decided to hop in the truck and warm up for an hour or so. When I awoke, I walked out into the blinding sunshine to find that all of the blood had disappeared and there was no sight of the bear. Weird, it's almost like there was some glitch in time! I followed up the road where I had seen the bear walking away the previous day and sure enough, healthy as could be, there was a bear walking along the treeline. I gave up on that hunt as a sudden whiteout rolled in. I rode out the blizzard in the barn and was in desperate need of calories.

It was time to set out for that farmhouse I had seen from the top of Signal Hill. I made my way to the farmhouse and found some canned goods, a godsend. I wanted to ration them though so I lured a nearby wolf toward me, dropped a decoy, and dropped it with my trusty rifle. This wolf meat would get me through the coming days. The weather at the farmhouse was deteriorating so I went inside. After another night, I was now beginning my 7th day in Pleasant Valley. Other than my first view from Signal Hill, not much had been that pleasant. It was a much harsher life than the one I had known back at the office in Mystery Lake. As the morning wore on, I decided to step out onto the porch to find that another whiteout had rolled in. This view would be the last that I see.


As soon as the blizzard subsided, I heard a heavy was another bear! It sounded as though it would walk right in front of broken window so I saw this as a good opportunity to harvest some meat from relative safety. The bear walked into sight and I made the shot. It could've been a miss, it all happened so fast, and the bear charged. I backed away from the window and he suddenly stopped, turned around, and stood on his hind legs. I eased toward the window and let out another shot; again, this bear wouldn't go down and charged the window. He stuck his head through the window and ripped me out into the cold snow, tearing me apart. I passed out and when I came to, I found that my rifle was tossed a few feet away in the snow and the bear was slowly walking away. I climbed back through the window and was bleeding but at least I was safe from the bear. I had a bandage but had infection risk and almost no medicine so I decided to make an old man's beard final mistake. As I was attaching the lichen, I finally went into the long dark.

Pleasant Valley was a very humbling experience and a much greater challenge than any other I had faced in The Long Dark. A combination of weather, bears, and my own mistakes leads me to give this place the nickname of Death Valley, although it is a much colder than its namesake in California, that's for sure. I look forward to surviving in Pleasant Valley again. I wasn't even close to exploring the entire map and I look forward to discovering what else is out there. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I wish you good luck with your continued survival in these harsh conditions!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.