ManicManiac

Finally Trying for Faithful Cartographer...

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Seemed like the proper place for this... I finally did it :)  Got it done around day 270.  I looted the world and then went back through to map it as I traveled around.  Early game my goal was looting the world in the first 50 days, so cartographer took a back seat.

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Unfortunately I've been losing internet connectivity for long durations this week (and also some other real life circumstances have made it difficult to get more than a couple of sessions in).  However, I'll pick up where I left off:


The next morning, I went out early to try and get eyes on the bear (and hopefully visual confirmation of the location of it's den).  The other day I'd spotted the bear, but I was far more focused on finding shelter for the night. :D

I made my way around the rock formation veering to the left (while keeping an eye out for wolves that may have wandered into the area overnight).  I saw a group of rabbits milling around nearby, and also a foreboding set of very large foot prints.  Following the tracks back to the den.  I decided to go and map a little bit further beyond my encampment and give the bear time to circle back.  The den was in a good spot.  If I can drop the bear near it's den, I'd be in a good spot to quarter and drag the bags, guts, and pelt back to my cave in relative safety.

After making my way up the slope (where I found an abandoned campfire and snow-shelter), I mapped the area and broke down the shelter.  After which I made my way down to drop off more sticks and items found at the campsite back at my cave (one of those items being a cooking pot :)).  Then walking a bit farther along the ridge line to map more of the surrounding area at the edge of the region.  I was hoping that enough time had past to start stalking around the bear's den.  As I approached I saw the bear was just making it's way off.  I got close enough to get it's attention and lured it back towards it's den.

Crouching down, I intended to get close enough to ensure it would charge (assuming the first shot didn't bring it down).  However, I waited just a little too long.  It got close enough to stand up and begin a charge.  I aimed in and waited for the bear to drop back down on all fours.  I knew I'd only get one shot off before mauling me.  Fortunately my shot struck true; it was a critical hit.  The bear dropped just a couple meters away.  I was very lucky.  Misjudging when to take the shot could have easily cost me the run.  I quickly quartered it, and took the gut and pelt back to my cave.  I'd also managed to get three bags of meat more or less half-way between the den and my cave.  The rest remained where the bear fell, and I managed to get one bag back with me to the cave.

It was already getting into the early evening, so I'd have to try to get the rest of the bags in the morning.  By this time I had already gathered up a fair amount of sticks, and at the abandoned campsite I'd found 3 pieces of cedar and 2 pieces of fir wood.  I knew I had more than enough fuel to keep a fire going for roughly 24 hours, so I knew getting water and food supplies in order wouldn't be a problem.  I'd started a fire and began harvesting my bag of meat while getting my first batch of water boiling.  After getting a couple of batches of water and as much meat as I could get cooked in that time (opting for .5 kg portions).

I bolstered the fire up over 11 hours, ate one bear steak, and bed down for the night.  The following morning proved a more tricky situation...

I put on another batch of water, so I could continue accumulating it between runs to drag in more bags of bear meat.  As I made my way out to where I left three of the bags, I discovered that a wolf has started prowling in the area near by.  With limited ways to shake a pursuing wolf... I'd have to be careful.  I dropped off my rifle, lantern, sleeping bag, and as much weight as possible.  I was able to get down to about 12 kg, freeing up enough carrying capacity for two bags (if necessary).

I cautiously ventured out and made three trips to gather up the three bags I'd cached closer to the cave.  I was apparently far enough from the prowling wolf to avoid catching it's attention.  However, the rest of the bags of meat near the bear's den were a different story.  The wolf had made it's way closer, perhaps from my previous trips or perhaps just it's general wonderings.  I decided it would be better to make my way around from the slope on the other side of the den (just below the abandoned campsite).  I didn't want to risk losing a bag of meat (if the wolf started stalking me - I likely would), but I didn't have much choice... I'd have to risk it.

I approached the far side of the den, fortunately the group of rabbits were still milling about.  I quickly grabbed two bags and made my way back up the slope.  I knew in all likelihood that the wolf would pick up the sent, but I was hoping the rabbits would prove a valuable distraction to keep the wolf busy.  I reached the upper part of the slope, I heard the wolf charge... just as I hoped, I heard the scream of a rabbit.  As quickly as I could I dropped off the bags of meat and checked on the water (during all this I kept cycling the cooking pot to keep water production going).  For the last bag, I stayed up by the abandoned campsite waiting for the wolf to finish it's rabbit.  Luckilly there was only one bag left, and my ploy using the rabbit's worked.  I would end up recovering every bit of the bear I'd killed, losing nothing to the wolf (well, nothing but the sacrifice of a rabbit).

After recovering the last bag, I just focused on water and processing the bags of meat.  I'd managed to keep the fire going for a little more than 24 hours (a bit of a waste considering the charcoal production cap), and I managed a good supply of meat and I think 14 liters of water.  Once the fire went out, I spent the next day or so just harvesting the rest of the bags.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
At this point, I'm well supplied for a long stay.  The trouble will be to find away to either find safe routes to bring food with me... or to keep returning back to this cave every day.  The later would make fully mapping the region difficult... but for now I can just use this cave as a home base to finish mapping and exploring the surrounding area.  For my next session, I plan to see just how far I can explore in one day and hopefully plan out a path to establish incremental encampments.

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I was only able to get a sort session in today...

I awoke early the next morning and quickly wanted to get eyes on the nearby wolves.  I found I was flanked on both sides.  There were still two wolves prowling the way I wanted to map out, and there is one wolf prowling on the path heading along the ridge towards Offset Falls.  I knew I could scout if I head straight over the slope (where I found the abandoned campsite) and head to the middle of this area of the map.  However, I wanted to keep to the ridge and map the edges first.  Ultimately I decided to spend the day just gathering sticks and breaking down branches.  That evening there was heavy snowfall, that did eventually turn to a blizzard.

Thankfully, it was a short blizzard.  The storm had abated by the time I woke the next morning.  I went up the slope to check the way ahead, and as I expected the two wolves were prowling just ahead.  I'd been eying a small hill near the ridge line that would leave me a channel to maybe slip past them (if stayed crouched).  I didn't want to stay stuck if I didn't have to.  I was admittedly hoping they might eventually move on to another area, but I decided to try and sneak past them to get more mapping done.  I figured if I could get past them once, then I ought to be able to get past them again to get back to my food supply.

As I approached the area, I noticed one of the wolves leaving a deer carcass.  It had apparently took it down early this morning and was just now finishing up.  As I approached, I did check the carcass just to see if there was anything left (there was no).  I waited there a little while watching the wolf disappear over the low hill ahead.  After it dropped from site I figured it was far enough away for me to attempt to skirt the ridge line to try and get ahead of them.  I got into position and slowly made my way forward.  I very clearly hear the footsteps of the wolves.  It was a very tense slow crawl. :D

I came to a downed tree and noticed that the ridge line gave way to a small cave like pathway to a larger open area.  I began mapping right away, and found (as I made my way farther in) a new shallow cave to setup a new encampment in.  I dropped all my sticks and the two pieces of cedar I had with me to start building up a supply of firewood.  I proceed to map out the area down to a nearby small pond.  I also came upon the a climbing rope leading to a higher shelf on the ridge.  I was tempted to climb it, but I decided to be patient.  I was already separated from my food supply by those two wolves... and while I could snatch up a couple of rabbits right here and likely even find rabbits in the area around the climb; I decided not to risk it.  I did spend the rest of the day gathering up the sticks and branches for the new encampment.  As evening was approaching I decided to head back to my first encampment to bed down for the night.

As I crouched and made my way back through the channel between that low hill and the ridge line... I noticed I didn't hear the footsteps of the two wolves.  I went back to cave like pathway and decide to head around to the pond to confirm my suspicion.  I was right, and it was a stroke of good luck.  The two wolves had moved on to another area!  This meant that if I worked quickly, I could move a large supply of food and water over to my new encampment.  :)

I ended up hauling three loads of food and water to the new cave near the climb (leaving a 4 liter supply behind for later).  As quickly as I could got my supplies organized and got ready to bed down for the night.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
Weather permitting, I'll be heading up the climb tomorrow morning.  I can't remember if that leads to a larger area of the region... or if it will just be an overlook.  Either way I'm eager to map out what ever is up on that ledge.  Since I've already taken a bear here in this region, I'm considering leaving my rifle here (along with anything else I'm not likely to need immediately).  If there are any useful items up there... I'm going to want to be able to climb down with them if needed.  :D

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The next morning, I took a look at my map and considered that perhaps it would be better to clear the entire area while I'm here.  I decided to map I would map this area from the boundary ridge back to the Hushed River before moving on to explore up the climb.  Following the ridge line further around I came a waterfall and a contributory to the Hushed River.  I also found two entrances to the Ice Cave (one across a fallen tree bridge and one very near the bear den I found previously), along with a climbing point that lead down to the river itself (which I was fairly sure meets up with a path leading from Offset Falls).

As I got closer to explore the area near and around those fallen tree bridges, I came upon a wolf.  I started to back track to the climbing point that lead down the river, but the wolf instead got distracted by a deer and broke off to pursue that meal instead.  This game be plenty of time to explore further and map it out.  I experimented a little bit the terrain, but I didn't want to goat around too much (I'm still rather paranoid I'll find another instant kill spot).  I spent the day exploring along the ridge above the River and pressed on as far as I could.  As evening came I knew I'd have to try to sneak by that wolf again.

It caught my sent once... and I was able to dash across the fallen tree bridge to get it off my trail.  The second time I stayed close to the cliff edge and was able to skirt past.  I made my way back to my main encampment to bed down.  The next day, I did a little more scouting around to clear more of the map along the Hushed River.  In the afternoon I decided to head back to my main encampment and take advantage of the sunshine.  I started up a fire, stocked it up for 12 hours, and spent the rest of the day making batches of water with the cooking pot (as well as cooking more bear steaks in the other free slot).

It turned out to be a prudent move.  Firstly, I will always need more charcoal for mapping and my water supply was getting low.  Secondly, it was long after I get settled in that the weather started taking a turn for the worse and ended up unleashing a blizzard.  I managed to get about 14 liters prepped before getting to bed.  The next morning I grabbed the charcoal, and lugged the fresh water supply over to my second cave encampment.  I spent the rest of that day, gather in up more sticks and trying to tidy up the map... though I still have yet to finish the stretch of cliff-side that leads back to Offset Falls.  I decided not to push too hard, and I wanted to get a sizable stock pile of sticks in case of future need.

That evening, another blizzard hit so I hunkered down there at my second cave encampment.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
I will still finish the stretch between the ridge overlooking Hushed River and the trail leading to Offset Falls before trying to climb higher up.  I still don't remember if it's just a small shelf... or it grant's access to another large chunk of the region.  In either case, I think I just want to make sure I finish up this area before potentially moving on.

[Addendum]
I'm wondering if I should also backtrack to map all the way back down around Stairsteps Lake.  I can get there on foot after all; no climbing required.  Hmm, I suppose I'll have to think on it...

Edited by ManicManiac

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Nothing too exciting happened over the last few game days, I've been giving the wolves a very wide berth (which is why it took so long to map comparatively little). :D

The tense bit, happened early on.  I wanted to check out more of the nooks and crannies across those fallen tree bridges just beyond a prowling wolf.  Though, I found nothing of interest... it was useful for clearing up some smudges on top of a couple of rock formations.  Apart from that, I tended to take the long way around in order to map along the cliffs leading back to Offset Falls (there was a wolf smack-dab in between the climb down the cliff and the foot path leading down to the falls.  After this I hiked back to my second cave encampment.

The next day, I took the more direct path back to Offset Falls and this time head up the foot path leading back towards the area of Stairstep Lake.  However I decided to stick to the cliffs on that side of the Hushed River (specifically to check out the top of a rather large rock formation bridged by a fallen tree).  Rather than press on to Stairsteps Lake, I wanted to see if there was some way to get down to the Hushed River's banks.  I did find the very small foot path that would allow me to get down the frozen over river itself.  At this point it was already getting into the early evening, so I knew I'd have to head back one of my caves and check out the river tomorrow.

Early the next morning I found a wolf prowling near the bears den, so went around it by heading up the slope (near the abandoned campsite).  I for the rest of the trip (much like the day before) I simply stuck to the ridge line and made it back to the small stooping footpath.  The previous few days, I had spotted a wolf wandering around further ahead, but I knew I could at least make it to what turned out to be Reclusive Falls.  I also noticed a cave behind it.  However, it very stubbornly refused to show up on my map... so I eventually stripped down to keep my clothes dry and ran though the waterfall.  Once on the other side (and after very quickly putting my warm clothes back on... and the entrance to the Ice Cave finally registered when I surveyed.  While I was here I figured I might as well take a peak inside.  Apparently this was a bad choice... because now my boots and socks are soaked and beginning to freeze.  In a further turn of bad luck, when I stepped back out of the cave (expecting to be in the small space behind the falls - like when I entered), apparently I was just "in" the waterfall... so now all of my external layer is soaked and beginning to freeze.

So, I had to struggle with hypothermia risk and beginning to freeze to death as I make my way back to one of my encampments as quickly as possible.  Luckily, when I found protection from the wind, by inner layer of clothing was just enough to get me above 0* (so that significantly slowed down my freezing to death).  :D


:coffee::fire::coffee:
At this point I opted to just bed down... I doubt my clothes will be completely dry by morning, but at least I don't need to mess with that particular waterfall again.  Now I'm kind of stuck between climbing the rope here by my second encampment... or back tracking to again to map Stairsteps Lake.  Though the later will give me the chance to peek back down to Hushed River... if the wolf stalking around down there ever moves on, I'd be able to map the rest of the river (which I do still need to do).
  Though, if I head up the rope at least I'll be able to suss out whether or not it's just an overlook or the next large expanse I need to map.

I know I'm pacing this really slowly, but I've only ever mapped this region once before (and that was more than a year ago :D) and I don't remember all that much of it.

I did notice that the bones are missing from the den of the bear I hunted.  I'm not sure if that's a bug, or if the region is setup to make the bears a one time spawn.  I've never run into this in the game before.

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I decided make another hike back to check Hushed River.  My gloves are still wet from the other day (about 52%), but I figured I could risk it.  I still have my backup pair of wool mittens, if needed.  I also decided I would stop by me main encampment to pick up one of the 4 axes I've found in the region so far.  I had a feeling I would have to contend with some brush, if I pressed on far enough.  On the way I wanted to check the nearby bear den again.  Unfortunately, the bones are indeed gone... so apparently this is no longer a bear den.  I suppose that's fine considering I have no intention of another bear hunt, but it's still something I've not run into in this game before.  I'm still not sure if it's a bug or it's intended.

I made my way back to Offset Falls as quickly as possible, and began exploring along the iced over river.  As I approached Reclusive Falls I noted two rabbits running around, but more importantly... no wolf prowling.  The way was clear so instead of heading back towards Stairsteps Lake, I decided to take the opportunity to map and note the locations of whatever resources might be found down here.  I also found what I will refer to as the Hushed River cave, as well as an unnamed waterfall.  I continued as far along the river as I could (until I came to the top of another waterfall which made it pretty clear this was the end of the road), but I did find a path that seemed to be skirting the cliffs.

As this point, it was getting well into the evening and I decided to head back.  I was debating whether I would be able to make it back to my encampment before nightfall.  As I approached the stooped footpath leading up to Offset Falls I stopped.  It was likely I would make it back... but as I looked around an saw the two rabbits ambling around nearby I thought, "Perhaps it would be better to just spend the night here."  I took a couple of tries, but I snatched up a rabbit and made my way back to the Hushed River cave.  I setup an 8 hour fire (which was easy thanks to the cedar, sticks from breaking down brush, and a surprising amount of coal that I'd found in this cave earlier).  I cooked the rabbit and use my recycled can to bolster my dwindling water supply, before bedding down for the night.

The next morning I returned to the path leading past the Ice Cave entrance, eager to map it out further.  I was glad I brought an axe with me, it did end up coming handy.  I mapped the location of another entrance to the Ice Cave, removed some brush to access a short climb and to reveal a crawlspace which lead to a really nice overlook (thought there was another unfortunate soul here before me... and he was still there).  There was another short climb leading higher up the cliff, but decided to follow this path to it's end.

As the path opened up into a rather vast expanse.  It didn't take long for me recognize that this was near the path that would lead me back to my starting point.  Passed under a huge archway, and further ahead spotted a bear lumbering around it's territory.  I tried to work my way up the slope just past a climbing rope, but found I'd have to take the longer way around in order to get back up.  I very much wanted to see what was on top of that arched rock formation, but I knew that was going to have to wait.  I decided I would give the bear a wide berth and take the long way around along the cliffs and heading back towards the ridge following the Hushed River.

As I mapped, I found I'd attracted the attention of the bear.  I didn't think it would have wondered this far.  I quickly noted a shallow cave as I passed by, and ended up wandering up to Valley View Point in my attempts to shake off bear's pursuit.  Here I found another unfortunate soul, but I also found a revolver near his hand... and a single cartridge in his pocket.  A grim find... but I had another 11 cartridges back at my main encampment (so of course, I took it with me).  I opted not to mess with the brush on the path leading down the opposite side.  Rather I went back the way I came.  I wanted to see if I could map my way around the base of the slope and around to the cliffs overlooking the river.

As I made my way down, I didn't notice the wolf prowling the area ahead.  After attracting it attention, I quickly began to back peddle.  However, I was quickly running out of room.  I was tempted to try to get back to the shallow cave, but it seemed likely that the bear was still nearby... instead I began to head back up towards Valley View Point.  About half way I remember that I hadn't cleared the pathway on the other side.  I was trapped.  Rather than attempt a struggle... or waste my one revolver shot.  I started pitching stones to try and run it off.  The first toss missed... I quickly compensated and the second stone hit it's mark.  I took the opportunity to crouch and head a little higher up on the path toward Valley View Point.  I watch tensely as the wolf eventually wandered back to it's territory.

Given this new impasse, I didn't have much choice but to make my way through the interior of the area (which was fine, I did need to map it anyway).  However, at this point the weather had begun to kick up... and snowing rather heavily (threatening a blizzard).  It was also getting late into the evening.  Considering I didn't really know my way around the area, I knew I wouldn't be able to trailblaze back to familiar ground and  make it back to my main encampment before nightfall - let alone get ahead of the weather (it's very possible a blizzard may hit before dark).  :D

I started heading towards a large rock formation.  I honestly don't have much for a frame of reference as to where I am exactly.  I know I'm not far from the cliffs overlooking the river, and I know the bear is ambling around in the area behind me... so I think I'm not too far from Stairsteps Lake.  However, it's getting dark and I will need a place to take shelter in case the weather gets worse.  As I continued to careful make my way forward around that rock formation I spotted a couple of rabbits making their way up the slope.  It took a few tries, but I was able to bag a fairly heft one (offering 1.1 kg of meat) which should be enough get me through the night.  Much to my relief, as I was heading down the slope I saw a cave partially obstructed by a row of brush.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
I quickly got a fire started and set to work on water and cooked rabbit.  There was also another fairly sizable load of coal in this cave.  I made sure there was at least 8 hours of burn time on the fire, and bedded down for the night.

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Today's session was really satisfying.  I'd been reluctant to roam too far from my food and water supply, but mostly due to the fact that I don't have much experience in the region.  This long and rather risky hike has helped me realize that the region really is very rich in food and resources.  It's not nearly as desolate as it's description lead me to assume.  :D Oh well, that's what I get for assuming.  I'm beginning to realize that no mater where I am, I'm not far from shelter as long as I keep my wits about me.

...I've been thinking about what to do next...

I'm fairly well weighed down with all the gear and supplies I've picked up along the route, so I'm considering going back to my main encampment to drop some things off.  However, it might be wiser to just establish a cache right here.  After all it's reasonably close to the transition cave that would lead back to Mountain Town.

I suppose if the way was clear all the way back to my main encampment, I could take the opportunity to haul a rather large meat supply here.  However, I seem to be doing alright finding enough rabbit meat to get me by from day to day... and I don't think there is much left on this part of the map left to explore.  I think once I find the way up to the Mysterious Signal fire, it might be more advantageous to just use my current encampments as a launching point for exploring the rest of the region.

If what I saw from the overlook is any indicator, it may be better to traverse across from the top of the map and then down the side.  The terrain looks like it sort of all funnels down to the area I saw below from the overlook on the cliff side (just past the Ice Cave entrance on that narrow cliff side path).

:coffee::fire::coffee:
Drat... I'm genuinely unsure as to what do next.  I'm in a fairly good spot and I know I can cover a fairly large swath of land if I'm not mapping.  Hmm...
Either way, I know I have to get over to Stairsteps Lake (I've been talking about it for several days now :D).

I guess I'll just think on it some more until I get that mapped.

Edited by ManicManiac

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It was another really satisfying session in Hushed River Valley today. :D

I ended up mapping out the lake (turns out I just up the slope from the cave I spent the night in).  I took my time and also cleaned up some other map smudges in the surrounding area.  I did also end up just setting up a cache there in the cave (and I think I'm going to store my rifle, pistol, and ammunition here in this cave as well).  That evening I was determined to get back to my second encampment (the cave near the climb in the top-left quadrant of the map).  I was had no food except my 5 emergency cattails, but I didn't consider this an emergency yet...

With a little bit of running, and quick detour to avoid a wolf near my first cave encampment; I'd made it back to my second encampment before it got too dark.  I decided to treat myself: I filled up on two bear steaks, got a nice warm fire going, and slept nearly 11 hours.  :D

The next day I decided to head back to my new cave encampment.  I decided not to haul any meat this time... I suppose I was counting on finding the other rabbit that was running around near my new cache.  Along the way I did more map smudge clean up.  This lead me up to the top of some nearby rock formations (also finding more unfortunate souls along the way - which also yielded another axes and 2 more hunting knives).

I nearly ran afoul of two wolves.  One near the Lake, the other near by my new cave cache... also, the bunny I was counting on was gone. 
I did find a ravaged deer carcass near the lake, so I harvested that up.  However by then it was getting dark, and by the time I finished... and aurora had started.  I was not looking forward to dealing with an aurora charged wolf.  I ended up quickly sliding down the slope but took a wider path around by the nearby pond (and skirting around the edge of the rock formation to sneak into my cave.  As I was getting closer I heard the barks and a whine... and a wolf streaking past me.  I don't know if was spooked or if the pathing just broke.  Either way... I'll take that supremely lucky occurrence. :)

The deer carcass bought maybe another three nights... but I was going to have to do something about my food situation.  I may just have to haul some meat over... I guess worst case scenario I'd sacrifice two pieces to get wolves off my back.  I'll have to consider whether or not I think that would be worth it. 

I found on that same slope the leads me up to the Lake... it's also sort of an alternate path back up to the first path into the region.  So, I mapped out along it's entirety (also finding another abandoned campsite I missed when I wondered into the region for the first time).  I also made my way along the fallen tree bridges and took a look at what was up on top of that arched rock formation (it was a backpack, campfire, and a deer carcass **I may go back to get that soon... it would be another couple days worth of food).

Between the abandoned campsite and the campfire up on the arched rock formation, I did find two more cooking pots.  I'll be able to leave one at each of my major cave caches, and possibly keep one on me for when I head up the climb in the top-left quadrant of my map.  I started up another fire and using two cooking pots, quickly produced a decent water supply.  Without making a run back to haul over some bear meat... my more pressing concern is food.  After this wolf decided to prowl around near my new cave... the rabbits in the surrounding area are nowhere to be found (which is reasonable - all things considered).  :)


:coffee::fire::coffee:
I think tomorrow, I'll head up the rope and see about getting to the Mysterious Signal Fire... assuming good weather I also want to make it over to the Lonely Cave.  If I can get that upper shelf mapped out in one/two days.  I won't need to worry about hauling meat to this end of the map for an extended stay.

Edited by ManicManiac

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The next morning I picked up my last piece of venison, and made my way to the climbing point not far from the arched rock formation.  I did make a quick stop on the ledge.  I might have been able to make the straight shot up... but I didn't want to risk it.  I turned to look around, but I spotted a wolf prowling around in the pass leading over towards the Mysterious Signal fire.  I was not expecting that, so I decided I would map my way over to Lonely Cave first. :D 

By the time I got back it was already getting late in the evening.  I decided I would bed down in the Ice Cave entrance.  I got a fire going and prepped a little more water for tomorrow.  Then I ate my venison and slept for about 11 hours.

Unfortunately I woke to find a blizzard raging outside.  I may explore the ice cave for a bit, since I'm going to have to wait out this storm (I don't think I'll go too far though I don't any more lantern fuel on me - so I need to use it sparingly).


:coffee::fire::coffee:
Perhaps when the storm clears that wolf will pick another spot to skulk around in.  :D

Edited by ManicManiac

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Fortunately the blizzard did pass fairly quickly; it only lasted maybe another hour of game-time after I woke up (5 minutes real-time).

The wolf in the pass ahead was gone due to the blizzard... but I couldn't count on whether or not it would be coming back soon.  Instead I decided to head up the slope and crossed over the fallen tree bridge; to map out the outcropping and gather up any resources.  This turned out to be a good move, because I was gathering things up from the abandoned campsite I found up there; I heard a wolf start howling down below.  I took a minute to considered what to do.  All I had on me was a knife and some rocks, and I don't want to get into another struggle again (if it's at all avoidable).

I took another quick look around and found a slope I could shimmy down safely enough...

I decided to head back down the slope and at least drop off the heavy firewood back at the Ice Cave entrance.  After that, I decided to put the new plan into action.  I went back towards the pass and attracted the wolf's attention.  I lead it in a wide arch as I sprinted up most of the slope.  I waited to make sure it was following up, and as soon as I had eyes on it... I crossed the fallen tree bridge and started scooting down the steep slope on the opposite side.  Granted this got me passed the wolf on the way in... but now I'd have another problem on the way out.  The hope is that I can stay the night up near the Mysterious Signal Fire... and just hope that the wolf will have moved on by tomorrow.  Other wise, I'm going to have to hope 5 rocks will be enough to get be back out safely.  :D

I mapped my way to the Mysterious Signal Fire where I did find: a satchel, moose steak, a revolver, and some ammo (the wolf will no longer be a problem... I will shoot if I have to - but it's going to be the last resort).  As I was trying to clean up more around the ridge lines I came across a cave that I'd initially failed to notice. :D  I was honestly surprised to find a cave up here... and that settled it.  I'd eat the moose steak and bed down in this cave, and see if the wolf was still guarding the pass in the morning.

I did opt to take off an ear wrap to take advantage of the increase to carrying capacity.  Spending the night in the back of the cave had it all thawed and dried out nicely. :)

The sun was just barely coming up when I decided to go check out the pass.  It was lightly snowing and bitter cold.  I loaded the revolver, but holstered it in favor of having stones at the ready (again, I wasn't going to kill this wolf if I didn't have to).  I got down low as I approached, and maneuvered to a slightly elevated vantage point.  I pensively scanned the terrain.  I didn't trust my eyes at first so I waited a couple of minutes.  To my relief and surprise... the way was clear.  The wolf had moved on to another area.

Very happy with myself, I headed back towards the transition cave.  Scooted down a steep slope so I could head back to my main encampment, taking my initial path past Cloudtop Falls and Offset Falls.  I decided to stay there for the evening to get more bear meat cooked (as well as boil a little more water).  I also wanted to stop by to pick up my other revolver and the rifle I'd left there previously.  The next morning, I made a quick trip back to my new cave cache right next to Stairsteps Lake.  I've decided that I would keep my more valuable items there for when it comes time to leave the region.  I'd like to be near the transition cave when I do my final inventory sort before moving on.  After dropping off my firearms and the ammo for both, grabbed up all the sticks I could find on the way back to my second encampment. 

Tomorrow, I will head up the rope and start mapping out the final corner of the region to complete my map of Hushed River Valley. :)

:coffee::fire::coffee:
I have to admit I'm not happy with the two dark splotches still on my map (behind lonely cave, and larger one next to the Mysterious Signal Fire).  However, I did the best that I could without doing a lot of needlessly risky (or extensive) goating.  I'm still paranoid I will find another instant kill spot and those are some tall cliff faces... and I'm too close to finishing this challenge to risk losing it for a 5th time.  :D

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I wasn't able to get a session in today, but I have been thinking more about how to proceed.

I'm still not entirely sure what's at the top of the climb next to my second encampment.  By that I mean I don't know if it leads to a larger area (as I suspect), or if it will lead to a ledge or overlook.

I'm also not sure what's past the Ice Cave entrance right near the unnamed waterfall that's just below the area I want to get to...  I remember seeing some brush and I think a short climb.  If the last narrow path I was on is any indicator... there may be more than one short climb.  Though I suppose it's equally possible that it's a dead end leading to a possible abandoned camp. 

I also know that I've not yet gotten much of a look at cliff side overlooking the Hushed River that runs all the way up to the Valley View Overlook.  The last time I was in that area I had to deal with a wolf stalking me, and I haven't been back there since.  I'm considering making a quick trip over there just for the sake of making sure I thoroughly explore every square meter of the map I'm able to.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
Hmm...  I have a few possibilities to think about.  I could also just use the Ice Caves to get up there... but I kind of like taking the overland route.  Then when I use the Ice Caves as shortcuts later, it will feel more like I earned the convenience.  :)

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That evening (I still had a little while before dark), I went out to check and see if there was a wolf prowling near the fallen tree bridges (leading over one of the ice cave entrenches).  As it turned out the way was clear, and I settled on a course of action.  I picked up some more sticks along the way and started getting organized for the next day.

The following morning, I set out for Stairsteps Lake once again.  Only this time, before getting to the lake I would took the path up and across the large rock formation just before it.  Then skirt down and around the far edge to map out the cliff sides leading up to the Valley View Overlook.  I did spot a couple of wolves prowling close by, but I was able to slowly work my way along the edge of the cliff unnoticed (spending half the day crouched :D).  Unfortunately, there was nothing significant to be found (though I did get a few more resources marked on the map).

I ended up heading back a little late in the evening, when I got a bit of a surprise... the bones in the bear den (near my main encampment) are back!  I spotted them when I approaching in order to head up the slope and between the two rock formations (because of prowling wolves on either side).  Not only that, but the bear is back too!  I quickly crouched and tried to give it as wide a berth as possible.  I ended up getting past it, but rather than head to my main encampment if decided instead to take the longer way around to my second cave cache to bed down for the night.

I was really happy to see the bear's den become active again.  I'd never noticed or heard of the bones disappearing from the den between bear spawns before... but I'm glad to know that the bear's of HRV are not just one time spawns.  :D  Though it will make using that path a bit dodgyer from here on out.

The next morning, I quickly went out to check to make sure the wolves were still prowling in the same area's as yesterday.  After scouting out the path again, I returned to my second cave cache and grabbed up my supplies.  Hauling easily a week's worth of bear steaks and two day's worth of water over to the Ice Cave entrance just across a fallen tree bridge.  I dropped off my provisions and started looking around further up the narrow path.

As I suspected there are multiple short climbs leading up to the higher level of the region.  However, I didn't remember to grab one of my axes that I'd stashed back at my first cave cache (so far I think I've found 8 total axes in this region :D).  I took the route near the bear cave back to grab an axe, and had to sneak around the bear returning to it's den.  At this point it was getting a bit late, so I decided I would just stay the night in the Ice Cave and explore up the narrow path in the morning.

The next day was mostly, climbing, mapping, and clearing away brush.  I mapped all the way up and around to an unmarked overlook (presumably the other possible location for the Mysterious Signal Fire).  I also found another ice cave entrance near by, so I made the trip back down the short climbs to gather up my provisions and haul them up to a very shallow "cave" that was situated right next to the Ice Cave entrance.  This all the took up the majority of the day, and it's getting into early evening.

I entered the Ice Cave, but it's a bit early to bed down.  I may do a little bit of exploring in the cave before hunkering down for the night.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
When I took a look at my journal... it says I've only visited 9 of 24 locations.  I'm a little bit unnerved by this... after all I've mapped easily 75% of the region already.  I suppose it's possible that the other 15 locations are all tightly packed into the remaining 25%.  Apart from this upper shelf... there is also still the valley below.  Still that's a relatively small portion of the region to contain a majority of the named locations.  I'm concerned about having missed things in the areas I completed (or thought I completed).  I'll just have to wait and see hot exploring this upper area goes tomorrow.  :)

Edited by ManicManiac

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I've been thinking more about what to do next... and I think it might be better to map my way back to the climb just above my second encampment.  I figure, this way I'll just be done with that part of the map and I won't need to worry about backtracking unless I just have a specific need to repel back down to that cave cache.

I suppose the conundrum is going to be whether I head back to the region boundary and follow it up to the corner... or if I check out these three pathways first.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
I suppose I won't know (or make up my mind) until I sit down for another session. :)  I just can't help but mull it over...

Edited by ManicManiac
Edited for corrections

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This morning I had to wait out another blizzard.  After it passed I cleared out some more brush, found that what I thought was a pathway was really the edge of a cliff, and on the path leading by the waterfall I found another rifle.  The rifle is under 50% condition, and of course I don't plan on using it... but it was still a nice find (along with the three cartridges I found around the body).  I continued on and mapped out the way back to the climb, then onward to Mammoth Falls.  I also tried to make my up to the top of the rock formation my path lead from.  I didn't venture too far, since I didn't have a lot of daylight after the storm.

The following day I was able to work my way over to Quarreling Falls, Monolith Lake, and Banner Falls.  I noted that I either have a very big moose territory, or I have two that are very close together.  I've got scraped trees over by Quarreling Falls and I currently have a moose wondering around on Monolith Lake.  At the base of banner falls, I found another supply cache (this one gave me more rifle ammo and a firearms cleaning kit).  Decided to spend another night back in the mouth of the Ice Cave rather then press a head.  I've been getting fires going nearly every night to try and keep my charcoal supply healthy.

The next morning, I made it up to the Pensive Vista (I was impressed at how much of the map that cleaned up... the view almost took care of the dark patches I couldn't clear all the way over by region transition cave :D)  I spotted a climb, that I imagine must lead down into the valley... but I'll save that for last.  I also spotted a cave, but I'll leave that for later as well.  I can check the cave when I'm ready to repel down the climbing spot.  In the meantime, I headed back over to Monolith Lake to finish up mapping over by Watchful Falls.  I found Lake Cave there as well.  This cave had much more of a story to tell then the other's I've found so far.

Inside I found an unfortunate soul laying beside the carcass of a wolf (with a hunting knife driven deep into it's back).  Further back in the cave there was another wolf pelt and guts already cured.  It looks like this poor fella had been hole up here, though clearly it didn't end well for him.  It was still late afternoon/early evening, so I decided I should try to make my way up the next slope.  I took it slow, concerned I may run into more prowling wolves... However the way was clear, and this rather steep slope lead me up to Peak Cave.

By the time I was finished exploring around the cave and mapping around the edges of the peak, it getting late into the evening.  I decided I would just take advantage of the Lake Cave.  I've got plenty of water on me, I need a fire for more charcoal tomorrow, and the cave already had a bit wolf meat waiting for me to cook it.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
Tomorrow I want to head back to Pensive Vista, only this time taking the second route up.  I'll check out the cave as well as take a look at the climbs.  If at all possible I want to back to the Ice Cave entrance, and haul over the rest of my supplies.  I don't want to be living hand to mouth (as it were) while down in the valley trying to complete the rest of the map.  I may set up a 5th encampment at the Pensive Vista cave... just for the sake of being able to get up and down the ropes. :D

It's hard to believe that I'm nearly finished with this region.  It's not taken nearly as long as I imagined it would.

If I can get my food supply down into the valley with me, I may take the extra time to read through an issue of "Stay on Target" as well as another copy of "Advanced GUNS GUNS GUS!" I found.  I think my firearms skill is high enough to make the advanced skill book useful (the last copy I found was still early on so I just 24 hours of it and left behind for later :D - once I get done with my mapping tasks I may go back and try to find it).

[Addendum]
It occurs to me that perhaps I should also make an extra trip to drop off this rifle (and the rest of the gear I've found up here) at my 3rd encampment (at the cave near Stairsteps Lake).  Hmm... it would be a long additional round trip, but perhaps worth it.

Edited by ManicManiac

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I managed a short session the other day:

I was able to get the Pensive Vista Cave prepped, but as I was on my way to the climb to get to my 2nd encampment a blizzard hit.  I was able make it to the climbing point and down to my encampment.  I hunkered down in the back of the cave and waited out the storm.  The next day I was able to get over to Stairsteps Lake to drop off my excess gear and back again before dark.

The following day I made it back up to the Pensive Vista, gathered up my provisions, and started down the first of two climbing points (trying to get down into the valley).  However as I was on the ledge getting ready to make the second climb, another blizzard struck.  There was a very shallow cave I was able to get a fire going, but the wind made it precarious.  Fortunately the blizzard was short lived, and I was able to get down into the valley.  By then it was already getting rather dark, so I used my lantern to make my way along the ridge line and came upon the Valley Cave.  I decided to bed down there, and make it my encampment for the duration of my stay down in the valley.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
The plan for tomorrow will be to map out as much of the valley area as possible.  I will probably spend at least one more night in that cave, but assuming I can make quick work of this last area... I should be done soon.  After that I plan on using the climbing point to get back up to the Many Falls Vista to finish my mapping task for HRV.  After that, I'll do a quick sort & drop; and get set for my journey to Bleak Inlet.  :)

Once I get HRV done, I'll go "weapons free" once I make it to BI.  I know the first order of business is going to be getting the timber wolf population under control. :D 

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:D This valley is a lot smaller than it looked from above.

Today I was able to map out the valley and climb up the other side to finish my HRV map by surveying the Many Falls Vista.  I took my food supply out of the valley with me (as well as a nice bow and arrow set I found down here).  However this brought with it a longer journey to my 3rd encampment (the cave near Stairsteps Lake).

I wanted to take a more direct route, but as I was passing under the arched rock formation I attracted the attention of a wolf.  I decided to just let it trail me as I took the longer route around the other side of the rock formation.  I headed back into the area that I knew was frequented by a bear, I figured if I didn't find a way to shake the wolf... I could perhaps use the bear to scare it off (of course then I'd have the bear to deal with... but the bear is easier to give the slip).  However, as i approached the area, I didn't see the bear near by.  So I ended up scrambling across a fallen tree bridge, which did shake off my pursuer... but also didn't give me a lot of options for what came next.  :D

Just as I had gotten the wolf off my tail... the bear comes lumbering up from just over the shallow slope.  In stead of trying to duck both the bear and the wolf (which was still skulking around nearby), I decided to just beat a hasty retreat back up the ridge line.  Even though I did attract the bear's attention as I made my way to the path leading upwards towards the Transition Cave... I was able to get up the slope and across the two sets of fallen tree bridges (easily getting away from my furry woodland friends).  From there, I just followed the path around to the alternate path that leads down to the corner of Stairsteps Lake (closest to my cave cache).

I quickly dropped off my food supply and began my final sort & drop.  It's time to get prepped for Bleak Inlet.  :)


:coffee::fire::coffee:
It's at this point that I noticed I have nearly 2 liters of extra lantern fuel as well as three skill books that I can read.  I think tomorrow I will make an expedition though the two ice caves.  I think I'll also make my way back to my first encampment to fill my stomach and read my three skill books before leaving.

As usually I will only be taking my bare essentials kit... however I will make one addition provision: unlike ever other region transition, this time I will take 10 addition rifle cartridges with me (because even though I've got a good record so far of "one shot, one kill..." I know there are going to be at least two packs of timber wolves to deal with and frankly I don't think ten shots would be enough.  :D  I suspect there would be closer to 20 in total... if there are more, then I guess that'll just be tough luck for me.

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:coffee::fire::coffee:
I've had a lot more fun in Hushed River Valley than I initially thought I would.  After forcing myself to live and thrive here, I have to say it is truly a wonderful region.

Timberwolf Mountain is still my favorite region, and Mystery Lake will always be home... but I've come to love Hushed River Valley for it's unique feel and qualities.  Just as with Pleasant Valley, the more time I've spent here in HRV the more it positively changes the way I feel about it.  :)

Edited by ManicManiac
Edited to correct an error

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The next morning I made it safely back to my main encampment (I was considering hauling up my Bear pelt... but I decided to leave there - as it will make for a more interesting hike when I go to collected them all up again :)).  I had three skill books in tow, but after closer inspection... I only had two that I could use.  The one I picked up down in the valley was a Wilderness Kitchen book; though I'm already at cooking level 5 (so I just dropped it there next to the coal and sticks).

I spent the next two days (or so) eating, reading, and resting.  Since I had a sizable pile of coal, it was a great opportunity to do a couple of long burns for charcoal... and keep nice and toasty for these last few days in the region.  "Stay on Target" helped get my archery skill a lot closer to level 4, and "Advanced Guns Guns Guns!" pushed my rifle skill into level 4.  However, I did stop reading once I got 20 hours into that book... and decided I would finish it off at my 3rd cave cache up near Stairsteps Lake (figuring this way I could finish the book, rest up, then quickly start my hike for BI the next morning).  The trip back was a fairly leisurely hike, though I did have to give the bear a wide berth.  so, while not too eventful of a trip... I still needed to be alert and keep a respectful distance from the predators.

For this last evening, I started up another coal fed fire, read the last five hours of the advanced skill book, and finished getting ready to depart Hushed River Valley.  I picked up my good rifle (the one I've been carrying since Timberwolf Mountain), got it loaded, pocketed 10 additional cartridges, and dropped all other non-essentials.  As I mentioned before, the only extra allowance I am making for this last leg of my mapping task is the extra bullets (and that's only because I have a feeling there are at least two packs I will need to deal with).

I do still intend to use as few shots as possible.  I've been in the region only once before, and I don't recall if the timber wolves run in packs of 2-4, or 2-6 (not to mention I don't recall how many packs I'd potentially need to contend with).  If it's 2-4 then 10 cartridges could be enough, but if I'm wrong and it's 2-6... then I might conceivably need more than 10 shots.

I'm tempted to risk it and just bring only what I can load into the rifle (as I have with every other region - and often I didn't even reload between regions).

Considering the two wisest options (bring more cartridges, and the other being to bring a bow and arrow set), I'd prefer to stick to the idea of only carrying one ranged weapon.  In this very specific circumstance I'm more inclined to consider the extra cartridges for a one time inclusion in my "essential kit."

While true, I could also just evade/avoid or use rocks to bust up pack morale (and I will if there prove to be more timber wolves than I have cartridges)... but I have set my sights on using timber wolf pelts for my wolfskin coat (so I do need to dispatch four of them :D).

I'll need to think about it some more...


:coffee::fire::coffee:
Once the sun comes up, I'll be heading out.  I do plan on stopping by the Milton House to fill my stomach.  Since I have sizable caches of meat in each region, there's no reason not to treat myself and keep my stomach full for this long trek.  I think my plan is going to be to enter Bleak Inlet from the Ravine.  This way I can map the higher elevation first.  At least that way if the RNG hates me and there is no rope, I will still be able to map the entire region without having to worry about getting up a cliff side. :D

Besides, in this case I don't think the rope is really necessary.  If memory serves there is still a way down to the main part of the region that doesn't depend on a climbing point.  That being the case, I feel reasonably confidant that I won't need to bring an extra rope as a "just in case."

All things considered I think the route I'm going to take will be: Mountain Town, Mystery Lake, and The Ravine.  I know Mountain Town and Mystery Lake have sizable stashes of meat (bear and fish respectively).  I don't remember if I have anything significant stashed at the cave in the Ravine... but it's a just a transition area and small enough that I shouldn't be there long enough to have to worry too much about it (weather permitting :D).

Assuming I can get this region mapped... I'll have achieved my version of Faithful Cartographer.   (at long last)

After that I get to start my long journey to gather up the all the pelts I will need for my version of Wrapped in Furs.   (I think the first part of that will be to haul all the necessary pelts up to Timberwolf Mountain and do all the crafting there)

Even though I already earned my version of "It was THIS Big" in my previous attempt... I'm still going to stick to those rules.   (to only fish from freshwater sources until I catch a smallmouth bass weighing more than 5 kg)

Beyond that... it's just work all my skills up and live to 500 days.  :)

Edited by ManicManiac

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Well... I've been thinking more on my previous experiences in Bleak Inlet.


I don't want to look anything up, because I am trying not to have a lot of metagame knowledge about the region itself.  Sure, I do have some because I've been there before... but I kind of like that I don't remember very much.  For the most part, I do want to preserve as much of that uncertainly as I can.  I've had a great time getting to know Hushed River Valley (after only having been there once before on a previous run)... so I'm hoping to still have a bit of that thrill of exploration again in BI. 

However, I am trying to think back just to make sure I at least fundamentally have what I need in order to have an honest shot at meeting the task (in other words ensuring that if I fail... it's because I fouled up and not just because the RNG hates me).  Which now has me second guessing my plan for tackling this last leg of my mapping task. :D

So now, I'm very seriously considering freeing up a rope in Mystery Lake... I just can't remember clearly whether I can shimmy down the main area or not.  If I'm wrong, and I can't... I don't want to risk not having a rope spawn.  That would really wreck the idea of not leaving an area until it's fully mapped.  I already rolled those dice back when I decided I would enter Mountain Town from the Basin (on which I got very lucky and all the ropes were deployed when I got there).  I'm not so sure I would have that much luck twice in the same run, especially considering I've already experienced no rope spawning in The Ravine before.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
Hmm, I guess I'd better plan on bringing a rope after all.
..
The more I think about it, the more I should know better than to trust in luck (particularly in this game). :D

Edited by ManicManiac

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The long hike was a little trickier than I anticipated. :D  This is mainly because, as I got into Mountain Town I remembered that I was thinking about hunting a bear in the is region, but I didn't.  I was able to get a little bit of venison from the near by trailer, but that was going to have to be enough to hold me over until I got to Mystery Lake.  I was able to through Mountain Town, into Mystery Lake, and arrived at the Camp Office in the early evening.

However, when I got there I discovered that I hadn't left behind as much in the way of supplies as I thought I had.  All I had to work with were two Smallmouth Bass.  It was enough, but I was still surprised that the cache I left behind was so scant (yes there was a lot of found foods stashed there - but I am still saving that in reserve for after I complete my mapping task).  I did end up having to bed down for the night, but the next morning a blizzard hit.  I wasn't thrilled about not having any more meat in reserve... if it turned out to be a 20 hour blizzard, food might possibly be a little bit of a problem.

Fortunately the blizzard passed by mid-day, and I wanted to get to the bottom the Ravine before night fall.  Initially I was going to grab the rope from the climbing point behind the lake shore cabins... but since more than half the day was gone, I opted to recover the rope from the climbing point right near the Lake Overlook (hopefully luck will be on my side and I can come back to return this rope alter).  Since I was up the slope already I decided to take the safer path though the woods.  I slowly walked down the slope near the bridge leading to the dam, and found the way was clear of moose and wolves.  I did check to see if there was any more steaks/fish stashed in the trailer, but it was devoid of supplies (which tells me I've been at this challenge for so long that my other three attempts really have sort of blurred together :D).

I continued my hike into the Ravine, and decided I would stop by the cave before repelling down the climbing point.  I was surprised to find that I'd left 2 full sized venison steaks and partial left behind from before (and a surprising amount of fresh drinking water).  Considering how late it was in the evening, and how close to exhaustion I was already.  I figured I would ease off on the rushed pace.  I had plenty of food and drink to stay the night and get my self staged down at the bottom of the Ravine before dawn.  I got a fire going to cook the steaks, and to boil more water; to replace what I was likely to drink before heading out.  I bedded down in the back of the cave until a little bit before sun up, made my way down the rope, and hiked over to the cave near edge of the zone.  I took a quick nap in the pine bough bed (just to recover a little of energy I expended getting down the rope).


:coffee::fire::coffee:
At this point I had to end the session, but the setup is just about perfect.  I've got a relatively full stomach, well fed, well rested, it's just after sun up, and I'm still 10 kg under my carry capacity (considering I'm already carrying a rope and rifle, I'm still traveling pretty light).

Tomorrow, I go hunting Timber Wolves.  :)

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Just after sun up, I entered Bleak Inlet.

I managed to get the surrounding area mapped, and scouted around to see if I could spot any timber wolves or likely candidates for a first encampment.  Keeping to the ridge line I explored to the right, but found only the top of water fall.  I backtracked to the left, took advantage of a rock ledge for a better view, and spotted a forestry lookout tower.  Just as I was beginning to work my way around the left side of the region bounding ridge line, a blizzard struck.

I was a bit nervous about this.  I know that wildlife doesn't just disappear when a storm hits... and if wolves are outside in your vicinity the blizzard tends to not make them go away.  I had no structure that I could safely get to.  I continued to skirt along the ridge line hoping to either make my way around to the forestry lookout tower.  Fortunately, instead I came across a cave.  There was brush in the front, but there was also just enough room for my squeeze past and seek shelter from the arctic blast.

Inside, I found a pine bough bed (first I've come across in a while), a bottle of water, a backpack containing nothing, and one piece of cedar.  At least, I knew I'd be alright for the night.  I had enough food in my stomach to not have to worry yet, but the next day I was going to need to hunt.  I hunkered down, and slept a good 8-9 hours.

The next morning I woke just before sun up (again), so I had to wait a little while for first light.  I marked the cave on my map, as well as ventured out to survey the area (since I couldn't during the storm).  I was eyeing some sticks, but I was more concerned with where the timber wolves were.  Sure it was possible that there aren't any in the area, but it supremely important for me to scout that out for certain.  Not just because they are the most immediate threat... but more because I need the meat. :)

I made it over to the climbing point and Pensive Lookout, but found no timber wolves in sight.  I made my way to the top of the tower before I noticed one timber wolf trotting down the near by slope (so I imagine the rest can't be too far away).  Pensive Lookout will be a pretty good location for my first encampment, if I can get this pack dealt with.  I think I'd be able to use the tower to my advantage if the hunt goes wrong and I end up with the whole pack on my tail.  I'm still not sure how many are in this pack... so far I've only gotten eyes on one of them.  I think it's safe to assume there are at least 2... but I'm not sure what upper pack size limit is.

I got a few things organized up in the tower, and I also found a rope hanging on the hook outside.  Which is just as well, I can return the rope I brought with me back to Mystery Lake once I'm finished mapping this final region.  I got a few things sorted in the tower and started thinking about how I was going to deal with this pack... I have a feeling I'm going to start with a longer ranged shot.  I'm not sure how close I get while crouched without alerting the pack.  The last thing I need is to get flanked by 4 or more of them (hopefully I don't end up wasting any shots :D).

I took a quick one hour nap just to end the session.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
If timber wolves wander in similar ways to the standard black wolves... I should be able to get close enough without detection for a fairly easy shot.  I haven't found enough rocks here yet to ensure I could break pack morale just to get them to scatter without wasting cartridges.

I'm fairly certain should be able to pick them off.  I don't know if sniping one will alert them all... or if I can pick off the whole pack.  I've never taken on timber wolves with a rifle before.  My only other experience in BI was soon after the update that introduced them, and really only to test the effectiveness of rocks to deter them.  :D
 

This first session in the region was fairly productive.  I know I had a rope where I was hoping to find one.  Pensive Lookout is probably one of the better forestry lookout towers to setup as an encampment (at least for now, considering I have a good deal of potential meat milling around nearby).

The guess the hunt will begin in earnest tomorrow.

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Posted (edited)

Real life stuff has kept me from being able to get a session in lately, but I was able to get one in today. :)

It's still early in the morning and there's some heavy snow fall outside.  I stepped out on the walkway... but I don't see any timber wolves wandering around.  I decided to head down and perch on the rock overlooking the path leading down in the direction of the radio tower I've spotted in the distance.  Just as I got to the top of my perch, I crouched down.  Just as I'm getting a good vantage point, I spot a single timber wolf skulking up the path.  Thankfully I'd crouched before it got close enough to spot me... I knew this was going to be my opportunity.  In my last session I'd spotted at least three in this pack... I figured the odds of catching one wandering alone was probably slim.

I aimed quickly just to sort of calibrate my site picture, then I patiently watched as it continued to wander up the path below.  As it passed in front of my vantage point, I was tempted to take quick a shot... but ultimately decided to wait.  This proved to a good choice.  Just as it passed stopped to sniff around, giving me a stationary target, and (theoretically) a clear/easy shot.  At this point my heart was racing... I don't know if the shot would alert the others or not (if so I might have to beat a hasty retreat).  I snapped in, took an extra second (just to make sure I was aimed right at the sweet spot between the corner of it's eye and the bottom of it's ear), and squeezed the trigger.

My eyes followed the casing instead as it dropped (I wasn't sure where it would land, and I was momentarily concerned it might fall on the path below).  In the same instant, I heard the wolf drop...  :) My shot struck true!  I waited there for a couple of minutes keeping a sharp lookout.  So far none of the other timber wolves where alerted, and they didn't seem to be nearby.  Eventually I got down from my perch and started to scout out down below... but I didn't spot any wolves there.  After that, carefully made my way back up the path and tied off the rope to the climbing point. 

I did venture a little farther up the path (a bit closer towards the Cave), I finally got eyes on two more timber wolves.  I'm fairly certain now that it was just a pack of 3... these last two were prowling up the slope nearer to the cave.  I decided it was best to just grab these sticks and head back to harvest my first timber wolf kill (the weather was getting rougher and I very badly needed food).  I opted to harvest as quickly as possible.  I wasn't sure when those other two would wander back this way, and the last think I needed was to be standing here over their pack mate's carcass when they came strolling by. :D

Once that was done, I sprinted back up to the watchtower.  I figured if the scent drew them back towards me, I might be able to take another one down... but apparently they were too far away.  After I got the pelt, guts, and meat set down; I wanted to go see if I could find a good spot to whittle down the pack some more.  However, nature had a different things planned for my evening.  Just as I was getting ready to head back up towards where I last saw the pack wondering, the weather took a turn for the worse... another blizzard struck.

I quickly made my way back up the watchtower, and used what sticks I gathered to get a fire going... I was going to need water as well.  Fortunately, there was a piece of cedar and fir wood already next to the stove.  I spent the evening cooking up most of the wolf meat, and getting at least enough water to get me through another day.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
I guess tomorrow, I'll have to concentrate on picking off at least one more timber wolf from this pack.  I'm hoping to kill as few of them as possible, and I'm hoping that if I leave just one wolf alive from each pack that the remaining lone wolf will be passive.  Either way... one-on-one, I'm not worried about it too much.  It's the power of the pack that makes me wary...

It seems doable to just void them all together if I needed to, but I am enjoying the challenge of hunting a pack.  I know it's only one kill... but it felt so satisfying that my stealthy hunting strategy paid off so well. :)

Edited by ManicManiac

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Posted (edited)

I was finally able to get a session in today.


I woke up early in the a.m. (2-3 hours before sun up).  I just sat there in bed admiring the tail end of the last night's aurora.  Spent the time getting things better organized until it was roughly an hour before sunrise; when I decided to take a quick nap to start the hunt fully refreshed.

As I started down the tower, I spotted one of the Timber Wolves making it's way down the trail (heading right for the perch I picked out yesterday).  I thought this was the perfect opportunity.  However, it seemed a little too close so I crouched down the last two flights of stairs.  As I was about halfway to the rock overlooking the path, I spotted my target.  It may have caught sent of me, it looked like it had diverted from it's course and was heading right towards me (looking like it was just tracking... not stalking).  Right as I aimed in, the other Timber Wolf crested the blindside of the slope that lead up to the rock.

I was spotted... but as the Timber Wolf howled to sound the alarm, I quickly switched targets and pulled off a quick shot.  My would be attacker had dropped dead before it would even finish it's howl.  The last member of it's pack (just as I'd hoped) tore off running.  I quickly picked up my spent casing, harvested up my second Timber Wolf, and dropped off the meat, guts, & pelt up in lookout tower.  I decided to go try to find the last member of the pack.

I took the long way around, heading back up to the cave and circling around to the area near the upper falls.  I managed to pick up about 42 sticks before spotting my quarry.  I quickly got low and started moving in.  I decided to test it's reaction now that the rest of it's pack was gone.  I suddenly stood up (rifle at the alert carry), but this lone wolf didn't go on the attack.  Instead it opted to flee passively, so I left it alone.  I don't want to shoot them, and I mean to kill as few of them as possible.  I only really want to take what I need (or only as many as I must to ensure my safety).

I only need 4 pelts for the coat I want (I know that the wolf pelt is the same item regardless... but I just want to make my wolfskin coat out of timber wolves :D).  However, I know I will likely have to take at least 3 more when I get to the cannery.  If memory serves, there are a few more packs running around... but  I think I will try to evade and avoid them.  However, I will not hesitate to take each pack down to its last member if they do try to come for me.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
I made a quick save in the lookout tower (just because I had to end the session), but I think for this evening I will have to get that fire going again.  I will absolutely need more water.  If I can get all the meat cooked... then it will be safer to carry down the climbing rope.  I do still need to search and map the rest of this upper shelf first.  My new reluctant companion is scampering around near the cars over by the radio tower.  I'm interested to see if it will get bolder over time... or if it will maintain a respectful distance from me.  If it will stay passive, then I'd welcome the company.  :)

Edited by ManicManiac

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I spent another day gathering up sticks and touching my map around the edges of this upper shelf.  I also rummaged though the Echo One radio tower, and gathered up any items of interest (mainly found food items and clothing) to cache at the watchtower.  I think I found a way to get down to the lower areas of the region without the rope (good to know I suppose).  When I got back to the tower, I spent a little time sorting and organizing.

Also spent some time getting the lay of the land.  Looking out from the tower's vantage over the cliff, I've begun trying to plan where to go next.  Naturally I could use the rope and follow along the edges of the region... picking off Timber Wolves as I go.  The other option is using what looks like a bit of a precarious foot path (but I'd have to take a closer look to make sure it's a viable route).  If the passage is workable I suppose I could use it to haul down more supplies to take with me.  However, I think it might be better to keep this encampment well stocked for later.

For the remainder of the evening (and though most of the night) I was building up my water supply.  I'd sleep for an hour, then wait until the pot came to a boil, and then put on another pot.  I figured this way I could rest and take maximum advantage of the fire.  Once the fire was out, I ate and slept through the remainder of the night.


:coffee::fire::coffee:
Off in the distance, I had spotted what looked like a cabin.  I suppose I should be heading there first thing tomorrow morning.  I didn't see anything moving around out that way... but it's possible it's too far a way for me to know for sure.  I'll be hauling about 70 pieces of charcoal... so I won't have much room in my pack for much else.  It's possible there is a timber wolf pack milling around over that way... but I hope not.  It could be very risky just getting over to that cabin, and I don't even know if it's an intact structure or not.

Hmm.
Oh well, ready or not... here I go.  :)

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