The Ghosts of All That Was


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I don't have any particular personal challenge ideas for this run.
I'll be free to hunt, use conventional weapons, harvest plants... no region restrictions/requirements and free to roam as the urge strikes.

The only goals I really have in mind for the run are to finally get around to trying out the new/updated mechanics, recipes, items, and perhaps most of all...  I am finally going to be entering and exploring the Far Territory.

Starting conditions:
No Feats
Random Starting Location

Edited by ManicManiac
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Posted (edited)


When I woke up and found myself in Broken Railroad... I was at first a little dismayed.  It's not among my favorite places on Great Bear Island to be, and I don't exactly remember how I'd gotten there.  However, rather than going on a direct route out, I did opt to try and make a quick circuit of it.  I was deep enough in that the Hunting lodge was my best bet for trying to find my footing and staying alive.


While inside I could only just barely start warming up.  I did wake up with an old cotton toque, a plaid shirt, thermal underwear, jeans, and sneakers... but of course I need to start putting on layers as quickly as I can find them. :D 




There was a nice amount of cooking ingredients and even some food I can snack on in the meantime.  All in all, there was some surprisingly good gear and supplies to be found at the Hunting Lodge.  With the clothing I'd managed to find... I knew I would at least be able to make the push to the maintenance yard without too much risk.

However, first I needed to prospect the vehicles outside.



While I was outside, I deployed a climbing rope that I'd found inside.  I was conflicted... I wasn't sure if this was the best place for it, or if I'd needed at the end of the route I'd intended on.

I decided to spend the night there at the Hunting Lodge rather than try to take the long way around to the maintenance yard.

Early the next morning I set out for the maintenance yard.
I was so ill-equipped (in spite of the mackinaw that I had found) for the cold that I was already freezing by the time I'd gotten to this cave.  Since I needed water anyway, I decided to stop for an hour or two (both to warm up and to try and use the one can I had on had to get some drinking water prepared).

I don't often find wolves up on this path... but today I did.



It's a nice find, but not much I can use just yet... (all cured saplings)

Shoot... I had a feeling I should have kept that rope I'd found at the Hunting Lodge.  Oh well... I'd just have to goat down the hard way. :D 

I'd end up spending the rest of the afternoon and evening prospecting inside of the maintenance shed.  I found a prybar, some leather work gloves, flight jacket, and aviator cap.  I know there's probably more to find, but I needed to bed down for the night first.  My lighting options are very few... I used my spare torch and my only flare just to find what I had already.  I think there are a few crates I might try to break down in the morning.  This shed was also rich with tools, I nearly have a full set now.  However, I might end up leaving most of them behind for the sake of saving weight... but I will think more about that when I'm done prospecting the maintenance yard in the morning.


Edited by ManicManiac
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Seems like a good start of the run. Great loot. 

I have failed 3 NOGOA runs during this weekend but the 4th one that i have made yesterday is a lucky one. I have started in DP and found a Bedroll in the cannery AND mackinaw in the safe !! Thanks to this im warm in interiors from day 1. 



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When I got up the next morning, I finished up prospecting in the maintenance shed.  When I took a look outside, I found that four wolves were prowling close to the vehicles and around the perimeter of the yard as well.  Considering all that... I decided I'd be better off wasting a day and hoping that the wolves would move on by tomorrow.


I had decided that the best way while a way the day would be to go and prospect at the bottom of the small ravine nearby.
I deployed the rope and quickly made my way down.


By the time I'd managed to get back to the frozen stream, the fog was lifting.  It hadn't seemed so dense while I was down in the ravine, but after I'd made the hard climb back up... it was cause enough to keep low and stay cautious.  With the fog abating, at least I could better see the way ahead.  Speaking of which... I decided it might serve me well to find good vantage point before heading back into the yard.

The wolves seemed to be keeping mostly to the front of the yard.... so, I went back the long way around and slipped in the backway.


Edited by ManicManiac
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The following morning, I heard a blizzard raging outside.  This turned out to be something I could take advantage of.  At least I knew that the Yard was most likely going to be clear (at least as long as the storm was bearing down).



Managed to find a key and a second ear wrap while checking out the vehicles in the yard.

Having found what I was looking for... I was also starting to freeze to death.  My clothes were still not very warm yet, so I'd have to wait out the storm before I could venture out again.  In the meantime, I decided to take another thorough search through the Maintenance Shed... I was glad I took a second look because I'd managed to find a few supplies that I'd missed the first time around. 

I also spent time in prepping more water (also of course a great source of warmth).  Once the storm broke, I was able to head back for the Cave.
The wolves from the Yard had apparently relocated to prowling around near the stream.




Rather than make a beeline for the Maintenance Shed, I decided to take the long way around in order to hit a couple of other points of interest.  The day was already waning, so I decided I would take the opportunity to see what else could be found... spend one more night there at the Maintenance Shed and finally leave Broken Railroad tomorrow. 

As I got ready to settle in for the evening...
... I noticed the telltale signs of an aurora were churning up and spreading across the sky.

Before too long it was churning at full power.

I managed to get two Buffer Memories that evening.  After which I bedded down for the evening.

Tomorrow, I think I will see how much I will be able to haul out with me... and head for Mystery Lake.
It's a good place to get organized and find my footing.

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I did get ready to escape Broken Railroad... but Great Bear Island can be a cruel place that sometimes feels like bears a grudge against us and our Human plans and intentions. :D 

I'd packed up (my bag weighing in at about 44 kg.) but the weather was threatening a blizzard.  Now, most of the time when it starts to look threatening... I steel my resolve, spit in the eye of fate, and press on any way.  However, this time I decided to go take an hour nap to warm up and see which why the weather was going to swing.

As it turned out... playing it safe this time was the right call.  Considering that I'd only taken a one-hour nap, means that this blizzard probably would have likely hit while I was out in the middle of the stretch between here and Forlorn Muskeg.  It was the better choice this time to play it safe.

Again, I have to wait out a blizzard and hope it blows over with enough time to make the trek through Forlorn Muskeg to Mystery Lake... otherwise, I have to spend another night here.  Of course, that also means that tomorrow the yard could be swarming with wolves again... I guess I just have to wait and see.

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The storm finally blew itself out around noon.  Upon first glance, the yard looked clear... so I took the chance.  I'd packed up the cooking supplies of course... and then as many of the tools as I could without slowing me down too much.  All told, my pack was about 44-45 kg when I stepped through the doorway into the yard.
I admit that I was far more interested in just getting to a good spot to unload my pack that I did leave a couple of footpaths unexplored for now.  Better to go find a new place to make an encampment and find my footing first.  I knew I'd be back again one day... even if only passing through when I eventually set out for the Far Territories.

By the time I'd made it beyond the Poacher's Camp my pack was up to about 48.5 kg... each step was getting slower, the more I began to get exhausted.  If I was caught off guard by anything now... there would be no escape.

And of course, there ahead was a bear.  For the first time in a couple of years, I loaded my weapons... just in case.

When it came time that I had to get low... I was only able to move at a snail's pace (felt like just a centimeter at a time).  However, I was able to give the bear a wide enough berth to slip past.  Once I felt I was far enough past... I got back up and continued to trudge onward.


I was very slow going now.  I still had to make it to the Camp Office.  There was still a long way to go (considering how weighed down I was).


Every slow step was a trudging agony... but I had no real choice but to keep pressing on.
Finally... I'd arrived at Mystery Lake's Camp Office.  Despite the cold temperatures... it still felt like a warm homecoming. 


Edited by ManicManiac
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  • 2 weeks later...

I spent more than half the day off loading what I packed out from Broken Railroad, thoroughly searched the Camp Office, and did a lengthy sort and stow.



I don't ever remember finding a container out behind the Camp Office like this before... 🤔

Wasn't much to be found on the Lake Trail or Dave's Quiet Clearing.

So I decided to goat my way up above it.







The fog had gotten very dense rather quickly... but I still managed to find my way back to the Camp Office.  Tomorrow, I need to start looking at gathering more cooking ingredients, and perhaps start looking into what I'll need to for a tip-up.


Edited by ManicManiac
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I'd managed to get up sometime midmorning.  I started out doing some scouting up to the Forestry Lookout.
I decided I'd come back for acorns sometime around dusk.

There were no wolves in the immediate area today.  I decided I needed to try and take good advantage of that.

I took the opportunity to survey the vista shown in the polaroid I'd found.

On the way back down, I'd stopped at the Train Derailment.  It was rather empty, except a solitary box of revolver cartridges.

As much as I didn't want to... I'm not being so nomadic as I've been in the past.  I'd have to start working on a stable food supply while working on cooking recipes.

I took the time to gather up some acorns as well.

On the way up to the Lake Overlook, I gathered up more sticks and birch bark as well.

I kept working through a good portion of the evening.  If I start sleeping in a bit more, I can maybe avoid most of the deeper cold of the mornings (at least until I can gather up some better cold weather gear).

If a good opportunity presents itself... perhaps I can start some fishing tomorrow.  Perhaps I can start looking into what I might need for a tip-up. 🤔

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Fog and an absence of wolves on Mystery Lake did indeed give me a good opportunity to try my hand again at fishing.
Six hours of fishing was rather profitable (especially considering I had no lures or bait).  I managed to pull 8 fish without snapping my line; I think a rather lucky day.  I came out with 4 Smallmouth Bass and 4 Lake Whitefish.  It was definitely worth the wear and tear on the prybar... though eventually I'd like to find a hammer to serve the purpose of clearing the ice.


The smell of the fish brought two wolves from skulking around near the tracks... however they turned their attention to some nearby Ptarmigans.  Thank you, little bird.  I didn't mean for you to come to harm... but you likely saved me from a brutal mauling.

I do hope the ptarmigans return one day... I've never hunted to spooked them before, and I have no idea if they ever return or if the survivors flee and seek a new place to forage for food.

Since I still wasn't anywhere near tired enough to sleep for a meaningful length of time... I decided to stay up and keep prospecting around the lake until I got tired.
A purple evening sky is so beautiful... one of my favorites; so beautiful.




Some of what I found in the fishing huts...

While there may not have been any wolves on the lake... there is a bear.

Since the bear was out on the lake... I did venture to take a look in its den.  (Yes, that's the bear there in the distance on the left, making its way back)







I decided not to go inside any of the houses... I would leave that for daylight.  By the time I'd made it around the further reaches of Mystery Lake (sometime near midnight), I was finally getting tired enough to want to head back to the Camp Office.

Naturally, the weather took a turn, and it very quickly became "deadly dark."
I managed to feel my way along the Lake Trail and found my way back to the Camp Office.  Ate some sardines and a Nuts and Stuff chocolate bar. 

After my last hard trek across the expanse of Great Bear Island... this slower measured approach back to the most fundamental of survival tasks almost feels wonderfully relaxed after years of pushing my limits. :D 

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I'd managed to get up sometime midmorning.  I scouted outside briefly, but finding a rather nice sunny day... I decided I would dedicate a good portion of the day to take advantage of the sunshine for some "free fire" (also my first fire for the run) and finally start bolstering my water supply.

Thanks to the water purification tablet I'd found... I was able to get a good amount of water stockpiled relatively quickly.  There was even enough time for me to spend to make another quick route around the lake before dark (this time properly searching the lake cabins).









I realized that I hadn't checkout this cave yesterday...
Empty... oh well.  As always, it was worth a look.

I decided to heal to the left and take the lake trail... there were three wolves out on the lake today.

As I got back to the Camp Office... the weather had started to clear and reveal an eerily beautiful green evening sky.


Edited by ManicManiac
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I was sorely tempted yesterday to go back to grab the rifle and lure the Crystal Lake Bear closer to the Camp Office...  However, the rifle I found at the Hunting Lodge in Broken Railroad is only 37% condition, and I don't have a rifle cleaning kit on hand.  I ultimately decided against it because the last thing I need is to suffer brutal mauling due to a misfire.

I'll have to look back at my notes...  I don't recall finding a cleaning kit while in Broken Railroad.
I'd feel very short sighted if I did find one, but just forgot about it and failed to bring it along with me.

Edited by ManicManiac
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After going back over the chronicle thus far... it turns out that I hadn't found a cleaning kit yet.
So, I think I need to make that the priority for the day.

My aim was to get over to the Carter Dam.
However, that also meant I could stop by the Logging Camp on the way.

I did a few repairs to clothing... and started out in earnest late in the morning (close to noon).
I'd decided to take the "high ground," this way I could scout ahead to spot wolves along the tracks... but also gave me a quicker way to get over to the Logging Camp trailers.







What I'd found at the Logging Camp was a pleasant surprise... and also enough food items for the day to "pay for itself" (so-to-speak).
I decided I would hold off on a trip to Carter Dam for another day.

As I made my way back (and with the way being clear along the track), I decided to harvest a ravaged deer carcass.

Not only is it good for a bit of venison to cook with... I can also get a head start the cured gut for more snares (or more fishing line).

When I saw the weather was clearing up... I decided to take the chance of heading up to the Lake Overlook and harvest another ravaged deer carcass.

After dark is even riskier to be hauling around a lot of raw meat, gut, and pelt... but from my scouting today, I knew the way was clear enough take that risk.  The result... two deer pelts that I didn't have to harm a deer to get, and eventually four more snares to add the snare line that I will be working on in the next few days.

All-in-all, a very profitable day. :) 

Edited by ManicManiac
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I decided that I should see about trying to find a survival bow today...
I figure my best chance is going to be the Hunter's Blind over by the Frozen Pond, possibly over at the Cabin in the Lonely Meadow, or as a last ditch... Max's Last Stand.  (Though honestly, I don't remember the last time I've found a bow there - but it's near the route I intend take anyway so may as well check there before prospecting through the Trapper's Homestead)

This morning, I was greeted by a very pleasant surprise... for the first time in a long while I was visited again by "The Prince of the Forest."
I know I've mentioned it before, but it's so rare for me to see him these last few years that I feel it's worth retelling.

The story dates back the later part in 2014 when I had first arrived on Great Bear Island.  Back in those days, Mystery Lake was the only area we could explore.  During one of my earliest runs, I came upon this Buck right here near the Camp Office for the first time.

On that very day, I made a promise (also my first personal challenge).  I vowed that this would always be the one animal that was truly safe on Great Bear Island.  I swore I would never hunt him, never harm him, and even go so far as to protect him from wolves (even if that meant suffering a wolf attack if it would keep him safe).  I would even go out of my way to avoid even disturbing him while he grazes here.

Now it's been about nine and half years now... and I've never failed him.

On 11/8/2019 at 2:50 PM, ManicManiac said:

Being back in Mystery Lake always feels like a homecoming.  I met my oldest friend on Great Bear again today.  He's been here since the beginning.  He is the one creature on the island that I try never to disturb and will always protect from predators.  In nearly five years, I've not failed him.

I call him:
"The Prince of the Forest"

I spent a few quiet minutes saying hello again to my old friend... but I did eventually have to get on about the day.

I had to take the long way around to avoid some wolves, but I soon came to the frozen creek.


Nothing substantial to be found at the Hunter's Blind (just one solitary rifle cartridge).


Over at the Lonely Meadow... 



I'd found a few food items... but no bow.

On the way back around towards the Trapper's Homestead there was nothing at all to find... even this unfortunate soul's pockets were empty.



Before I go and prospect the Tapper's Homestead, I figure it might be worthwhile to check on Max's Last Stand.
Hmm... a wolf and a bear... a potentially dangerous situation.

This was very satisfying... I didn't really expect to find a bow. :D 


I just had to get back to the Trapper's Homestead for a quick search.




Now I just had to make it back to the Camp Office.

The bow is pretty ragged (only 45% condition) but that will do, to get started.
Tomorrow, I think I will look to making some fire hardened arrows and see about finding some ptarmigans.

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I had gotten an early start... outside it was already a bit foggy.  I decided to use the cleaning kid to get the rifle and revolver up to par again.

Eventually the weather cleared, and I was able to use the mag-lens for some "free" fire and get a batch of fire hardened arrows made.

Later on, I did check to see if I could work on getting a snare ready... 20240217153633_1.thumb.jpg.d44e44eaa9441ee220719c092dd7f008.jpg
Unfortunately... I had a little while yet to wait.
I spent some more time wearing out the clearing kit to get the rifle and revolvers in near pristine condition.
I went back out with the bow and fire hardened arrows looking for ptarmigans... however, none could be found near the Camp Office or the Mystery Lake Overlook.
Naturally though... when I wanted to try to use the second Polaroid to survey from the Mystery Lake Overlook, the dense fog had returned.

Eventually, I did get back to the Camp Office to craft a snare... and get it set up at the rabbit run on the other side of the railroad tracks.  I also spent more time looking for ptarmigans.


Not as profitable day as I would have hoped.
I'm getting low on the food I have on hand.  I'd have to start cooking soon, whether I can get the snares producing yet or not. 

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