Friday, September 14, 2012

Part 19: In which things are scenic

Day dawned without too many scary noises outside.  The protective walls of the narrow valley we had camped in, plus the decent views afforded by my lavish windows, tempted me for a moment to make an orderly and dignified exit from the shelter.  Even the little pond out front was not shark-infested at the moment.

Boxter is so excited to leave that he appears to be actually trying to phase through the glass.

Nothing too scary... and a pretty red flower.

Nevertheless, I bolted like a frightened chipmunk.  And when I turned around to look back the way I had come, I was glad I had.  I made a mental note that if there's no danger below or to either side, it stands to reason that death from above is imminent.

I count two creepers and two bears.

After debating our exit strategy (i.e. running around in circles of indecisiveness), I finally concluded that we could probably make a getaway over the hill to the right.

We survived, and were soon out into pleasantly open country, flat valleys and scenic hills, and only a few scary caves.

Passing a light brown horse, I slowed to see if it had any wisdom to impart.

It proceeded to skip merrily around a pair of cacti, going "ouchouchouch" and flashing red the entire way.  Maybe there's not much to do for entertainment in the desert.


Ouchouch - whee - ouch

I stayed to watch out of morbid curiosity, but the horse eventually tired of the game, or figured out what the problem was, and bounded off.

The landscape continued to be scenic, and to contain the occasional horse.  This one seemed either unaware or unconcerned that two bears were in the immediate vicinity.

We passed a bear and a lion doing battle in a pumpkin patch.

Eventually we reentered desert, and came across this awesome landform.

Of course, it was necessary that we go check it out.

Epic desert door worthy of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

It was pretty awesome up close, too.

 And then we raced on through more scenery and past more horses.

"Hey," said Boxter, as we crested yet another terrific hill.  "Did you want to know the answer to that pegasus density question?"

"Sure," I said, taking falling damage as we walked off a small cliff.

"Well, I had to make some assumptions.  I assumed that the rate of pegasus sightings increases by a rate of 10% of its initial concentration every kilometer."

"Ten percent?  How did you come up with that number?"

"Horse math."

"...okay.  So when can we start seeing one pegasus per day?"

"Never.  The initial pegasus concentration is zero.  I don't believe they exist."

I laughed, as we narrowly avoided plunging into a scary cave.  "I've seen one before.  I know there is - was - at least one."

"Well, I didn't see it.  If it really existed, where is it now?"

"It died in a horrible ceiling accident."


"I'm serious!  It was cobblestone weasels or something.  They pulled it up into the ceiling and ate it."


"Look, if you don't even believe in pegasus, then why are you on this journey with me?"

"Sugar cubes."

I was going to argue more, but by then it was getting late, and it was time once more to embark on the frantic ballet that is trying to get both me and the horse safe in shelter by nightfall.  Potential shelter after potential shelter turned out to be a Scary Cave, including one that contained a Spooky Cow, so by dusk I just hunkered us down in a slight depression in a hillside, and spent the next few moments madly trying to construct a shelter that also contained a horse.  The second bit was the hardest.

It's testimony to my level of anxiety about that night's shelter-building that I don't have any screenshots from the entire process, and there's quite a large time gap until the next picture emerges, with rough cobblestone walls and most of a ceiling and a long slit up high that skeleton snipers probably can't aim through.  I notice I also had healed my health before daring to take a picture.

Boxster was under a Spell of Haystack here, so he bounced up and down in the same place, ceaselessly, the entire night through.

As the night began to fill with the slurping, hissing, clinking noises of Scary Things, I decided to pass the time by mining for resources.  Or, in this case, since for the second night in a row I didn't find a single thing, the fun game of Building Pointless Staircases.  My progress was somewhat impeded by the fact that I kept dashing upstairs to make sure Boxter was ok, that that something hadn't mysteriously materialized to menace him.  Even if he didn't believe in the Cobblestone Weasels, I certainly did.

Taken during one of my mad panicked dashes up the stairs.

And morning dawned over the desert.

Unfortunately, not all the Scary Things had gone up in flames with sunrise...

Uh-oh.  Spider butt.

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