|Looking back toward the night's shelter, with Boxter bouncing away inside.|
|That was a pretty neat-looking valley.|
|Could probably construct a pretty impressive-looking line of waterfalls here. That task will have to be left to the next adventurer, however.|
Turns out this area was more extensive than it had looked from the high mountain, and we raced happily northward through savannah and desert.
|Gentle slopes and open to the horizon: a wonderful sight.|
This was kinda cool - some floating formations. We were weaving back and forth across the landscape, trying to pick the most treeless valleys to pass through. Spotting trees ahead, we swerved northward again.
|If you seek an unpleasant peninsula, look about you. (Michigan would not have been popular with me in Minecraft)|
Somehow we found our way out into empty territory again, and by nightfall, had managed not to find any suitable caves for conversion into shelter. This particular cave looked all right at first, but the bottom went down a long, long way.
|No chasms in this version of Minecraft, but a mighty cave nonetheless.|
So, I'd have to dig a cave again. I found a convenient cliff face, and got out my shovel to clear away the dirt first. When it came time to dig through the rock, I realized with a first twinge of panic that I didn't actually have a pickaxe in inventory. I scraped away more dirt before I realized that the mountain was made of rock, and shaving the surface off wasn't going to cut it. I considered building walls, but I'd left shelter construction till rather late, and that sort of thing in my (now slowly accumulating) experience took longer than digging holes. Looks like I would have to stop to build a crafting table, then a pickaxe.
|My building site, shortly before I got to work.|
I got the pickaxe constructed, although it took longer than usual thanks to my fingers stiffening up with fear as sunset approached. Boxter didn't help matters, as he bounced frantically up and down, neighing. He could have been cheering me on with traditional horse working songs, but in my head I heard it all as "hurryhurryhurrybears hurryhurryhurrybears".
Somewhere during the whole procedure, I accidentally threw the pickaxe away onto the ground, which at least solves the mystery of how I ended up without a pickaxe tonight.
|I left the crafting table as part of the wall, meaning that as I was trying to attach more wall to it, I kept trying to craft instead. That was sort of nervewracking by the time it got dark, with my walls not yet finished.|
By the time it was getting quite dark indeed, I had managed to carve an entrance and place a torch in it, but I had not managed to place Boxter in it. I had already tried once, only to be too slow on the draw with the haystack, and Boxter bounced away and out before I could give it to him.
So I placed Boxter in the cave a second time, leapt off, and gave him the haystack just as he was bouncing for the door.
He kept bouncing forward and out the door. Apparently haystacks preserve not only a horse's excitation state (bouncing versus not bouncing), but momentum as well? This has never happened before. I chased Boxter down, rode him back into the cave, accidentally gave him a haystack while attempting to dismount, and then finally leapt off. Not waiting to see if the haystack worked, I turned to the door with my hands full of cobblestone, bodily blocking the passage, and blocked up the entrance. I would add the windows later.
I turned to Boxter to find that the haystack had, in fact, worked. He was still standing where I'd left him, with his face sulkily enclosed in solid rock. If I can give him haystacks while riding, and have him then stay when I get off... well, that would be a much easier way of managing evenings like this. Can't believe it took me this long to figure it out.
Toward morning, I looked out the window to see that our flying friend was back, now even more distinctly visible.