Day Eight Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are one night’s march along the corridor of this valley, and the ‘hill’ at the far end has indeed “grown.” We are more confident than ever we are adhering to the path laid out for us by Quasimo. Hence today we have brought our fast to a close.

I had much to ruminate about in my times on watch. Over night it was much colder than ever before. Elijah thinks we may see snow in the next day or so. I can believe it.

The barking has ceased to dog our steps. Whatever they were must have continued on north. Silence instead muffled our ears – then and now.

Two more night marches should bring us out of the desert.

Day Eight Hundred Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

More barking. And not just one or two. The thought that a pack may be trying to work up the courage to attack caused us to greet the morning with thankfulness.

We stood down in a valley between two ranges of dunes. We were pleased to see that our hill had gained in stature, in great part due by comparison, I am sure, to our position within this sort of valley.

Elijah pointed down its length and said, “Tomorrow we shall turn the corner.”

On my watch I resolved to rein in my excitement at the new step ahead of us. I knew if I were to fail, it would only eat away at me and sleep would be impossible.

Day Eight Hundred Forty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The barking returned on our nightly hike. Though nothing came near enough for us to actually identify. At least it wasn’t those unsettling voices.

I was glad for the morning, if not only to check on the ‘growth’ of our hill.

It looked much the same to me, though Elijah thought it was gaining in breadth.

Our bivouac for the day had an unobstructed view at least in that quarter. It was better from my watch post, but that was high enough to take in every direction, so my attention was understandably divided.

After Elijah relieved me from the first stint, I could not sleep. I had to discipline my mind from dwelling on the nagging memories of the day.

Day Eight Hundred Thirty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I asked Elijah if we could rise before nightfall and  go off our current vector to check over in the area where the barking had ceased.

It also meant a little back tracking, but ended up worthwhile. The sand gave way to bedrock and after a short search we found some water in a pool on the rock surface. It had been fouled by the presence of animals. Unclean for sure.

Elijah found the close by pump and basin whose spillage fed the other. (He practically tripped over it in the darkness).

We were back on track, so we decided to halt and rest.

With the dawn we were able to reacquire our bearings before taking up our alternating watches.

Day Eight Hundred Thirty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I still heard barking in the distance on the way and kept my attention directed to it. It appeared to gain on us, then passed off to our right. And was silent.

When I saw mounting clouds to the west, blocking out the stars, I guessed the reason behind the actions of the trailing animal. I called Elijah’s attention to the coming storm. He concurred that we needed to seek shelter.

But there was none. All we could do was watch and pray. And to our amazement the storm front veered to the south and passed by.

So another night march and still no well. Elijah remains unperturbed. We continue to keep rested each day, despite our rounds of watching.

Day Eight Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We left the easy path behind us at the well. It’s all up and down sand dunes now, so it’s hard to keep straight as Quasimo advised. We were supposed to keep the path of the moon perpendicular to ours. Hard to do as it was cloudy most of the night.

Though I was losing my bearings, Elijah kept steadfast. And our finding the next well depends upon it.

Upon the uphill trudge I would wonder what everything would look like in the daylight, but on the downhill slope all such thoughts fly off.

I realized I needed to focus my thoughts on something else. Something with weight.

As we settle in at daylight we hear barking in the distance.