Day Seven Hundred Twenty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

There is a body of water at the back of the city, a lake that has shrunken due to the drought. The river that feeds it is running low, and at the other end stands a dam that impedes outflow.

This source of water is most precious to the inhabitants and it is what they intend to protect and preserve at all costs. So we conclude after observing the comings and goings of the local militia all day, and in particular their concentration in the vicinity of the dam.

Over on that side of the city Tomas was a witness to their opposition to some tanker trucks he recognized.

Though they retreated we are sure they will return in force.

Day Three Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I stayed awake to count the stars in the sky last night. Hence, I was a witness to a light that briefly appeared on one side of the lake ahead of us.

It was the first area we searched. And as there were fewer homes on that side of the lake we quickly found the only one occupied, and the source of the light.

The occupants are indeed the wife of the Purser and his children. She has set the light nightly in hopes that it would lead her husband to them. Though disappointed that “we” were not him, they are overjoyed to hear he is well.

She desires that he come join them in their flight from the city.

Day Three Hundred Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Staying in the open last night presented no problems. The heat of the day stayed with us, so it was comfortable.

Upon commencing our journey, we were surprised that the silence over the city was broken. Then we realized that the sounds were down in the dock area and most likely due to the offloading of containers from our ship.

The noise faded away as we increased our distance from the city.

We came across a stream which was flowing back towards the ocean. Elijah suggested that we follow it to its source, knowing that the home belonging to the Purser’s mother, is on a lake.

Before the setting of the sun, we had our first glimpse of the lake.

Day Two Hundred Fifty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have retaken our place beside the lake from which we caught some trout, so long ago, the trout that Elijah seasoned with the hazelnuts which were discovered by Clarissa.

Elijah thought it good to take one more day to prepare before launching into the city on our next quest.

So, after a lunch of fresh trout (without hazelnuts) we climbed up out of the valley that cradles the lake in order to get a closer look at the city.

We had to go a considerable distance to rise above the tree line and gain an unobstructed view.

Its wall appears intact, though the skyline beyond is not what I remember. Hit by the fire from heaven?

Day Ninety Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Calm has descended upon us again. This after we have discovered that Stan was not lost, but his disappearance was planned. He abandoned us.

I was going through our supplies and found that someone has heavily pilfered from them.

Anyway that was my conclusion deduced from that discovery.  But Lyle takes it a step further. He believes that Stan was actively trying to impede us, which in his estimation makes it all the more imperative that we leave now and get back on track.

Between us we got every thing left packed up and ready to go.  By the evening we had left the picturesque lake area behind us and set up camp to spend the night under the stars.

Day Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

This time around Lyle caught a number of fish before turning in last night. He added them to our larder, increasing the weight we are packing. But gladly, with the knowledge that it will get lighter.

Stan borrowed the binoculars to check out the trail on the other side of the lake. He gave a good report. The way is clear though he added that it will take longer.

Soon all was prepared and we set out.

This way has a lot of ups and downs quite different in that respect to the one we came in on. At whatever level we were always in sight of the water.

Come night, Stan settled us in a cave near a rise.

Day Eighty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We arrived at one of the most beautiful spots today. Stan led us off the main path, following a mountain stream to a secluded dell, marked off from the surrounding forest by towering canyon walls.

At the last, the stream fed into a vast lake reflecting the bluest sky and the enclosing cliffs.

He pointed out a clearing on a bank above the lower end of the lake as the best place to set up our camp.

Hiking the perimeter to that clearing was an up and down affair, and at times our goal vanished from sight.

At long last we attained it, our guide warning us off of several dead ends.

Though it was yet early, we set camp.

Day Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We both hated to leave the lake area, but we have to believe there will be more like it in our future.

The path ahead cuts through old growth forest. Tall firs on every side. And filled with silence. It gives us ample time to think. Not so much about what lies ahead, but rather about that which lies behind. At least that is all I am thinking about. Despite how often Lyle quizzes me about what I see in our future.

I see it. I just don’t want to talk about it, not now anyway.

But I know that won’t be the end of it. One thing would lead to another and another. And now is not the time.

Day Sixty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The path that Lyle settled upon took us over two hills and then arrived beside a lake a little past lunch time. We were in good spirits, confident that we were finally on the right path. And we saw trout jumping in and out of the water.  So out came the nets and some fishing line.

We had fish for supper and Lyle prepared them making them tastier with help from the hazelnuts. We gave Rufus and Clarissa each a morsel. I believe that Clarissa by her actions was actually begging for another just after finishing hers. Lyle agreed with that assessment and ripped off another piece to feed her. He added another one for Rufus, but he didn’t care.