Day Three Hundred Fifty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I should have paid more attention to Tomas. To his state of being.

But his duties kept him out of our sight and busy. And the Captain, not yet familiar with his personality, had no standard against which to judge any seeming anxiety or concern in his new First Mate.

Our paths crossed today. Off duty, Tomas stood idly by the rail, staring blankly into the sea. I gauged his demeanor to be due to homesickness, and tailored my comment in an effort to bring him out of his funk. It failed.

I sent for Elijah who got to the bottom of the matter. He assured Tomas that his family is safe and like him had a job to do.

Day Two Hundred Two Morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle writes:

The implications of what the future holds for me is becoming more real as I reflect upon what I have witnessed since leaving our people behind.

As we reached the desert floor and split up to take our own unique paths, the heavens split open too. And looking back to whence we came I saw our people streaming skyward to the Glorious One.

And with clarity the widow and her son among them.

Day One Hundred Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

This is definitely not the time. Lyle had no confirmation. In fact, he feels it is vital for us to remain at this time.

He went into the west end to follow up on some leads gleaned from his conversations with Grazie.

Grazie and I hiked out to the vineyard early. There, as before she stood guard while I ventured out to explore the ways down to the desert floor. After some searching I found the narrow track again. To say the descent was difficult would be an understatement, let us say, I would not want to be in a hurry.

At last, I reached the bottom. From there the track divided into two paths.

I could sense our future.

Day One Hundred #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The water in the river stopped flowing – somewhere upstream out of our sight.

Lyle called me out of the tent with the news. After a brief burst of rushing about we were all packed and across the waterless obstacle on ground that was only damp.

On the other side the woods were thick and choked with under brush. It took some time to find a path that led us off of the river bank.

I was left wondering, did Lyle do it? I certainly didn’t see him do it this time. No chance of asking now, it would all be too easy to deny.

Without any further trouble we arrived in the next village. A crossroads really. No one here.

Day Sixty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have dropped down back into the tree line on this side of the ridge, and thankfully the uneasiness has not returned.

Our path has leveled off and is widening with every mile passed. Ahead we see a vast valley pushing the forest to the sidelines. Lyle wasted no time in launching his drone for a better view of what lies beyond the horizon. I put mine up, but just to keep an eye on our immediate location.

We halted when Lyle’s drone sent back visuals of a village at the end of the valley we are traversing.

Lyle maneuvered it through all the streets in sight, and nothing. Not a single soul.

Night came on, but no lights below.

Day Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I confess an uneasiness throughout the day. It was a very narrow path, I mean like walking a tight rope in places. No view has any depth but that which is ahead or behind. To our sides are nothing but trees. And that is the source of my uneasiness for I felt as if our every step was under surveillance from that quarter.

The birds were markedly quiet also, a fact that bothered Lyle even more.

That all changed after the trail took a climbing switchback, crossed a stream, and rose above the tree line. The weight of oppression fell off all of us at the same instant. And the sing song between Rufus and Clarissa continued loud and clear.

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.

Day Fifty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have made it back to the valley and now have to decide which of the other paths to take.

Neither of us have a deadline so neither of us is in a hurry. I just have the need to be efficient. I hate waste. Lyle laughed when I stated my thoughts on this. I guess he just does not equate any loss of that nature with waste, rather it can be chalked up under the failed experiment column, providing a narrowing of possibilities. Something was learned, one just needs to capitalize on the knowledge.

And that is what he was about today, eliminating the paths that won’t take us where we want to go. Tomorrow we’ ll have it.

Day Fifty One PM #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It’s getting so that I trust Clarissa better than the electronics package on my drone.

A wind swept in from the mountains, carrying the fragrance of alpine flowers and pine needles. I felt the urge ever stronger to be on my way. I decided to give Lyle one more day. If he does not show by tomorrow morning, I’m going to press on.

My drone has revealed that there appears to be two paths to choose from.  One is wide enough for vehicles; the other is just a footpath. It is harder to see where the latter goes for it often disappears beneath the forest growth. I am seeing that characteristic as very desirable.

The sooner tomorrow comes the better.