Day Six Hundred Sixty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Dried up scrub characterizes the terrain we pass through. So all the more we are excited by the prospect of greenery in the distant valley. We should reach it tomorrow.

No doubt it will be refreshingly green, but I wonder for how long.

How long until it’s lushness gives way to the grayness that surrounds us here?

That question paled to nothing when the Captain reminded us that it’s been days since we last glimpsed the army to our south.

We know, per Tomas and later the ex-soldiers, that the warplanes did no damage to its viability.

Are they still behind us? Or have they gained or surpassed us?

I have a premonition that they must come through here.

Day Four Hundred Thirty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

At long last we found a way up off of the beach.

It was during one of our down times. Elijah sat facing the ocean while communing with the One. I found a rivulet that sank into the sand before reaching the sea and followed it back in hopes that it would lead to an opening in the cliff wall. Or perhaps even a valley that could carry us into the interior.

Instead its source was a pool at the foot of the rock wall, fed by a waterfall down its face.

And running parallel to it was a rickety stairway structure. I clambered to the top and there, sitting abandoned was a lovely villa.

I ran to fetch Elijah.

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 Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The rest of the night was uneventful. With the dawn the wind died down. Since Lyle stood the last watch I let him sleep in.

I checked around outside. Nothing. Though the message was still on the door.

I brought in some wood to restock the fire and made some breakfast.

Then we prepared to set out as planned. After the briefest of discussions in which we again confirmed to one another our agreement to keep to the plan and continue on into the mountains, we shuffled the dirt from our shoes and hit the trail.

After the next valley and the following ridge, since nothing came to view, we knew we would again be camping out under the stars.

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 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 Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We finally made it off the ridge and down into the valley. And we have an excellent idea as to where we are going and how we will get there.

The drones as you may well imagine performed flawlessly. We were able to eliminate one of the trails and select one between the remaining three as the most likely to lead to the village we saw from above.

No other movement has been observed on any of the trails. All must have been evacuated already. Not sure who or what we will find in the village.

The only animals we’ve seen are the birds which travel with us. Hopefully that will all change the further we get from the city.

Day Fifty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Very blustery around here this morning. So, how gratifying to know that we were extra careful securing the tents yesterday.

We’d like to put up a drone, but neither of us feel that it would be safe in the wind. Lyle brought out a pair of binoculars that he found on his sojourn a few days ago. With them he took in the view from our ridge of the valley below. Despite all he was able to see, there is still too much we feel is unknown and perhaps dangerous to head down there willy nilly.

We’ll wait on the wind to die down, and definitely launch at least one, if not both drones to get a better, clearer view.