Take the Long Way Home

More walking. One nice thing about walking is it gives you lots of time to think. And today I’m thinking about Lily smashing the last group of raiders we saw.
The more I think about it, the more I regret not knowing Lily all the way back in Goodsprings. She certainly would have been able to teach that Powder Gang a lesson! In fact, the more I think about it, the more the idea grows on me.
I wonder… I wonder if Goodsprings is still holding them off?

I mean, Goodsprings would be a GREAT base of operations… I could set up in the station next to the Doc’s house. There is plenty of plant-life to collect, geckos to hunt, water to drink, people to spend time with… and a Saloon. I wasn’t brave enough to stand up to the Powder Gang back when I first arrived from the Capital Wasteland, but I’m TOTALLY brave enough to hide behind cover while Lily pounds them into mulch.
Okay, new plan! The franchise idea is still a go, but the base of operations can be in Goodsprings rather than Novac. What could possibly go wrong?

Lily and I have a lot of walking in our future – but it’s easier now. Walking, as a rule, is a tedious part of Joe’s reality in the wastes. There are no vehicles or pack animals available to him and I often have to retread the same small stretches of road over and over. Normally it’s a mind-numbing grind. But this walk has constantly changing scenery, a sense of going home and a specific goal we are heading towards.

Trading Post 188 is a welcome sight; both as a place to rest and because it offers a good chance to stock up on provisions for the next leg of our trip.
It’s good to see Veronica again, and she seems none the worse for ware after all she went through.

That awkward moment when your old partner and current partner met for the first time.

That awkward moment when your old business partner and current business partner met for the first time.

I take the time to pitch my idea to her. She needs to find supplies for her guildies, I want to set up a franchise to support my growing scotch addiction; What could be better than managing her own branch of Honest Joe’s Wonder Emporium: For the best deals on a wide assortment of goods for the home, office or wasteland (All remarkable bargains are sold ‘as-is’, and Honest Joe can bear no responsibility for missing parts, malfunctioning mechanisms or boxes that, in fact, turn out to be entirely empty). It’s win – win!
I take her silence on the issue as agreement and let her know I’ll be back with a delivery of rubbish to hock of to any suckers valuable product to trade with lucky customers.

We stay two nights at the trading post, and then set off on the next leg of our epic journey.

And by 'epic' I clearly mean 'sandy'.

And by 'epic' I clearly mean 'sandy'.

Deserts suck. We trudge through the sand and dust, stopping under a road-sign to spend the night with a wondering stranger… the same wondering stranger that I spent time with back on my way TO New Vegas. At this stage I think that the ‘wondering’ component of his name is quite fairly in dispute.

I'll concede that 'Completely Stationary Stranger' doesn't have the same air of mystique about it.

I'll concede that 'Completely Stationary Stranger' doesn't have the same air of mystique about it.

The next morning I find I’ve made a bit of a mistake. Setting out I’ve tried to make sure we are carrying as little as we can, because I want us to be able to carry as much stuff for trading as possible when stocking my new stores. To do this I’ve only brought enough food and drink to last each leg of my trip – since I can restock at each new destination.
What I failed to account for is that I’m drinking quite a bit of alcohol to hold off my scotch addiction, and that alcohol is causing me to dehydrate.
I have a choice – double back to the trading post and pick up extra water, or press on to Novac. As much as I hate dehydration, I hate the super-slow walking even more. I’ll push on – but I’m going to have to let up on the boozing for a short while. Goddamnit!

The slow trudging march through the desert is now far less fun. At this stage Joe is literally addicted to scotch and the withdrawal effects have begun to set in.
We eventually arrive at the service station that I was planning to make my home base. In retrospect, while the building is perfect for a store, its location is atrocious. At my normal walking pace it takes the better part of a day to get from the station to Novac – and its smack in the middle of an uninhabited desert. It would have been a terrible idea.

I wanted to visit some place expensive. From what I've read of the old world, this place is about as expensive as it got.

I wanted to visit some place expensive. From what I've read of the old world, this place is about as expensive as it got.

We stay a night in the adjoining garage, and before I head off to sleep I pull out the map of the Mojave. Looks like we are taking the long way around. If I’d settled on a plan sooner we could have travelled straight from the Safe house to Goodsprings. Although all the signage in Goodsprings had suggested that it was an unwise idea, it could have saved me HEAPS of walking. Not much I can do about it now, but worth bearing in mind for later.

One more day of walking and Dinky comes into sight off in the distance. I’m pretty happy to see that goofy statue again… and not just because it means that I’ll be able to start drinking again.

Shine on, you crazy Dino!

Shine on, you crazy Dino!

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