Sloan, Sloan on the range

Heading north seems like a stupid idea. There are signs warning of Deathclaws (and worse), all over the northern reaches of Goodsprings. But this would be a shortcut and establishing a trade route in this direction would allow me to supply any stores I might set up in Westside or New Vegas.
Plus, I have a secret weapon – Ed-e. Ed-e’s scanners will allow me to see danger coming long before it gets the drop on me.
So I set out, pack full of supplies and fuelled by an optimism born of ignorance.

There is a passage north straight out of Goodsprings, but maps suggest that it heads through the bottom of a valley. Heading north is silly, but not even Joe is dumb enough to head north through a gorge where I’d have no room to manoeuvre.
Instead the maps suggest that there is an alternative path… if I head west a little way to the state highway. That way is much more open, which means I have space to manoeuvre if the situation demands it. (Note: In this context, “manoeuvre” means “run while leaving the little fly droid to it’s fate”.

Farewell, Goodsprings. Don’t cry, I’ll be back… Perhaps… I hope.

Farewell, Goodsprings. Don’t cry, I’ll be back… Perhaps… I hope.

Oh, good. More walking. Slow, slow walking.

Oh, good. More walking. Slow, slow walking.

The path takes me near the shack (allegedly a sky diving company) that I looted shortly after I arrived in the Mojave. Then Joe heads north, following the road as much as possible… there are a few Powder Gangers floating around out in the wastes, but Ed-e’s forewarning means I can take them down long before they know I’m watching them. If my little peewee rife isn’t able to get them first shot, some scholarly gentleman had the forethought to mount a laser on Ed-e’s undercarriage.
I’m still using the rifle I used to hunt geckos. With the numerous modifications I’ve made it’s great at picking off lone bandits… but I can’t help but dwell on the fact that all it would do to a deathclaw is piss said deathclaw right off. An unsettling thought.

Helpful advice.

Helpful advice.

Eventually the path begins to narrow, but because the road is now following a train track it’s not particularly claustrophobic. I rest the night by an empty carriage and take a moment to sort through the gear I’ve found so far on my venture (and by “found”, I mean “stripped off of the body of a Powder Gang member”). Further reminder that murder is much more profitable than honest, hard work.
The downside is that I’m currently over encumbered with Powder Gang armour and uniforms. My compulsion to take all this stuff is all-consuming, despite the fact that it sells for squat and it clearly didn’t do the previous owners any favours. I gotta stop collecting this stuff… if not for myself, then for the people who follow after me and are continuously befuddled by the plethora of naked bodies that litter the landscape.

Sleeping on the road is terrible for your back…

Sleeping on the road is terrible for your back…

Lucky for me, Ed-e is able to ease my burden somewhat. I’m not sure where it’s keeping the crap I gave it, and I’m not sure I want to know – But it solves my problem.
It turns out that I needn’t have worried, because it’s not long before I find a place to offload the excess weight. Nettled in the hills near an approaching quarry is a small mining camp named Sloan.

Please tell me you have orthopaedic mattresses.

Please tell me you have orthopaedic mattresses.

A friendly greeting and smiling face are more than welcome – less welcome is a warning that the miners are currently out of work as their quarry is full of Deathclaws. Deathclaws. Between the signs in Goodsprings and the warning from the Miners, I’m beginning to think that this was a bad idea.

Well, terrible plans can wait for a moment… a break from my walking is well deserved and the mining camp includes a canteen that doubles as a fairly basic trading post. A hot meal, a scotch and a rest is just what I need.

En route to my delicious hot meal, I meet a molerat running about the centre of the mining camp. I resist the urge to immediately shoot it for it meat, but only because ED-e wasn’t detecting any hostile movements (although we’ll slide past how exactly Ed-e knows that, for now)… in fact the little bugger was positively tame. Turns out that my discretion was wise in this instance, because this particular rat creature is a pet of sorts, named Snuffles.
It’s pretty obvious that Snuffles is in pain… something wrong with his leg. I figure it wouldn’t hurt any to help out – even if Dad hadn’t been the doctor in Vault 101, I’ve had to patch my own self up often enough that I figure I could hardly make the wound any worse.
Turns out that my benevolence was well placed, as helping their mascot has endeared me to the people of Sloan.

The miners have the sniffles

The miners have the sniffles ba-dom-dom-pish

The next morning I bid Sloan adu and set off north once more for half a day before stopping at an abandoned train platform. I move with a lot more caution pressing forward, and it’s just as well, because Ed-e’s sensors soon start jumping off the chart.
I try to find a way around, but sadly I can’t find a direction that Ed-e doesn’t think is a death trap.
It’s very frustrating, because I can see the path ahead and the outline of Vegas in the skyline, but Ed-e’s scanners suggest that the road ahead is infested, even if I can’t see them from when I am.

Shortly the scanner in the bottom left fills up with red blips, but there’s no photo for that... due the the fact I was too busy running.

Shortly the scanner in the bottom left fills up with red blips, but there’s no photo for that... due the the fact I was too busy running.

In defeat I head back to Sloane.
At least Sloane has more scotch.

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