The Fallout 4 Hike

I decided to make my hike fun.  Once I figured out that I had a theme, the rest fell into place.   Now, this page has a video!  Most of the same pictures, had to remove a few to fit the song.  Enjoy!

~Melissa

Preston Garvey is starting to grind my gears. Who’s the General?  Me. So why is that guy telling me what to do?  I should be ordering him to clear out Raiders or Ghouls or Super Mutants. Seriously, all I ever see him do is putter around Sanctuary and fix the same section of siding every single day. 

Whatever. I need some fresh air. Some new Settler slept in my bed last night so I ended up crashing with Maria Long. She’s a bundle of joy. Better than Mama Murphy, though. Ever since she went off the Chems all she does is talk about the good old days and how she doesn’t have “the sight” anymore. I get it, lady, you’re not as spry as you used to be and I made you stop taking drugs. You should be thanking me.

Asked MacReady if he wanted to come with me, but he’s all freaked out about some price on his head. Dude, you leave The Gunners – there will be a reckoning.  And this is a surprise how?  They’re mercenaries!!

I’d ask Piper, but as cute as that lisp of hers is, she asks too many questions. Yes, indoor showers were great. Yes, driving in cars was wayyyy faster than walking. Yes, Sugar Bombs taste pretty much the same, even though they’re 200 years past their expiration date. No, I don’t think Nick Valentine is “kinda cute”. He’s a nice guy, but he’s missing half his face.

I’m not asking Danse. He’s a great guy, but if I hear, “Ad Victorium!” or “For the Brotherhood!” over one more mole rat kill, he’s getting a Super Sledge to the knee caps.

I’ll bring Dogmeat. We can play fetch on the way.  He’s so cute with those teddy bears.

Probably best this way. He doesn’t get all judgmental if I don’t do things his way like the rest of my companions.

Yeah. How did your low-cost apocalypse shelter work out for you?  Not so well, huh?  There’s either a ghoul or a skeleton in a Trilby hat in there. Either way, not worth the effort.

Okay, so I’m off to find some place called Eagle Peak to activate the radio relay so the Minutemen will have a larger signal range. Easy enough. I like watching the dish thingies move up the poles when the power goes on. Fun!

I love those lion statues!  Seriously, I need to find that issue of Picket Fences so I can put them up in Sanctuary.  I think it’ll be a nice change of pace from all the machine gun turrets. Yep. The Settlers complain about those, too. And how loud the generators are. Seriously, people, would you rather walk the Commonwealth as Stingwing fodder?

I even put up a basketball hoop, but noooooo.

Found a bathroom. No traps to disarm outside the stall, thank goodness, but rather than a Ghoul or a Raider, I find this insanity. I don’t think I have to tell you how freaking cold it gets in the winter, so just imagine – if you will – planting your sensitive little tushie on one of these bad boys at 20 below.  Sure, it survived an apocalypse, but who in their right mind would use it?  Fine, you can squat for number one, but what if you had too many Mirelurk omelettes?  That’s just mean.

Water used to be so simple. Now it’s like a knife to the gut. And me with no Purified water. Blast. Gotta prepare better next time. I’ve been working out and since I don’t have a companion with me, I can carry tons more with that Lone Wanderer perk.

Oh great. It’s happened. Now I have that darn song in my head. Blast you, Dion, and your catchy tunes!

‘Cause I’m the wanderer

Yeah, the wanderer

I roam around, around, around

Oh well, I roam from town to town

I go through life without a care

And I’m as happy as a clown

With my two fists of iron and I’m going nowhere

 Pfft. I could bust through this creek easy. No need for Power Armor. I just need a good running start!

Okay, now which way? 

Okay, I know it’s just a tree, but you gotta admit that it looks a heck of a lot more comfortable than that metal atrocity back at the restroom.

It’s a wonder we – as a society – didn’t implode earlier. The sign clearly says to stay on the trails.  As you can also see, no one paid attention to it. Seriously, a few well-placed laser traps would nip that problem in the bud.

That feisty little shrubbery is growing out of a rock!  Pip-Boy salute to you, feisty little shrubbery!


Good gravy on a hot plate, I have to get up there??  Why can’t I fast travel to places I haven’t been?  They’re as clear as day on my Pip-Boy map as the ones I have visited. Vault-Tec, you suck.


Well, I guess there’s nothing for it except to hike. I have a Squirrel-on-Stick somewhere around here…  Synths? Fabulous. If there is a Courser among them, I’m busting out the Fat Man.  Maybe they’re just those weirdos from Covenant. Something is not right about them. Those people make my teeth itch.

Either way, time for stealth. I’m not interested in awkward conversation or a battle royale. I just want to get this gig over with.

Quiet, Dogmeat. We’re supposed to be sneaking. Your whining is going to get us into another brawl. Seriously, we need to work on this, boy.

Wow. Little out of shape. Strong Back perk would be nice. Mine’s killin’ me. That sink is looking pretty good right about now.


What the blazes is this crap with the hills?  I’m going to roundhouse that hat right off of Garvey’s head when I get back to Sanctuary. This is ridiculous!  How long have I been walking?  20 minutes?!  Feels like months!!!

Oh thank goodness. Croup Manor. (I hope.) I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  Wait. I’m not dying, am I?  Dogmeat?  Where are you?  Come back here!  I think I taste blood. Or mutfruit. Can you have epicurean hallucinations?   I need a second to catch my breath.

Yay!! The radio relay!! About damn time!  Let’s activate it and get the heck out of here.


Okay, that’s not a bad view. I could go for a Cherry Nuka Cola right now, though. That climb was b-r-u-t-a-l.  Hey, is that CIT?  I think so.  Maybe. Oh it would be so easy to hit the button that sets off the reactor. Maybe later. My dogs are barking.

Not real dogs, Dogmeat. Don’t look so offended. No, I’m not going to replace you with that cute cat from the Prydwyn.


Beware of MUTANT HOUNDS, you mean. I hate those things. You know that right around the corner of that quaint little house is a Mutant Suicider just waiting for a chance to set off his own nuke.

Seriously, how they think they’re sooo superior to us “puny humans”, I simply cannot fathom. How can I take anything they say seriously when they can’t string a sentence together?  Except Virgil. He’s my homie. Wonder if the serum worked. I should check on him.

Are those Synths holding hands?  Maybe they’re the escaped ones I helped back at Bunker Hill. I should say hello. Nah. They’re enjoying their freedom away from the Institute. Who am I to get in the way?


Okay, I know I was lamenting people not obeying publicly posted signs earlier, but you and I both know that the best loot is usually on the other side of a sign like this. Okay FINE, I’ll be a hypocrite another day. Seriously, you’re worse than Danse.


Fine. I’ll go down the way I came. One last look for posterity sake. Pretty. Too bad about the Deathclaw, though. All I’m packing is my razor sharp wit and my 10 mm Deliverer. Last thing I need to hear is, pew! pew! pew! and then the sound of my own screams as I’m shaken around like a rag doll as my limbs are chewed off.


Wow, even with pictures people are jackasses. Shush. My thought was fleeting. It’s not like I went past the Danger sign. (Mumbling) This time…


Hm. This looks promising. Usually some good stuff in a bunker. I remember that time I met that gray-haired Brotherhood of Steel soldier at that bunker. Where was it now?  Doesn’t matter. I spent hours tracking down the distress signals of his Recon squad and still he’s an ant’s tooth from blowing my head off.

That’s gratitude for ya. Thank goodness for my adorable smile and Black Widow perk or there would have been bloodshed. I’d hate to have had to explain to Elder Maxson how I blew away the surviving member of his recon unit because I lacked the appropriate communication skills.


You know, there’s no respect for the environment. It rains freaking radiation drops of acid nearly every day, you’d think people would wise up. Maybe they need to be hit with a clue-by-four. I hate those Raiders. Not only are they the worst of the scavengers, but they have potty mouths, too.

 Forget it. Ten minutes wandering around like an idiot. I give up. Thanks for that super sensitive nose of yours, Dogmeat!  No help whatsoever!!

 I must be getting closer to a trade route. Maybe Carla has a bottle of  Purified water I can buy. I’m parched!


I think I remember passing this earlier. Did I see a ranger station?  I can’t remember. With my luck it’s swarming with Bloodbugs or Stingwings. Man, I hate those things.


No water?!  I’d kick this thing over if I wasn’t worried about knocking over a mole rat mound. This place is clearly mocking me.


Women’s is out of order and the Men’s is…locked?!  I mean, there is not a lock in the Commonwealth that I can’t pick, but that’s kind of a jerk move, isn’t it?

I guess if you’re desperate there’s always the sewer. Gonna end up there anyway.


Yikes. I thought The Deathckaw was back up the hill over that ridge. Seems odd that it would be down here. And ah, the massive log was happily attached to a tree as I passed through here earlier. Best to keep on high alert. Angry Deathclaw = bad news + several Stimpacks.


Now they’re mocking me. Whatever. I’m closer to Sanctuary. I can wait.


Nice. Wild fern. Wish I knew what to do with it. A flowing hat perhaps?


What the heck?  This thing has thorns!  Ouch!  Bet those Institute Bioscientists planted them!  The cads!


Ohhhhh. Well now. I’m not on the lookout for a male Deathclaw. Apparently there is a female of the mother Deathclaw type around here somewhere. I see no egg in that pile of branches and now I fully understand why she is upset.

I’m going to back away. Slowly and silently. I like my limbs attached to my body.


Upset was too mild a word.  Clearly. Time to skedaddle. Again.


Another product of the Institute no doubt. It’s not glowing, though. And it’s huge!  What foul shenanigans are those mad scientists up to now??


Are you kidding me?  That Settler doesn’t even know his child was replaced with a Synth!  The horrors the Institute has committed!  So low!  I thought creating 10-year old Shaun was tasteless, but this is beyond the pale!  They must be stopped!


I’m so upset I can’t even drink. Don’t worry, Dogmeat, I have RadAway. I’m so mad I’d choke anyway. Or bite off the faucet.  I’ll let my burning hot indignation satiate me until I return to Sanctuary.

That place has to GO.


What’s a tick?  That’s not a tick. That’s a Radscorpion.  And good luck with insect repellant. That’s like a misted perfume to them.  Tweezers?!  LOL. Try vice grips and a flame thrower. Better yet, a laser sniper rifle. You don’t want to be home when Radscorpions come knocking.


Yep, the Railroad is nearby. Good. Maybe Desdemona or Tinker Tom has something to drink. Maybe not Tinker Tom. Last time he injected me with one of his fandangled serums, I almost broke my nose when my face hit the floor.


It looked so inviting I had to. It tasted like nothing I’ve had since before the bombs went off. A type of lettuce maybe?  No rad-y after-effects either!  What are you, you sweet ambrosia?


What is that?  Rotting tato  and mutfruit?  Maybe a Yao Guai will wander by and eat it. They’ll eat anything. I know. I’ve seen the bones.

Drummer Boy got a little creative with the color, methinks. I wonder if it was tribute to the fair Desdemona?  I thought maybe Deacon and Desdemona were an item, but this will add some sparks to the mix. Plot twist!


I sure hope KL-E-O takes this crushed bottle cap I found on the road. Then again, what can you buy with one crushed bottle cap besides a wisecrack these days?  Inflation.

Ugh. Mirelurk eggs. Freaking piles of them. If they all start hatching at once I will lose it. Backing away slowly. Again.

Home soon. I can feel it. Just passed Red Rocket Pit Stop.

 Whoever threw this Molotov Cocktail obviously missed. No charred remains.

 My senses are tingling. Hope there isn’t a pack of Mirelurks nearby. I WILL shoot the gas tank and light. Them. Up.

Well, that’s a new one. Something you want to tell me, Dogmeat?  Huh, boy?

Not even worth opening the mailbox.  Oh!  I see Sanctuary. Good. I have a hankering for a Deathclaw steak.
Finally!  Home. What a pain in the butt. Lot of near-misses on the way back.

Whats that, Deacon?  I could have fast-traveled back from the relay?  Hey, maybe I forgot. Okay?  Maybe you need a knuckle sandwich. Better yet, you keep talking about a new face, how’s about I give you one in a kaleidoscope of black and blue?

Maybe I’ll borrow that pompadour as a chew toy for Dogmeat. How ’bout that?

 

Alum Rock – First Hike of 2016

I decided, after eating way too much food in general over the last several months (Stress eating, what is that?) that I was going stop whining about all the weight I’d packed on and since I was feeling like crap in general (I’m full. Oh is that a cookie?), I’d take stock for the new year. 

I was so tired of feeling tired and jittery (sugar shock?) and moody that I’d not necessarily go Primal or Paleo, but more “Natural.” Interestingly, I’ve been mostly Paleo since the first, but I’m not saying “You can’t…” because I know how well that goes over with me. 

I guess having the option makes things easier. Anyway, I developed plantar fasciitis a while back and it made every step over the last year and a half a total drag. So I stopped walking and hiking. 

Miracle of miracles, it cleared up right before our trip to Disney World. Yay!

I’ve been walking again, at least lunch, but it’s a boring jaunt on the sidewalk with cars rushing past that no amount of The Proclaimers can fix. Today was the first day I got a chance to be in the woods.  Walking in places with fresh air and plenty of greens and browns around makes me happy. The hike doesn’t feel like as much work as it would if I were on a dreadmill. 

I took a detour on my hike thinking I’d found a cool new trail, and ended up doing a lot of near-miss-land-on-my-arse mud-skiing. Riiiight. With rain comes mud. 

I took some pictures on the hike on my phone so I’m sharing with you.  Enjoy!  

  
In the spring, summer, and fall months, all I see are rocks and dirt. This was a welcome change. 

  
Why did I take a picture of greenery making its way up the side of a mountain?  Who cares!  It looks cool. You might not be able to see it, but there was plenty of miner’s lettuce, too. 

  
The path before me lies…a bench or a hill coming up around the bend. Believe me, if it hadn’t been spitting rain, that bench would have been my siren’s song. 

  
I just liked the look of this, really. Green in general makes me happy. It reminded me a little of Nahino Park from the 70s in Vancouver. Coquitlam?  Burnaby?  Somewhere around there. It had the most amazing statues carved out of trees. 

  
I’m a sucker for foliage. This spoke to me. It said:

Take a picture. Show your friends. Your classmates will remember what the Argyle reference is.

  
Sometimes you’re just walking along and you see a massive tree with branches twisting all over the place like an octopus.  I felt small in comparison. And a little nervous there might be some Wizard of Oz action about to happen. 

  
Apparently, this leads to frustration. As you’ll see in a minute. Several tricky moments there as I thought I was going to take a mountain to the knee. Or the arse. Or the face. Luckily, just a few chest clutching moments before I was back on the road. 

  
I have a carving my dad did of a face in a piece of wood. It was about the size of my forearm. This log is the size of a few VW Beetles parked back-to-back, but he could totally rock it. 

  
I’m officially now on the other side of the creek. Is life better on this side?  I thought so. Until…

  

  
What in the blazes is this?  I want to be on the other side. You are preventing me from this. I’m not amused. This is not cool!  Should I try and cross?  Maybe if I take off my shoes and socks. Give your head a shake, woman, you’ll end up the subject of an after school special. 

And so back I go. Had to follow the crummy hard road to get back to the bridge. Nothing natures to really look at except:

  
Wait. Is the sun going to come out?  Maybe?  Perhaps?  No?  Whatever. I feel like I’m seriously backtracking at this point, but the Achievement hunter in me is thinking:

Well, at least you won’t have to jog badly and awkwardly in place for ten minutes before bed so you can hit 10,000 steps on your walking app.

So there was that, at least. When finally:

  
Oh thankyouthankyouthankyou. Not lost. Ron would kill me if I got lost and subsequently eaten by a mountain lion. I write books about them as plot points, I’m not jonesing to be the main course for one. 

  
I actually saw this, thought of stomping on it to see what was inside, and walked away. Five seconds later I’m turning around to take a picture.  Come on, aren’t you curious?  Yeah it would be sooooo satisfying to hear it crunch wide open, but then there is that nagging fear of what would I do if a multitude of insects (angry, now homeless insects) came pouring out with little insect weapons of mass destruction and my name tattooed to their foreheads?

You’ll be happy to know I left it as is. I’m really not interested in sparking a war on humanity for a fleeting instant of crunchy satisfaction. Wonder if it’s still there…

  
Wandered past this little reminder. Can you kick a creek?

  
And another one. Whatever. I’m so over you, creek. And seriously, who builds a trail that leads through one?  Whose bright idea was that?

And finally, this. I had to stop for a few seconds and just record shaky cam because the sound of the water was so nice. It won’t be there in a few months. Heck, a few weeks. People wandered behind me as I was recording, but they were kind enough not to speak.  Another lady was beside me taking pictures. The hikers were probably thinking, 

Dead body?  Beaver?  Power Ball ticket?

 
And then I went to the farmer’s market.