Fight! Fight!!

Hopelessness has no place in the Trailverse!

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And taking stock of the situation… the fact that Mark doesn’t grow facial hair.  Am I the only one that wonders about that?  And the fact that he’s been wearing that same damn pink shirt for over a year now?  Even the cactus behind JJ is expressing itself…

Indomitable Doc

Well…  guess who’s up!!  It’s Ol’ Doc Davis… Father of Cherry Davis Trail, Mark’s Meal Ticket.

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His enthusiasm knows no bounds!  But it’s clear that this is wearing on the rest of them…

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What’s awesome about this trip is that the participants seem to have no need for food or water!  They just keep hiking along…  Mark did have a small canteen, but he lost that in his fall as he stumbled (literally) onto Skull Mountain…

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Again, best to not get your hopes up, Old Man…  the chances of us finding this “Vanishing Mine,” let alone making it out of the desert, are slim indeed!

What are you burning?

Cactus?  Sagebrush?  A Tumbling Tumbleweed??

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Yup… that ol’ excitement… the same way I feel every morning when I get to read and comment on yet another ripping installment of the Trail-verse…  Where we learn more here by accident than elsewhere by design.

I will say it again…  those are some big-ass tents given their relatively small packs with unpadded straps…  No clothes but what they have on, I am guessing, and what they are doing for cooking and food one can only guess.

Buzz Killington…

Well, campers, with Skull Mountain checked off, and Doc’s sanity and memory validated, we are on our way again!

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It’s difficult to know who is doing the talking in the long shots, but based on the last few days I’d have to say it’s Mark in the bubble above…

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With JJ’s frown turned upside-down, I guess Mark feels like it’s his job to urge caution and set expectations…

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…and it would seem that Leola is getting in on the discussion, trying to overcome Mark’s negativity…

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Mark, really? Who asked you?  You spend the days scowling and not saying a word, only to fall flat and put the crew on the right path… Now you are a regular Doubting Thomas… I guess you’ve never seen The Great Pumpkin either, have you!?

Falling Frontward Into Money…

Story of Mark’s life.  Rent-free at Lost Forest.  Complete freedom of movement…

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Bad Joke.

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Well, he didn’t find the actual cave opening, (as was suggested by a faithful reader,) but rather a critical landmark…  Which could probably have been noticed by anyone looking up and not fixated on the map…

But what happened to the bees?  Is Doc off camera getting stung to death!?

Honestly…

…Mark… Why do you even leave the house?  You are the most accident prone, ill fated, dumb luck guy on the planet.  Good thing your name is on the Banner Page, otherwise I might actually worry about you!

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So with Mark about to become overcome with Africanized (are we still allowed to say that?) Bees, We are left to wonder, again, where the hell this story is going.  To a “Vanishing Mine” supposedly, filled with gold, we think.  Perhaps it’s time to reflect upon who else might materialize magically in this plot, something that will tie us back to other story lines…  I picture a large yarn-board hanging on the wall in James Allen’s studio…

Not just any old bees…

…the one in the pink chamois-cloth shirt… he’s the wise one…

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Run where, Mark?  Your options are slim and none as you are now totally exposed in the desert- no water in which to wade , no car to climb into…

k11071-1iCan you tell the difference?  According to the USDA, the Africanized (or Killer) bee is on the left in this photo…

 

 

 

 

And the spread throughout the south is well documented, below:

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Another  reason, despite the sluggish spring we are experiencing this year,  that I will probably always stay well north of the Mason Dixon line…