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Personal Update

Posted by OldBones-Larry Aug 9, 2018

This is something I was hoping to be writing several years from now. Nothing major or unexpected, but something I was hoping to put off.

During my sleep study this last time, several things came to light.

1. I still didn't sleep long enough to get a thorough study result.

2. I have Restless Leg Syndrome. This is being treated with medication and is allowing me to sleep better.

3. My Oxygen Saturation dropped to 74% during deep sleep. There were many 5 minute periods where it was below 88% while I was asleep. This is a major problem and will be addressed with night time Oxygen as soon as they can set it up. The Neurologist believes that I might need Oxygen 24/7, and has suggested to my Pulmonologist that they test me for this.

I will be doing another sleep study once all of this is taken care of.

Just another bump to overcome in this journey....

Travel strong and stay on the trail my friends.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.



Battle Over

Posted by OldBones-Larry Aug 1, 2018

We have been in battle with these guys for many days now.
After I last wrote you, they decided to try breaking out. We have kept them enclosed with only one direction they could travel without meeting our men.
Slowly we began forcing them towards the ruins. They resisted for many days, but finally they began losing ground.
We pushed them back towards the ruins in a running skirmish. I can't really call it a battle since they never tried attacking.
When we reached the ruins, everything changed though.
When the vipers claimed their first victim, the Nico-baddies began fighting to break free of our trap.
We kept the circle intact and held them in. Slowly we kept pushing them into the ruins.
We then stopped and just kept them trapped in the ruins. Our men encircled the entire ruins and held firm.
We discovered this morning that the vipers had killed every one of our adversaries.
We left them for the desert to claim and are moving towards the nearest oasis. We need rest and refreshment after holding the seige for this long.
Some figs, dates, and cool water will be very welcome. We will stay at the oasis and rest for several days.
Travel safely friends and keep a sharp lookout for traps.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master



Posted by OldBones-Larry Jul 9, 2018

Why do I post the Caravan Blogs?
Because I like to spin tales or tell a story?
I suppose that could be one of the reasons, but not even close to the real reason.
Because I can attribute the passing of my brother, mother, and my father to smoking?
Just that fact is a really great reason to post as I do.
This is probably the biggest reason that I post the Caravan though.
I have aluded to many reasons before.
The things I saw while working in the ER and the hospital itself.
The autopsies that I assisted at on victims of smoking.
The damage I saw at those was horrible to witness.
Lungs black with tar. Hearts swollen three times there size. Tumors filling tissue. Blood vessels choked closed with plaques.
Those are good reasons as well as just wanting to help others over the rough spots of giving up those death sticks.
I have never told anyone the main reason though.
I have been keeping a secret for close to five years now. I feel I can finally talk about it now, so here it is.
As many of you know, I underwent bypass surgery in 2013. October 22 to be exact.
Things went very well for 11 hours.
They opened my chest and at about the one hour mark I went onto the machine. My body now survived with a machine breathing for it and keeping the blood flowing.
No breathing or pulse for me as they needed no movements in my chest while they worked.
I guess you could call it a pseudo-death.
Now comes the reason I work so hard on helping others on this journey....
The time came to take me off the machine. They re-warmed my body and watched for a return of activity to my heart.
Nothing happened!!!!
My heart just lay there with absolutely no movements at all.
My heart would not start again. They tried many things and worked for some time, but things were not looking good.
I seemed to be gone for good and they stopped their efforts.
Just as they were going to give up, Creator Above decided that I was still needed here on Earth Mother.
My heart began beating on it's own.
I was sedated in ICU for several days, then moved to the floor.
I recovered and was sent home to continue healing.
I also made my quit journey and crossed NML. I did it one step at a time, the same as my recovery from surgery.
The Caravan was born during that journey.
Was it easy? No!! With the help I found here I made it across that desert though.
I vowed during that journey that I would do my best to help so nobody would be in the position I had been in that day.
I can only offer help when I can now. I hope Creator will not regret his decision that day.
As you cross that desert, know that I am watching to offer help if I can.
That is the secret I have kept for all these years, and the main reason I post the Caravan.
Travel safe my friends.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master


Battle is Joined

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jul 8, 2018

Early this morning I heard sounds ahead as we traveled. The Nico-Baddies we were trailing had set an ambush.
The scouts had discovered this and worked their way around to set up their own ambush.
They sprang the trap when they saw that we were close enough to close the escape from our direction.
The fight has been give and take for several hours now. They have a good position, but we have them surrounded. They can't escape us now.
The Sheik and myself have been discussing how to handle this.
We could rush them and just overpower them. That could result in the loss of many of our men though.
We could just settle in and starve them out as we have the men to keep them entrapped. This is much safer, but keeps up tied up here for an extended period.
As we have been talking, I have been trying to figure out why this area feels so familiar. I feel I have been here before for some reason.
Just a minute ago one of the Bedoins came in and told us that a fragment of pottery had been turned up during the battle.
Now I remember why this place feel so familiar.
There are some buried ruins close to here. We battled the relatives of this bunch very close to here.
In fact, they are entombed right over there if I remember correctly.
I relayed these thoughts to the Sheik, and he agrees that this is the area I feel that it is.
Our plan now is to try and push this bunch to the ruins. We know that there are vipers nesting in some of them.
Once we get them there, we will hold them from escaping. We have supplies and manpower enough to hold here for several days.
The presence of these people will stir up the nest of vipers and they will most likely become victims of the nest.
I will keep you informed of occurences as they evolve.
These guys will not be bothering you.

Travel safe my friends.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master


Hunting Nico-Baddies

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jul 7, 2018

I received word yesterday from the Sheik that a trail had been found. A party of riders had headed West from the Oasis that had been ransacked. The trail had been lost, but riders picked it up again.
Reports from a bedoin say that relatives of the Sema twins and the Butt brothers are the culprits.
I left immediately and am riding fast for the trail. I will join up with the Sheik and we will track these guys down.
I will ask the Sheik and his men to deal with them after they are questioned. The Bedoins have their own sense of justice, and I for one will not deny them their traditions.
The supplies I sent have arrived at the oasis and it is getting close to being repaired.
The caches have been rebuilt and the pool of water cleaned of the disgusting things that had been thrown in it.
Supplies of leather and rope have been replaces as well as the grasses for the camels.
I have been told the Ima Deer and Who Gnu have been spotted checking trails for damage also.
I appreciate their dedication to keeping the trails safe and open.
I must get back on the trail now.
Travel safe my friends.
Keep a sharp eye for traps.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master


Back At Base Camp

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jun 27, 2018

I arrived this morning back at the mountain base camp.
The Sheik sent some supplies with me for Carp's Cave. They had been running low on scorpions and needed some more. He also sent some nice lizards. Maybe they can create a dish with them. I will be looking forward to whatever dish they can make from them.
The Sheik requested that I get him some casks of that fine beverage that Carp's is famous for. I place an order for some and asked that they send the casks that they distill very strong since the Sheik likes his drink that way.
I also asked that they include some of that fine cheese they make, along with anything else they think the Sheik and his men might like.
After concluding my business there, I came on up the mountain to pay my respects to the caretakers of the Cave of Rememberance. I delivered the things that they had requested for their duties there.
I then went to the Cave of Slumber, where The Old Goat and those that went before her rest. I honored each of them and thanked them for the many years of leadership and service each had given.
I will rest for a few hours then return to Carp's Cave for a nice bowl of Viper Stew and a few Scorpion Skewers. They did say that they were working on a new dish that they would have a sample of for me when I came in to eat. I am wondering what dish they have created. I am sure it will be as good as all the rest.
I was informed that a message had arrived for me from the desert. One of the Oasis has been ransacked and the supplies destroyed. I dispatched a rider to request the Sheik meet me there with some riders. I will load some more supplies to replace what was destroyed and pack them along with what I am taking for the Sheik.
I will try to track down whoever destroyed the rest stop at the Oasis.
I will leave at daybreak with the supply caravan.
Trave strong and safely my fellow travelers. Watch for the traps that Ol' Nic and his crew might have laid for you.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master


A Needed Re-Post

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jun 16, 2018

I felt that someone was in need today, and needs to read this.

A Prayer To Wise-One Above 

I have prayed this every morning since I can remember. It helps me to deal with all of life's stumbling blocks.

Be well.

Travel strong.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.



Thwarted Ambush

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jun 14, 2018

I was riding in from the wastelands yesterday, when I saw several guys huddled behind a sand dune. I didn't think much about it at the time.

The Sheik and I had been out looking for anything that might endanger the caravan route. We had been past the site of the Puffer Fish Battle, the site where the Butt Brothers had burned up, and also where the Sema Sisters were buried after their attack on a caravan.

As we drew closer to the group, we overheard part of their conversation. They were planning a massive assault on the caravan travelers.

We gathered some men and hit them before they could execute any plans they had made.

It took several hours, but, we finally disarmed them all and captured the survivors.

When I questioned the captives, I found that they were relatives of the Butt Brothers and the Sema Twins. They had been seeking vengeance for their relatives that had perished trying to stop travelers along the trail here in NML.

Their plan had been to destroy the caravan and change the trail markings so travelers would lose their way. They said that they wanted everyone to fall off of Desolation Point at the Relapse Rocks.

I let the Sheik and his followers have these guys to do with as they pleased. 

I went back along the trail to be sure that none of the markers had been changed.

The trail is safe and still marked correctly.

The Caravan travels on.

Be safe out there and keep a watchful eye for traps.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master


Sand Trap

Posted by OldBones-Larry Jun 13, 2018

I was checking the trails yesterday, when I faintly heard a voice calling for help.

After following the voice, I found a traveler that had wandered away from the trail. They said they were following an animal they had seen. 

They were half buried in a sandtrap that works the same as quicksand in a swamp. They had been struggling and had sunk to their chest in the pit of shifting sands.

I began preparations to try and get them out when one of the Bedoin that follow the Sheik rode up. Together we worked and got the person pulled from the trap after a couple of hours. We had to work carefully to avoid making the situation worse and get them out safely.

The Bedoin took them to the Sheik's camp for care. 

I feel that I must state again the importance of following the trail and not wandering off to the side anywhere. There are many hidden dangers out here in the desert. NML is not a safe place. Not all of the traps and pitfalls are like Desolation Point out there in Relapse Rocks. You could step into a sinking sand pit anytime if you step off the trail like this person did.

I urge everyone to be alert for the dangers and traps out here. I do my best to mark them all, but some of them do shift from one place to another.

Ol' Nic and his fellow baddies also keep setting traps everywhere to catch the unwary traveller. Keep a sharp eye for them and avoid any area that looks suspicious to you. When you see a Bedoin, tell the what you saw and they will check it. If it is a trap, they will dismantle it.

Travel safe my fellow travelers. The one that have traveled before you are awaiting you at the end of the trail.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master


The Cave Of The Ages

Posted by OldBones-Larry May 20, 2018

I felt a deep need three days ago to reflect on things and seek peace and calm. I needed to find the wisdom and will to continue my mission in the desert.
I entered the Cave of the Ages where all that have cared for the secrets of the mountain have been laid. I know that the wisdom of all that have gone before is there for me to seek. When the wisdom is needed, they will impart it to me if I seek it and humbly request it.
I went to the crypt of The Old Goat, as that is where I feel most at peace. I find the answers inside myself most easily there. The ancient ones will come there to impart anything they think that I need to know.
I found what I was seeking and can continue what she tasked me with.

Look inside yourselves for that strength to overcome that has gotten you this far. You can make it across the desert of NML and remain an EX smoker.
I will continue fighting Nic and his band. I will lead all that travel past his traps and snares. The camels are strong and know the trail. They will carry you safely through the desert if you will let them.

With the help of The Sheik and his followers, Nic will be foiled in his attempts to lure back those that have left him behind.
As I was preparing to leave the cave, a caretaker here told me that there were some that were remembering The Old Goat.

Her life inspired many to persevere and overcome the addiction Nic and his band had held them in.
I think she would want me to share her story once more.
My Story 
I hope you find peace and strength in this simple woman's life.
Walk strong in your quit journey and overcome that addiction to nicotine. You can break it and live a life free from it. Many have done it, and so can you.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master


Angiogram Update

Posted by OldBones-Larry May 10, 2018

I got home late in the evening last night. Having some discomfort at the entry site, but otherwise doing OK.

Preliminary report says there are no blockages and my bypass grafts look great.

The doctor could see no reason for the continuing chest pains and pressure.

They are not severe, just annoying.

I will check with the doctor at my next Gastroscopy and see if it could be something there. 

I will also talk with the Pulmonologist regarding possible causes in that field.

I also will be setting up ultrasounds for my lower extremities and the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.

I will get done with all of that just in time to start the entire cycle again. LOL

Take care of yourselves my dear family.

Travel safely on your quit journey. You can make it to being an EXsmoker. You have so much support here if you just ask for it.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.

Larry the Caravan Master


Test Day

Posted by OldBones-Larry May 9, 2018

I will be leaving shortly for the hospital. Today is the day....

Procedure is at 2 CDT. 

I am not sure how long I will have to stay afterwards.

I will try to update as soon as I can.



Test Update

Posted by OldBones-Larry Apr 28, 2018

Just wanted to pass along what I found out last evening.

Test is scheduled for May 9 at 2 PM. I have to arrive at 12 PM to get prepped.

Pre-medication will be for a day or so beforehand as I am allergic to contrast.

I thing she said they would check my aortic aneurysm while they were at it.

Please forgive any spelling mistakes as this new med causes bad headaches and dizziness.

I'm going to go lay down for a while and try to lessen the headache.

Stay strong in your journey friends.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.



Another Test

Posted by OldBones-Larry Apr 27, 2018

I saw the Cardiologist again this last Wednesday.

She wanted to check in because I have continued to have some pains and pressure in my chest.

We don't know why this is happening, so she has decided to set up another Angiogram.

You can imagine how excited I am about another one of those!! NOT!!!!

She also started me on a long-acting blood vessel dilator. I has caused headaches and dizziness. This should pass when my body adjusts to the medication I am told.

I will let you know more when I have the info.

Stay strong in your quit and your journey friends.

One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.


I have put off writing this for a long time. I have buried these things for many years and think it is time to unearth them.
Because so many responded to how the Caravan began, I will fill in a little more for you.

My mother was diagnosed with an enlarged heart in approx. 1970. She had smoked for many years. She quit smoking several times after that, but my father would not join her and she relapsed every time.
She went through a pregnancy and delivered my baby sister in 1974. She continued smoking all along.
In 1990, she suffered a massive M.I. and passed away. She was 56 years old. The doctors think she was in acute Diabetic Coma as her blood sugar was over 500 when she passed. I know that the smoking contributed greatly to this.

My Dad was diagnosed with a tumor in his skull around 1988. Surgery removed it and a large portion of his skullcap. His body rejected the implant that replaced his bone and had to be removed.
In 1992, he developed a blood cancer. He outlived the 6 months they gave him whn he was first diagnosed in 1992. Through many rounds of Chemo, he continued smoking. He finally quit in 1996 and stayed quit.
The Cancer came back numerous times. Finally, in 1999, Dad walked the Hanging Road to the Ancestor Lands. He was 70 years old.

Once again, I lost someone to sickorettes.

In 1989, my brother had a massive M.I. and underwent an emergency quadruple bypass. He was 34 years old. He had been a diabetic for 10 years at the time. He smoked heavily.
He did quit smoking at that time. He remained smoke-free until 2012 when he had another massive M.I. and passed in his sleep. He was 56 at the time.

Another victim of sickorettes.

You would have though that I would have quit smoking many years earlier when I lost my Mom.
I was hardheaded and just kept smoking away.
A little over a year after my brother passed, I underwent my own bypass. I was 54.
I threw my sickorettes away and have never looked back.
My journey is in the blogs I have posted here. I really hope that those blog posts help others to remain smokefree, or quit smoking.


Now is the best time to throw those Death Sticks away. If not for yourself, do it for your family.

I lost my health and 3 family members to sickorettes. I have lost many friends to them also.

That is why I wander the desert of NML each day trying to aid other travelers out there.
Stay strong my fellow travelers.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master