I would like to compare the trip across NML in the caravan with the making of a sharp tool by the blacksmith. Seems kind of strange to do so though this ran through my mind for hours last night.
The first 30 days are filled with preparing for the trip on the caravan.
The blacksmith would be gathering scrap metals during that time.
You begin the trip across NML with your supplies and slowly find your way along the trail.
The smith begins slow firing the metals to fuse them into an ingot that he can work, He might melt them to pour into a mold to achieve this also.
You adjust to the heat of the desert and travel along.
The smith begins working the metal and shaping it.
You rest at the oasis to recover until you feel you can continue.
The smith allows the metal to cool until tomorrow before he continues with his work.
Sometimes someone falls at Desolation point.
At times the metal breaks.
You return to the start to regroup and begin again.
The smith recasts the metal with some harder materials added for strength.
You finally reach the hottest part of your journey and have grown strong in your travel.
The smith has finished shaping the tool and plunges it into the tempering tank to harden it.
You can see the end of the desert and are honing your tools and skills to keep your quit going strong.
The smith sharpens the tool he is making to assure it will fulfill it's job.
You reach the end of your journey across NML and continue your journey.
The smith polishes the edge to finish his work.
As the blacksmith forges tools, we are forged in the desert of NML to enable us to stay away from sickorettes in the future. We must continue working on our skills to remain smokefree as the smith must sharpen the tools he creates so they can continue what they were designed for.
Travel safely my friends and fellow travelers.
One step, and then another, will get you to where you want to be.
Larry the Caravan Master