Minecraft: Go West, Middle-Aged Man

Apr 18 2011

Hard to believe that I haven’t worked on my Minecraft world for almost a month; I guess I’ve been too busy in my weekends, and Rock Band 3 takes priority. But I did find time today to play for an hour or two.

I’d been doing a lot of mining recently; that’s strangely soothing, but I’ve built up a fair supply of materials now, so I figured it was time to stretch my legs a bit. I’d headed north and south before, but I had very little idea of what was to the east and west; so I packed my bags and headed west. (Actually, I didn’t pack my bags very well: next time, I should bring a bed, to avoid the tedium of waiting out the nights.)

Looking west from my front door

Sand and hills past the tree farm

There’s a tree farm immediately to the west of my front door; I knew there was a bit of sand beyond that, but I wasn’t sure what was past the sand. And water north of that area; it wouldn’t have surprised me if the water curved south and turned the western voyage into a very short trip indeed! That turned out not to be the case: the scenery to the west was, honestly, a little boring, and I ended up going north a bit to hug the coastline.

Water to the north

Hills, sand, and a bit of water to the west

Still more water to the north after I've headed west

Eventually, the terrain got a bit more varied, and I saw some mountains. There was a cave inside the mountains, but it didn’t end up being particularly large.

Mountains in the distance

A mountain cave

Inside the mountain cave

Continuing on from that, my next surprise was when I looked down at the grass below me and saw a hole! I dropped down, and it turned out to be another not particularly large cave, with a more normal exit on the other side.

A cave hidden under the grass

Inside the hidden cave

I kept on going until nightfall; not too much in the way of further excitement.

Another mountain

The sun is going down

Sunset over water

Moon past island with tree

Eventually, the sun rose, and I trudged on.

Morning at the beach

Meadow with pigs

A bit of snow

After a bit of hiking, I ran into a truly amazing cliff with a waterfall pouring down from it.

Tall cliffs with waterfall

The base of the waterfall

I swam up the waterfall; that cliff was really tall, bringing me up to cloud level! I’d never seen the clouds moving right past me before.

The view after swimming up the waterfall

Hullo clouds, hullo sky

Looking across the clouds over the valley

That really is a long way down

Somehow, I made it down without breaking my neck and kept going. The next bit that caught my eye was a canyon with water in the middle; for some reason, I felt like I should be flying a ship in a Star Wars game through it.

Water surrounded by steep walls

The canyon continues

At this point, the sun was setting; I was in a winter region, with very tall trees.

Sunset past snow and tall trees

I was almost ready to go home, but one last cave caught my eye, so I decided to take a closer look. And, when I went down there, it seemed quite deep, and there was iron visible, so I had to hop down and explore/mine.

Cave under the snow and sand

Iron and darkness below

And, unlike the previous caves I’d seen on this expedition, it kept going and going! Here’s an underground river, and another view down a steep drop, with what looks like water below. (And a light source, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see the water…)

An underground river

I think I see water below; but where's the light coming from?

As always when you have unexpected light in a cave, there was lava. (Like I said, this cave was very deep: I went all the way down from the surface to the lava layer.) And there were good mining opportunities to be found: I ended up with 25 iron and some redstone and gold as well.

I see lava way down there

Hello, lava layer!

Lava and water

At which point I was at the bottom of an enormous cave, with no clear idea of how to get up. (The vast majority of my descent had had a generous assist from gravity.) I didn’t even have a mental picture of which way I wanted to go; fortunately, at various points I could look up and see torches that I’d placed. So I took out my pickaxe and started climbing, finding a few more caves along the way.

I guess I'm supposed to head up there somehow?

Wow, I've got a big climb ahead of me

At some point in the ascent, I ran out of torches; I wasn’t worried about coal, but I’ve never been so relieved to open my inventory and see that yes, I do have wood on me. (My pickaxe was running low, too, but I had a spare of that as well, and wood is all I need to construct more of them.) After quite a while, I eventually made it up to the top; and, as I reached the top, I broke through the ice and accidentally flooded the cave! I’m curious what effect the water had on the cave, but not curious enough to have actually gone down and checked…

Looking down into the newly flooded cave

A truly glorious cave; a pity that it’s so far away from home, and that I have very little idea how to get back there! At any rate, I turned around and started trudging home after that. Which didn’t take so long, I made it home the same day, because I knew which direction to go and didn’t stop to take pictures and explore caves.

My house is visible in the mist

I'd never noticed this pool near home before

As I got close (quite close, you can see a sapling from my tree farm), I noticed a cute little pool under the sand; funny how such pleasant surprises can be lurking under your feet!

Once I got home, I smelted the ore that I’d gotten in the cave, and, to prevent subsequent animal incursions into my house, followed Steven’s suggestion and replaced the dirt floors with cobblestone. Though I was sad to see that my chicken had disappeared; I guess the game doesn’t track mobs when you’re far away? A pity, I kind of liked having a pet…

My loot from the cave

Cobblestone patch on the floor

Looking west from my balcony


One response so far

  1. […] had planned to continue my exploring from last week when I played Minecraft this weekend, but it was dark out, so I decided to work on my mine for a […]