Generally our adventures are planned over the course of months but in this instance, we didn’t want to waste another minute.
While discussing our plans in a bar in No Name, Colorado; a town local came over with an unsettling smirk. The man leaned in, but the whiskey from his breath won the race to greet us. After a brief grunt he said,” I heard you fellas were planning an adventure.” Then let out a burp as if he was Rick from “Rick and Morty.” We laughed and replied with complete confidence, “We sure are and this may be the best adventure yet.”
We told him how we had finally found the exact coordinates for the lost city of Atlantis. All we had to do was find ourselves a submarine… and well.. a captain too. After that, we’d be on our way to unsound glories and global recognition.
He looked unamused and frankly disappointed, which we weren’t expecting. Frustrated by his reaction, we began explaining what made this mission so important as if he’d never heard of Atlantis. As we finished our pitch he responded,” Oh I know of Atlantis and I know where it is as well.” In fact, he’d already been there.
Smiling and blinding us with his gold tooth, he suggested “Atlantis is full of treasures that you can procure whenever you choose. However, the spot I’m going to tell you about will only present itself but once this decade.” We bought the man a beer and found ourselves a table. For hours he told us of a city of gold… a city where everything is gold. A city that only comes out when the sun hits a specific spot in the sky. The city of “El Dorado.” The bar was nearing close and we were eager to leave for the city of “El Dorado”, desperate for its treasures.
We drew a map and booked our flights to Colombia. The plan was simple, follow the map, survive the jungle and head home. As we paid our tabs and began walking out, we stopped, turned around and looked at the stranger. Why hasn’t he already gone to acquire the treasures?
“Here’s the catch” he said us, chuckling. “A beast that has claimed many adventurers resides within the jungle to guard the treasures. A beast that has never lost a fight. To me, there is no treasure worth battling for. There are no pictures, videos or drawings of the beast because no one has survived.” Suddenly excitement was drained from our souls. We had many more questions to ask but before we could ask him another question, he asked for another beer. We dashed to the bar before last call and ordered one last round.
Returning to our table, we saw that it was empty except for a note. We shrugged, sat down and read the note. It said, “I can not help you anymore. Follow the mark of the “Shaman” and you’ll have the best chance of survival. Thanks for the drinks”- A fellow adventurer.
One month later, we landed in Bogota, Colombia and began the expedition. We rented a Wrangler and drove for 3 days until the jungle got too dense to continue. We busted out the machetes and began the second part of the journey when we noticed a weird symbol. The same symbol the man at the bar left on the note. The mark of the “Shaman.” We were now confident that we were on the right track. We followed every symbol until we had no other choice but to make camp as night fell.
The next morning we awoke to the brightest sunrise my brother or I had ever set eyes upon. As we wiped our blurry eyes, we gazed upon the one and only, City of Gold. The Great City of El Dorado. With the prize right in front of our eyes, we began our final ascent.
Stepping towards the light we heard a rustling and out of the deep rain forest, a 10 ft long Wampus Cat emerged from the dark. Staring us in the eyes, it let out a ghastly roar and prepared to charge us. Searching for our weapons, we realized that we had left them at camp. The Great Wampus Cat let out another roar.
Nearby, a strawberry plant shook so much that all the strawberries fell to the ground. Having no other choice, we used those strawberries as ammunition to fight off the Great Wampus. The Great Wampus cat began to shelter itself with the strawberries. Looking at each other, confused and trying to understand how this was working, we kept throwing the strawberries. Shortly thereafter, the cat ran off and disappeared into the jungle. It appeared that we had defeated the Great Wampus cat. We returned to Colorado with something more precious than gold……the strawberries we use in our seltzers.
Written by: Warren Wood-The Pathfinder