The world of Red Dead Redemption 2 is one that emanates beauty wherever you look. It is for this reason that simply going for a ride with your horse to unknown places is a lovely experience; it is simplicity personified but at the same time gives us all a sense of freedom and happiness. Every Saturday morning I make it a routine to take a ride from ‘Valentine’ to ‘Owanjila Dam’ at midnight to watch the sun rise over the land as the sky splits in half to symbolise a new day. I felt that it would be nice to document a journey so here we are… settle in, and let’s begin.
We start our journey off in the bustling livestock town of Valentine. I rode towards the inviting saloon and entered through the traditional curved wooden doors. The place was filled with patrons ambling around the room with a piano man playing tunes of energetic rhythm. I walked over to sit down at a nearby table for the midnight hour to draw nearer. If only just to listen to the piano a little while longer. Needless to say, the hours rolled by in-game. With me ready to head, I went to my horse “Snowy” and made sure to feed and brush him before we rode off (always take care of your horses, everyone). Clambering on; I took out a lantern and we started riding.
The lantern illuminated the ensnaring surroundings as we reached the perimeter of Valentine. At this point, another player rode along and shotgunned me. So, you know, regular online occurrences. After respawning I called for Snowy and before proceeding any further I consulted the map to make sure that there was A: no hostile players nearby and B: make sure I set a waypoint to the dam so I don’t end up down south somewhere. With both of those items checked off the imaginary list, we left Valentine behind and ventured onto the next stops.
The ride to Dakota River
The first part of the journey saw us riding through wooded areas, the trees followed us every step of the journey as birds could be heard singing opulent and elegant songs in the sky. After a minute or two, I saw two shadows off in the distance; we trotted at a snail’s pace as they got nearer. It was two players, equidistance apart from one another, then, I saw it; one had a lasso out. Were they going to lasso me off Snowy? Or were they simply going to pass? We picked up the pace to a gallop going past them, luckily they went past too, I avoided any conflict for the time being.
The clouds above were appearing to get darker above us, I patted Snowy and my thoughts were correct. A few seconds later rain started to flood the ground around us, the mud being kicked up onto Snowy’s enduring hoofs. The sounds of the night were transferring through the forest like a wildfire, it seemed as if the wildlife wanted to be noticed tonight.
Snowy and I made our way across the red bridge; taking some shelter from the lashing rain on the outside as we went through. After riding for a few minutes longer we arrived at the ‘Dakota River’. The river winded like a snake by the edges of the towering cliffs behind us. Shimmering water made a pathway for us to trudge across, after a few strong gallops from Snowy we got across.
A gallop to Strawberry
We were on schedule thus far, after reaching the halfway point of our journey having a few hours to spare before the sunrise. Unfortunately, the rain was still pouring, nonetheless, it only added to the atmosphere. There can be beauty in the most mundane aspects of life. We accelerated our speed towards Strawberry; dashing through the woods in an ungraceful flurry of galloping. This speed only hindered our progress after sending Snowy and myself flying over a rock, clattering onto the dank mud beneath us. I worried for Snowy’s welfare—it was quite the crash—as usual, he was okay though. We were very close to the town of Strawberry now, with the lights dancing in the dark from the candlelit buildings before us.
The sign greeted us as we approached with lavender flowers sprouting from the ground all around us. The fragrances of which must’ve been delightful, or perhaps overbearing on my character. Strawberry itself was surprisingly quite busy, people moseyed along the streets chatting to one another while workers rode their carts through the road; leaving a depressed trail of mud behind them.
It was comforting to be surrounded by lively buildings, which had an atmosphere of joy riddled throughout them. I had no need to stock up on any supplies, still having a few carrots and hay to feed Snowy. I took a left turn and then, our journey came to an abrupt halt. A traffic Jam in 1899, a coach and another rider appeared to have been at a stand-off against each other on the bridge.
No movement was to be seen from either, I had to force the situation along if we were to reach the dam on time. I, first of all, made an attempt to charge at the small gap to the left of them; this approach did not work out. My second instinct was to try and nudge them, this seemed to do something. I was getting shouted at by the two civilians but it was working. The single horse was moving a little but the coach was like a 100-ton weight. That was not going anywhere. After a little more nudging we got out of the claustrophobic situation and continued our journey.
The final stretch and Owanjila Dam
We were nearly there, perfectly running on time. We made our treacherous descent towards the dam, a few lively squirrels ran along the trail beside us with rabbits ushering them at the same time. There was a certain ecstatic joy that intertwined with me as we reached the outlook over the dam. The freshwater subterranean lake could be seen to our right with the darkness wrapping itself into the ripples of the water.
We rode down to the dam, the winding trail took us straight to our destination, the rickety wooden planks awaited us as we trotted to the center. I disembarked Snowy, fed him and jumped onto the beam that met the other edge of the dam gate. With the inviting button prompt to sit down, I pressed eagerly as the sky was getting a little lighter, the rain was nowhere to be seen. All we had to do now was wait, my Character was swinging her legs off the beam. Then I saw it, a flare of orange pierced the clouds in two, revealing the gorgeous sunrise.
It was a beautiful morning, the sun caressed the water beneath us and all that could be done was to look in awe as the sky turned an all-familiar blue. Our journey once again comes to a close but it worth the time it had taken to get here. Only to do it all again on the next Saturday.
I hope that you all enjoyed this article, I definitely loved writing it. The nature of Red Dead Redemption 2’s online allows players to do things like this all the time. Whether that be simply to stop on a cliffside and look at the scenery. I spend the majority of my time bounty hunting but I cherish moments like these too where I just go for rides with Snowy and see the local landmarks.
Thank you very much for reading this article and as always, have a lovely day!