It’s been an interesting summer vacation for me.   Having stopped planning Big Fields, nobody wants to read the boring stuff.   But I keep moving onwards with it all, and vacation was interesting.

I am **this close** to 3 million MU captured, which would put me 3/4 of the way to the ultimate Ingress medal, Onyx Illuminator.    Somehow, counting up for a mere million points doesn’t sound that bad.    Got my gold Recon badge – the one you get for doing Operation Portal Recon – and also closing in on platinum Liberator, only 1200  portal captures to go for that.

The charging game is what it’s all about.   Charge, charge, and charge.   I am waiting to hear from anyone who wants to let things decay, but until then I keep everything up that I can manage, in this order :

  1. Strategic Portals – the really important ones even if unlinked.
  2. Things holding up fields – because it’s all about fields.
  3. Unlinked portals – every driveby might make it filled out.

And always field with the minimum amount of links (In the SCV that is).    You never know what your teammates are going to do and you roll with it, but the fewer portals we have to charge the more fun it all is.

I had quite the blast over summer vacation – I visited four different spots.

First we hit Monterey CA; a whole Downtown full of uniques.

Second we visited Auburn, CA.   This suburb of Sacramento features old style downtown areas to hit while you wander with your family; campgrounds being encroached upon by suburban sprawl – I was within walking distance of a brand new Target anchor store in a minimall with a portal, and a church featuring four portals; and the Auburn Mine.

This place was fielded over and the scene of an epic battle.

The locals were nice and over comms told me “Enjoy the mine!”.    We then battled while I wandered the museum.    When it was just my boy and I, I didn’t Ingress much – he asks so many questions as we figure out the mining equipment and his little engineer brain goes into overdrive.   The girls however, they look quick and move on, so I was hacking and firing like crazy with them.

When the battle was over I congratulated the ENL.   I was in the mine grounds for four hours.  They fought hard through all of it.   Still, the battle almost always goes to the attacker and I had captured almost all of the mine; two portals remained green and three uncaptured (they of course wiped out most of my captures the next day).   One guy I fought against lost his onyx Guardian and I got another unique.   I felt a little bad but it was clean playing – I had no idea this was a Guardian spot.

If you get a chance, go see the Empire Mine in Auburn.   It was an unexpected gem.

Our third stop was the Russian River and the town of Guerneville, just outside of “Bear Weekend” when the gay community visits in force.   We stayed in the absolute BEST campground – Cassini Ranch, near the hamlet of Duncan Mills.    If you like camping, stay here – the place also features four portals, while Duncan Mills has maybe a dozen.

Heading to our fourth stop I felt cocky.   No problem, I’ll get my portal hacks for my sojourner.   I got a bad feeling as we exited the freeway, headed along a deserted road with no signal whatsoever.  And I arrived at Lake Nacimiento, the lake with no portals and got nervous.

I planned this one out correctly at least.   We were in a boat all day, and as a concession I got the family to agree to “Let Dad go out and Ingress” when the sun went down.    I had spotted a portal on the intel map which was right outside the lake grounds, and it should be capturable.   I thought.

As the sun went down, the radiation interfered with signal, or something like that.   A 10 minute wait yielded no signal and I gave up, half frantic with the thought of losing my sojourner (It will end in December.   Then I’m free.)    But in between spotty internet connections I had noted some additional portals down the road in a direction we hadn’t been.    I headed in that direction.

Only a mile away is a new subdivision being built, with a minimall outside including a grocery store next to a post office – and a post office portal.    Now I’ll be good.   Right ?

Wrong.   No signal.   Again.    I sat and waited, and after forever passed I was positively panicked.    But I finally did get signal (I shall not reveal how), and captured the portal.    On my way back I hit the previously uncaptured portal – after sundown it was easy signal.    I bought groceries and even came back to the camper a hero.

Things look bad for the Resistance in Burbank.    My local that lived nearby moved away.    Starting Tuesday is the first school day, and I’m taking my kids to Burbank every day.   This means no more hitting the town early, or staying late.    Add to that the lower player count and I am pretty discouraged.   I can only do so much during working hours.   But the SCV stays blue, all the time, which is big.

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