I took "my little deer trail," as Mr. John called it, back to my base, making a mental note to search for an alternate route when the sun came up. Fortunately, I ran into no one either taking the route for themselves of trying to follow me, and I crouched at my normal departure point from the trail and waited, listening more than watching in the darkness, but found nothing unusual in the area. I continued to my fortress.
It was as I'd left it, and I raised my rope and bucket, detached the bucket and hooked my bags onto it and lowered them down carefully, before climbing down after them with the bucket itself. I switched on my light, and started unloading and methodically stashing my supplies.
Finally, I grabbed a portable light, strapped on a air mask and tank, and returned to the tree with my drill in hand. I opened up the top of the trunk to the air, where I could see without being seen, and barely in the distance, through the trees, leaves and shrubbery, I could see the deer trail, and hopefully, if someone tried to, see someone coming down it. The branches spread out perfectly around the opening, so even if I intended on spending an afternoon watching over my fortress, I'd have no need for a platform that might draw attention to my location. My entrance sat right inside the nook in the branches, and my perch right on top of the thick and solid shoulders of the tree. I hoped my other perches would be just as fortunate.
I dropped back into my tunnel and returned to the home base, switched off the lights, and slipped back into my eight-hour sleep schedule.
The sun was up when I woke, though I paid little attention to it. I took my hole to my first sentry-tree and started tunneling toward the base camp, slowly deeper, slowly closer to my cabin. I hadn't yet pulled out the sensor that would allow me to find the hole beneath my cabin, but I had plenty of time. After several shifts and a decent distance was gained, I stopped, pulled out of my tunnels, and went searching for a tree I could trim down for supports. I had no illusions about this one needing to be propped up.