Obstacles in our Path
After Bonnie shows you to your place on her ranch, another mission opens up at the main house. Bonnie tries to get more information about John’s mysterious past, but Marston remains tightlipped. Mistaking John for a “city boy,” Bonnie challenges John to a race around her property to see just how well he handles himself on a horse.
Follow Bonnie over to the horses, and mount yours. Once you lead the horse over to the starting point, Bonnie gives a countdown to start the race. Races in Red Dead Redemption all work the same way, though sometimes you’ll be riding a single horse, and others will have you riding in a carriage. This tutorial race is fairly simple, and it shouldn’t be too hard for you to beat Bonnie on the first try.
You can tell the race checkpoints from the yellow dots on your mini-map, or by just looking ahead of you on the road. Small fires with pretty visible smoke billows are set up indicating where you should go next. The course around MacFarlane Ranch is full of winding roads, but there are few hairpin turns and sharp corners to worry about.
The trick to this race, and most others, is to hammer the sprint button in any straightaway, and then holding down the button to maintain a decent speed around corners. As long as you stay on the road, your horse will always run a pretty good clip while holding the sprint button down. Keeping track of your stamina meter is important, as the first horse you race with doesn’t exactly have a lot of strength. If you notice it’s about to run out, ease off the sprint. Even if Bonnie passes you at a given point, you can easily catch back up to her once your meter refills.
As the race path leads back to the ranch, you’ll see a checkered flag dot pop up on your mini-map. The finish is just in front of Bonnie’s house, so when you see you’re about to get back onto the property, make sure your stamina meter is charged, and hammer the sprint button until you cross the finish.
After you win, Bonnie tells you to go visit Armadillo to speak with the Marshal. While you can do that if you want, the next mission on MacFarlane Ranch takes you into Armadillo anyway, so you may as well take advantage to clear out two missions back-to-back.
This is Armadillo, USA
Immediately after you finish Obstacles in our Path, another new mission opens up at Bonnie’s house. It appears Miss MacFarlane needs some supplies for the farm, and would like John to accompany her to Armadillo.
There’s a big wagon waiting for you right in front of Bonnie’s house. Get in on the driver’s side, and start riding down the road. A yellow line on your mini-map indicates the fastest possible path to Armadillo, provided you stay on the roads. It’s always possible to cut through the wilderness, but any horse, or horse-driven vehicle, won’t be nearly as fast. The time you would have saved by cutting through is lost almost immediately due to having to wait for your horse’s stamina bar to constantly refill.
To get to Armadillo, just follow the map, and enjoy the conversation between Bonnie and John. Red Dead Redemption features way more than just one wagon mission, but you won’t always be responsible for driving. Any time John is a passenger, you can just skip to the final destination. It makes the game go by quicker, but you also miss out on any dialogue the characters share while on the journey.
Once you arrive in Armadillo, Bonnie tells John to go visit the town doctor while she gathers the supplies. A yellow X appears in front of a building toward the end of the street on the left. Head down there, and go inside the doctor’s office. The doctor is waiting behind the counter. All you have to do is talk to him, and a window will open on the side of the screen showing you what he has for sale. The same is true of general stores, weapon stores, and tailors. Just talk to the man behind the counter to see what new items and equipment you can purchase.
John can only buy medicine right now, so go ahead and do that. After picking up the medicine, return to the wagon in front of the general store to speak with Bonnie. She thanks you for your company, and heads back to MacFarlane Ranch on her own. Now that you’re in Armadillo, it’s time to go speak to that Marshal you’ve heard so much about.