I just found something amazing. I am in a mesa, and just found a minshaft that is partially on the surface. I decided to go inside and see what goodies are in there. The mineshaft was not very large, but it had a lot of gold ore so that was worth the stop.
I found a horse and trained him, but that did not last long as we ran out of land again. After crossing a small lake I found some more wolves and they gladly accepted the bones I have been carrying for that purpose. I now have 4 dogs including Fred. After getting the dogs I climbed a hill and found another village. One of my new dogs decided to jump in the lava that the blacksmith had. So now I have 3 dogs, Fred seems to be the most loyal and intelligent of the group.
Found another sea, and only room for one dog in the boat so Fred is going with me, the others are going back to the wild.
I hope I am in the right forest I am not positive but this is a roofed forest. Yes it was the right forest. I found the mansion just as darkness arrived. I have heard the stories about these places, so I think I will wait till tomorrow to go in.