Saturday, June 26, 2010

March 22, 2012

10:45 AM. I got up and got right to it this morning, leaving around 6:30. As I suspected, the highway has been a mess. At one point I had to turn around and back track several miles to find a way around an overpass that was completely jammed.

The side streets aren't much better. More than once I've bulldozed through a fence and gone across someone's yard to get through. At one house I picked up a couple spare tires for the trailer, since I discarded the flat tire from a while ago. It felt strange, just taking the wheels off of someone's camper and leaving it there on blocks.

The smoke is pretty high up, but definitely getting thicker. There is a gray haze around the sun, and everything just looks.... dim. I need to keep moving.

3:00 PM. Very slow going. I stopped to siphon fuel from a furniture truck. Been burning a lot and not getting anywhere fast. Been trying to parallel the interstate as best as I can, mostly because it makes navigation much easier, and because there's plenty of diesel sitting in the 18 wheelers along the road. However, I am debating whether I want to attempt crossing the long bridge over the swamp in Louisiana. Perhaps diverting to the north is a better plan. Yes, I've convinced myself. Northward it is.

9:30 PM. What a long day. Had to drop the trailer and break out the chains to clear some cars off a bridge over the Sabine River. I'm beginning to think a Caterpillar might be a better mode of travel. It would have to be an old one though, I know the newer ones are loaded with electronics. Fried electronics...

I got excited when I was crossing the river because I saw a boat coming downstream. For just a minute, I held out hope there might be someone alive on board. Didn't take too long to realize it was just adrift on the current though.

Today has been exhausting. I'm going to eat a can of something and go to sleep.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

March 21, 2012

I woke up this morning to a horrendous noise. It was still dark, and I half asleep. Looked out the window and saw an enormous pack of dogs, must have been a hundred of them. They were barking, growling, and snarling, apparently fighting over a carcass they'd brought down during the night. That was all well and good, until they discovered me.

I suppose the smell from the grill, which I stupidly left out last night, had attracted them. From there they could smell the food I have here in the camper, and the Blazer. I guess they smell me too. They started scratching on the camper, jumping up to the windows, teeth bared and snarling. I grabbed the nearest gun, my Marlin .22, then I cracked a window open and started shooting. Several dogs went down before the rest ran off. But they didn't run too far.

It seems that their hunting instincts are taking a while to kick back in. Many of the dogs I see are emaciated after several weeks now of being on their own. They've scavenged what they could, but most of the bodies are pretty far gone now. The only good meat left now is in cans, or on the hoof. They can't open cans...

After a few minutes, the dogs returned to consume their former companions. I had no choice but to open fire again, because I really needed to get out of there, and I'd be stuck if I didn't kill those dogs. After going through about 100 rounds of .22, I was finally able to get to the Blazer. There are still some dogs around, but they've retreated to the tree line, or behind/under buildings. Anyways, I can make my escape from here.

10:20 AM. Stopped in the middle of nowhere due to a blowout on the trailer. Got the spare tire on now. I grabbed a can of beef stew from my stash, and I'll eat it as I travel. For some reason I just feel the need to put some distance between me and... Well I don't know what. I just need to move.

4:00 PM. I know the time only because I came across a Wal Mart. My watch died early this afternoon. For some reason I felt lost without it, so I pulled in here, grabbed my shotgun, a flashlight, and went inside. What a wreck. The place had been destroyed by looters. There were bodies in there, but whether they died from the disease or were killed in the mayhem I couldn't tell. I snagged a pack of watch batteries, some flashlight batteries and bulbs, and got the hell out of there. My watch is back on track now and I feel better. For some reason I feel the need to keep time. To keep the date. It's like the guy marooned on an island I guess, they always show them keeping track of the days.

6:30 PM. I've been seeing a huge black cloud creeping over the horizon this afternoon. I am approaching Beaumont, Texas, and I can only assume that it's coming from the refineries near there. I've stopped for the night, because I'm not in line with the plume, which I can imagine isn't too good for one's health. I'll rest up tonight, and try like hell for the Louisiana border tomorrow. It might be interesting getting through the Beaumont area, I can only imagine the wreckage blocking the roads there. It will be the first (formerly) heavily populated area I've had to go through. Tomorrow is likely to be a very long day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

March 20, 2012

I woke this morning to the birds singing. It was almost deafening compared to the new quiet that has taken over the world. No airplanes, no traffic noise, none of the background hum of human activity that I had become accustomed to. Starting the Blazer these days is almost like setting off dynamite.

I filled my water tank and containers from the farmer's well this morning. It was not quite foggy, just that "morning mist" in the air, and it felt really strange. The air was still. All I heard was the birds, and the cows mooing in the distance. The occasional dog bark here and there. It's just too quiet.

The farm house was unlocked, so I decided to go inside to see if there was anything there I might need. Nothing much, really, but I did find an antique radio. The kind with vacuum tubes in it. I got no idea how I might power it up, but I put it in the Blazer just the same. I would really like to hear another human voice...

It's time to move on now, I've got to keep going. Sitting around will drive me insane. I see a diesel tank next to the barn, so I will top off my tank and go.

10:45 AM. Passing a row of houses along this country road, I thought I spotted some movement. I stopped, and looked around. Waiting. Hoping that I had seen someone. Nothing... Must have been my imagination.

12:00 PM. Stopped just shy of a small town to eat lunch. Chef Boyardee. I am getting tired of eating from a can. I would kill for some fresh meat or veggies. Maybe I will. Saw several deer along the road this morning. I know most of it would go to waste if I did kill one, but does it really matter now? Besides, the dogs and coyotes would finish it off I'm sure. Maybe I will shoot one.

1:30 PM. Eureka! I spotted a vegetable garden in a back yard. There was lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, and onions there. Lots. I washed the dirt off and ate three carrots right then and there. The rest I put in a laundry basket that was sitting on the back porch near the clothes line and loaded them in the Blazer. Fresh vegetables for the next few days.

6:30 PM. Decided to stop here in this gas station parking lot for the night. The place was pretty well looted out, but I did score three bags of beef jerky that had fallen behind a shelf (in the commotion, I imagine), and a couple candy bars. Interestingly, the beer cooler was about half full, as was a wine rack. Guess the looters only wanted food. I grabbed a twelve pack of beer and a couple bottles of wine. What the hell, might as well have a little something to take the edge off of me in the evenings. Those are the worst times, the evenings after I eat dinner. The silence and darkness is overwhelming. Many evenings I just sit, holding my rifle. I can hear the dogs, coyotes, and whatnot moving around in the blackness, and it makes me nervous. their footsteps, which might be 50 yards away or more, sound like they're right on top of me. I never realized just how dark the night was with no electric lights. Takes some getting used to.

Anyway, I shot a rabbit that was in the grass next to the gas station. Cleaned him and roasted him. There was charcoal in the gas station, and a grill in the camper. Sauteed up some onions and carrots in olive oil on the propane stove in the camper, and made a salad too. Tossed some olive oil on that as well. Pretty damn good eats after canned stuff for so long. Oh, the camper had a pretty good spice selection in it, and I seasoned that rabbit up good. Delicious! I think I will sleep well tonight after such a good meal.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

March 19, 2012

It was nice to sleep in the little camper, pretty comfortable. Much better than the small back seat in the Blazer, which is now full of food and gear. Even got to take a shower this morning, the 12 volt water pump in the camper still works and the battery has a charge. I'm going to transfer some of the gear out of the Blazer into the trailer before I hitch it up, then scour the campground for any food, fuel, or tools I might need. Right after I cook breakfast. Corned beef hash and powdered eggs, yum...

8:30 AM. I pulled two more 20 pound propane bottles off another trailer. Got excited when I found a short wave radio, but it's fried. So is the CB radio I found in another truck. I knew they would be, but I figured what the hell.

The camper is hitched up, and I'm ready to go. Spent ten minutes fooling with the trailer brake lights before I realized I was wasting my time.

12:15 PM. Stopped for lunch. Made 25 miles. It's a little slower going with the trailer, but the comfort factor makes it a good trade off for now. I will keep my eyes peeled for a good tent or something, just in case I need to ditch the trailer. I've seen nothing but dead cars, a few deer munching on someone's formerly manicured front lawn, the ever present packs of dogs, and a couple horses strolling down the road.

I did have to shoot a dog when I stopped for lunch. Guess the smell attracted him. He didn't attack, but he didn't look too friendly either. Throwing rocks at him didn't prove too much of a deterrent. It's a shame, he was a beautiful German Shepherd. But I can't take any chances. Back to the road now...

3:00 PM. Pulled into a small town. Dead quiet, except for the birds. The little grocery store was stripped bare, I'd imagine pretty quickly when the lights went out a few weeks ago. I did find a feed store, and fought the mice for a sack of corn. Found some seeds too, the few packages the mice and rats hadn't got too yet.

It's a pretty chaotic scene here, cars and trucks overturned, a hay trailer blocking the road... Almost looks like the town folk had barricaded the place for a "last stand". Against who, I don't know. No bodies in the street. Another of the thousands of mysteries I'll come across, and never know the answer to.

5:00 PM. Stopped at a farm house for the night. There's a well here, with a hand pump. A couple cows are out in the pasture grazing away like nothing ever happened. A cat is curled up on the porch rocking chair, almost like it's waiting for the farmer to come home. I'm going to fill up my water tank on the trailer, and whatever containers I might find around here, then call it a day.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

March 18, 2012

Woke up early this morning, right at sun-up. You'd never know anything had happened. The birds were singing, squirrels running this way and that. I gathered up all the canned food and loaded it into the Blazer. Should be a month's worth at least if I don't pig out. Also found two cases of bottled water, a 12 pack of iced tea in cans, and glory be, a bottle of George Dickel! Bless you Uncle.

I rummaged around in the shed and found a 5 gallon fuel jug, which I also tossed in the Blazer, a tool kit, a machete, bow saw and extra blade, an ax, charcoal lighter fluid, ten boxes of strike anywhere matches, a Coleman stove, and three bottles of propane for it. So I tossed a pot, frying pan, and some utensils in with the rest of the stuff.

I hate to leave here, but I can't stay. If my Uncle was alive, he'd be here. He's not. No point in staying then.

The question is: where to go? I think I will try to find the power plant. There are some high lines at the north end of the lake, I know because we went fishing there. I also know that I can take the back roads there, they should be pretty clear.

10:30 AM. Two hours, and 4 downed tree limbs later, I've found the high lines. Now which way? I've got a 50/50 chance....

12:00 PM. Stopped for lunch, cold soup in a can. Following the high lines has been tricky, but I've managed to keep them in sight most of the time. I hope I'm going the right way....

2:45 PM. I've come to a junction in the high lines. There's a substation. The high lines continue on, and another set taps off from the east, then dog-legs to the south east. This may be what I'm looking for.

4:30 PM. I found the power plant. It doesn't appear to be running, though it was not too long ago I suppose, though I don't know how. There's still steam coming out here and there. It is awfully quiet. I hooked the chain to the gate and the Blazer and pulled it down and out of the way. Inside the plant grounds, I found the body of one operator. Or what's left of it.

Surprisingly, I've seen several bodies of soldiers here as well, along with military vehicles. Whether they were National Guard, or regular Army I don't know. There is what appears to have been an officer in the control room, along with two more dead plant operators, and someone who might have been a manager or supervisor. Very strange... But now I see how the plant was still running, it's old. No electronic control systems. All mechanical dials, and pneumatic controls. I'm amazed it stayed running on it's own for as long as it did without any human input. It's a testament to dedicated maintenance and tuning I guess...

As a side note, I'm becoming numb to seeing the bodies. At first they made me sick to my stomach. I threw up several times last week. They don't seem to bother me now, and that worries me a bit.

Now what? Where to go. I can go any direction, but I haven't a clue as to which way I should go. What I do know is that I'm going to gather up the rifles and side arms from those soldiers, and whatever ammunition they have. I've got 500 rounds for the SKS, and about the same for my shotgun, but I think I'd better get what I can, when I can.

6:20 PM. I decided to head east. No particular reason. Found a small country store, and helped myself to the few cans of food that were left inside. Said a small prayer of thanks for the clerk who had died behind the counter. I'm sad to say that she hadn't died of the disease like the rest, she had been shot in the head. May she rest in peace....

7:15 PM. Pulled into a small campground for the night. There's a nice camper here, small and light, fairly new. What the hell, I might as well take it with me. Nobody is inside. Time for dinner and bed.

March 17, 2012

St. Patty's Day. Sure wouldn't mind a green beer right about now. Slept well in the Blazer with the windows cracked open. Heard dogs roaming around several times in the night, sometimes fighting over..... I don't want to think about what they were probably fighting over.

I've got a pot of water on my mini alcohol stove from the bug out bag, and soon some Ramen noodles will be my breakfast. I ate the last cereal bar yesterday. Sure hope I come across some canned food today if I don't make it to the cabin.

Still no sign of anyone alive. Just the occasional dog, cat, and lots of turkey buzzards. Lots of turkey buzzards...

12:30 PM. I made pretty good time, covered 15 miles since I left at 8:00 this morning. One five mile stretch of road was so choked with cars and semis, I had to run in the bar ditch in 4 wheel drive. Stopped now to siphon some diesel off an 18 wheeler, and grab a quick bite. On a whim I checked out the cab of the 18 wheeler, and boy am I glad! I found 3 cans of soup, and 2 cans of baked beans. There was lunch meat and stuff in the little 'fridge in the sleeper, but it all spoiled weeks ago. Rancid... Anyways, I'm eating a can of beans.

2:30 PM. Had to go off roading again, this time through a pasture, because there was quite a pile-up on the road that had spilled out to the ditches. Just my luck, I found a piece of metal in my right front tire. After spending an hour looking for something to put under the jack to keep it from sinking into the soft dirt, I found an old board. Spare tire is on now. Ten miles to go...

6:00 PM. I made it. Unfortunately, no one is here. No one is anywhere...

There must have been a hell of a storm here yesterday, lots of fallen trees and power lines. Several times I had to break out the chain that was in the Blazer and pull fallen trees or branches off the road. Amazingly, one of the downed power lines was still hot, and sparking all over the road, so I had to detour around it. I guess those power plants are automated enough to keep running for a while. Or maybe there is someone still alive? That thought is what I will have to run with. I can't be the only one.

The cabin is still intact. There's no power, but my uncle has lanterns, fuel, candles, etc. He also stocked the cupboards pretty well. Guess this place was too remote for the police to come confiscate his food. Or maybe that didn't happen here, I don't know. I may never know.

What I do know is there's a half dozen other cabins on this back road, and they're all empty. Not a soul around. There is a truck in front of one about a half mile down, but I cringe at what I'll find there. Let's just say there's no signs of life and leave it at that.

Tonight I am thankful, because I've got food, warm shelter, and a comfortable bed. In the morning, I will load everything up in the Blazer and set out in search of life. There must be someone else out there.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Something New

I got this blog just sittin' here... I only created it because my link list was getting too unwieldy, so I moved all the prepper network sites over here. Anyways, I had me an idea...

Being the creative bugger that I am, another story idea came to me. So I figgered, why not put it here! Might as well, since the blog is already here. It's gonna be.... Well, you'll find out when I do! Ha ha! Anyways, unlike my Captain Jack story, I've got a title for this: One.

March 16, 2012

It's been three weeks since I've seen another person. Alive, that is. What I have seen is bodies. More than I care to think about right now. They're everywhere...

This morning I got lucky and found an old Chevy Blazer that actually started! It's one of those military surplus vehicles somebody bought for... well maybe for this. It's a rattle trap, and smokes like crazy, but it beats the hell out of walking. And it may have saved my life. Even though there's no people (as far as I know), there are plenty of animals. It seems they were immune to whatever it was that that swept this town. The county. And I think the whole state.

So I started this journal to document... whatever the hell has happened. Just in case I don't make it either. Maybe someone will find this journal, and they'll know what happened. Or they'll know what I saw anyways, because I'm still not sure what happened.

What I do know is that six weeks ago there was a massive coronal mass ejection from the sun. Everything went dead. No electricity, no cars, no phones, no radio... The first day there was confusion, panic, looting (of course). But nothing real bad. That came toward the end of the first week, when the food ran out. Local officials had the grocery stores and the corner stores blocaded and guarded, and all the non-perishables moved to a warehouse. Stuff that would spoil was loaded into coolers, packed in ice, and distributed to people kind of like we heard about the old Soviet Union. You know, stand in line for a few slices of bread.

After the first week, people began accusing others of "hoarding" food in their pantries, and the police started searching homes for canned food, bottled water, and other items folks might have "too much" of. The warehouse quickly emptied that first week, and the perishables were pretty much gone in the first three days, so I guess the mayor and police chief decided to search homes and "redistribute" any "hoarded" items to avoid panic.

We never did see the National Guard, or FEMA, or any of those people who are supposed to respond to emergencies. I guess transportation was an issue for them as well.

The really bad stuff started happening in the second week. People started getting sick. Really sick. The doctors said it was because of the lack of sanitation, as in no sewer system, and no water treatment. But when they started dieing too, that's when I began to think there was something more going on than "lack of sanitation".

People got very high fevers. They went into convulsions. They threw up blood. Their bodies were covered in sores. Three days after they showed the first symptoms, they were dead. The doctors and nurses died too. Hell, everyone died!

Me, I stayed holed up at my place. It was on the outside of town, I had a well and septic system. And I was a "prepper". One of those people who "hoarded" food, water, etc. My wife and I.... Jenny. She's gone now. She died the same horrible death as everyone else. Why the hell was I spared?! Oh God....

They came and took our stores, and wanted to arrest us for "failing to render aid". That was bull crap, because Jenny and I were doing everything we could to help our neighbors out. But the cops, and their new "deputies", they took everything. Even squash that had barely begun to grow in our garden. They asked if I had any weapons. All I had visible was my Grandpa's Winchester, and they took it too. The rest of my guns and ammunition were stashed under the floor in the shed, and I thank God for that.

They didn't arrest me, mostly because the jail was already full of looters. The next day Jenny fell ill, and she told me to go. She begged me to go. I refused. Two days later she died in my arms.

Hungry and grief stricken, I packed up what supplies I could carry, grabbed my bug out bag (which the thieves from the city had not taken) and headed out to the north, toward my uncle's place on the lake, about 60 miles away.

I am half way there now, after four days on foot. The going has been really tough. Roads are heaped with wrecked and dead vehicles, packs of now wild dogs are everywhere... Twice I was attacked by packs of four or five dogs, desperately hungry for something fresh, I'm sure. I killed them with my SKS rifle. So glad I bought that semi automatic, if I had a bolt action I'd be dead.

Anyways, I'm low on food and water, and only half way to my destination. So you can see why finding the Blazer is a Godsend. I've stopped for the night, and for the first time in four days I can sleep securely here in the Blazer. I couldn't sleep in someone's house. Mostly because I'd have to drag the bodies out first. But even then, I just couldn't sleep there.

Hopefully tomorrow will find me at my Uncle's cabin at the lake. Hopefully tomorrow will find him there as well.....