Friday, July 30, 2010

March 26, 2012

11:15 A.M. I was up at 4 this morning, so I whipped up a quick breakfast and got rolling. All was well until 15 minutes ago. The transmission gave up the ghost... It shuddered then died spectacularly in a cloud of smoke. I shut the engine off, hopped out, and stepped right into a pool of transmission fluid. Great...

So I'm making up a pack with some food, water, extra clothes, some tools, ammunition, a good knife, etc. Basically the pack I started off with when I left home, now with the addition of two pens and this journal. The mission is to find a new ride. I'm near a small town, pretty rural, so I've got high hopes that I can at least find a tractor or something non-electronic.

1:30 P.M. Just my luck, the first tractor I found is gas powered, and the gas is bad. There is some gas that seems to be okay stored in the shed here, but I don't think I should waste any time messing with this thing. However, I did score a bicycle. Onward....

3:15 P.M. Things are looking up, I just traded the bicycle in on a John Deere. It's even got a full tank of diesel. Only cost me four rounds of buckshot to dispatch three rather aggressive dogs I encountered along the way. Seems they enjoy chasing bicycles as much as cars. Hopefully they don't like chasing Deere.

5:30 P.M. I think the bicycle might have been faster. The tractor will do 20 MPH, but not without bucking like a bull on this lumpy road. Anyway, I reached a small town, and I'm cruising the streets in search of a suitable replacement for the Blazer. Whether I find something or not, it looks like I'm spending the night here because I can't make it back to the trailer before dark. So I'm also scouting for a camp site...

7:30 P.M. No luck on a vehicle yet, but I did find a pop up camper to spend the night in. I could have picked a house to stay in, but that would give me the heebie-jeebies, staying in someone else's house. Always has. Does now more than ever, knowing the owners of that house are dead. It would probably take a few houses before I found one where those now dead owners aren't still at home... I'll take the camper.

Started a nice fire, and in a minute I'll toss my can of beef stew in the pot to heat up. Meanwhile I'm happily chewing on some venison (I think) jerky that my tractor donor also provided. Along with half a bottle of whiskey. Just a few sips to calm my nerves. Oddly enough, I'm "homesick" for my camper, and a bit out of sorts, having left it behind. I guess it has become my home now, so I miss it. All my stuff is there, and it feels, I don't know, "familiar" I guess. It's like my little rolling oasis. And now I'm rambling, maybe I should have stopped at one sip...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

March 25, 2012

I woke up in the middle of the night, for no apparent reason. Just couldn't sleep. So I grabbed my shotgun and went for a walk. Probably not the best idea, going out in the dark, but I couldn't stand just sitting in that camper. As I walked the streets of the residential neighborhood, I came across a small herd of deer happily grazing in the overgrown yards. They looked up at me, and I stopped. They just eyeballed me for a minute, then went back to their grazing. Once in a while, one would pop it's head up and look at me, but they didn't seem too concerned by my presence. I was captivated for some reason, and I watched them for almost half an hour.

Made my way back to the camper as the first light of dawn broke, and I just finished up my breakfast. Time to go...

11:30 A.M. Stopped for a bite to eat. I'm headed east again, along Interstate 20. The "traffic" of dead vehicles isn't too bad, and I'm able to make some time. I even got up to 50 MPH for 15 minutes or so before I had to slow down and weave my way through another cluster of vehicles. That's a big deal seeing as how I average maybe 30 MPH if I'm lucky. A 200 mile day is something to celebrate. I might break that today if my luck holds out, so I'm going to get moving.

6:15 P.M. So much for my 200 mile day... A jacknifed semi and a jumble of cars took care of that. There was no way around that mess, so I had to back track six miles to the nearest exit. I'm on a two lane that parallels the highway now. Two lanes are great because the "traffic" is less, but when there is something blocking the road, it's harder to get around. Sometimes impossible.

I'm in a gravel driveway this evening, chosen because the ground is pretty wet, and it looks like rain again. The driveway leads back to a fair sized house back in the pine trees. Thought about going through the place for supplies, but I don't really have much room, nor any real need for anything at the moment. That's the only good thing about all this, whatever I need is pretty much just laying around. All I have to do is go pick it up. For now anyways. For years, really. All that canned and freeze dried food is out there, sitting, waiting for me to find it. More ammo than I could ever hope to shoot. My only real concerns are clean water, and in a few months, fuel. Somebody to talk to would be nice....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

March 24, 2012

6:30 AM. The rain is coming down in buckets, thunder and lightning everywhere. No early start today. So I am frying up some Spam (sure do miss bacon...) and cooking up some powdered eggs from my stash. A little bit of canned peppers thrown in the mix and I guess I'll have something resembling an omelette.

Decided to write a bit while things are cooking. It seems to help me keep from going insane, maybe because if nothing else, I expect someone might read my writing some day. It's a little ray of hope to hold on to. And some exercise for the brain. I'm saying the words aloud as I write them, because I just realized I've not spoken a word in weeks. It's so strange, not having anyone to talk to. Hell, I'd just about settle for a good argument now. At least it would be interaction.

The rain is coming down harder now, which makes me worry that I might not be able to get out of here. I can't see the bottom of the hill where I entered this place, could be a lake down there now. The ground was very firm when I parked, but it could be very mushy now. The Blazer is 4 wheel drive, and has good all terrain tires on it, but this trailer will bog it down pretty fast. Breakfast is ready....

7:15 AM. Still pouring down rain, though the thunder and lightening have subsided. I am amazed how quick breakfast went. Doesn't take long to cook, eat, and clean up when it's just one person. Just for something to do, I'm going to try filling the trailer's water tank. The camper has an awning, and I've got a funnel and some hose. I'll put on my poncho and give it a whirl.

8:30 AM. Well the awning/funnel/hose worked out well. I rolled out the awning and let it get rinsed off really good. One side set slightly lower than the other provided a really good flow coming off the corner. Using a couple cable ties, I attached the funnel to the awning strut, and ran the hose from it to the trailer's water tank fill. Didn't take long before the tank overflowed, maybe 10 minutes. I filled my portable water jugs as well, and still had 15 more minutes of good hard rain before it slacked off. It's still raining, but much lighter than before. Yes, there is a lake at the bottom of the hill, but it is draining off quickly now that the rain let up. I'll try to get out of here when the water subsides.

9:30 AM. After some slipping, sliding, good old fashioned mud slinging, winching, and cussing, I made it back to the road. The camper, Blazer, and myself are all filthy, but I'm back on the pavement again...

2:00 PM. Drove through lunch, just snacked on some jerky I had up front with me. I'm near Shreveport, and the increased number of dead vehicles forced me to take a side road. Stopped for "the cause", to refill my canteen from the trailer, and to dump some fuel in the truck. I like this biodiesel, smells like french fries when the engine is running. But I'm a bit worried, seems like the transmission is slipping when it shifts gears. I pulled the dipstick, and the fluid looks okay. The level is good. Hope it's just my imagination.

5 PM. Stopped for the night at a former convenience store. It burned down not too long ago, but after the mudfest this morning, I figured parking on pavement was probably a good idea. Besides, it looks like it might rain again. The sky was mostly overcast today, and I ran through several rain showers.

I snagged a propane bottle off an RV I passed today just to have some extra. I know my cooking doesn't use much, but I don't know how full the bottles are on my trailer. "My trailer", that just struck me as kinda weird. It's not my trailer, I took it. It belonged to someone else, who is no longer alive. I took this truck as well. I've taken basically everything that's kept me alive so far. What an odd feeling, after working for my keep for so long. Feels kind of "dirty" in a way, just taking things that belong to someone else, even though I know that someone is no longer here. Well, the rules have changed now, whether I like it or not. I think I will eat dinner, then scout around a bit to see if I can find some food, supplies, or whatever.

8:00 PM. My scouting trip was worth the effort. Walked into an open garage on a house and found a really nice .22 semi-auto, a Marlin, along with several thousand rounds of .22 long rifle. Also scored several good knives, cases of bottled water, a bunch of freeze dried meals, and canned food. So much that I went back for the Blazer to load it all up. These folks were prepared, but unfortunately nobody could prepare for what happened to us. I said a prayer and thanked these people for the bounty they provided me.

Friday, July 16, 2010

March 23, 2012

12:00 PM. Again, I got up early and got moving. It's been much easier travelling now that I'm away from the city. The smoke is behind me now, and I'm glad for that. No telling what chemicals are in that stuff...

I'm in Louisiana, and I've decided to head north toward Shreveport, then head east along Interstate 20. Don't know where I'm going exactly, I guess I'm just looking, hoping to find people alive somewhere.

Something strange I noticed, strange being a relative term these days, is a lot of dead birds. I don't know if the toxins from the refinery fire are what killed them, or something else. No other wildlife seems to be affected. And certainly not the dogs. They're doing just fine, much to my dismay.

2:45 PM. Stopped at a farm to look for diesel. The farmer had a little biodiesel production setup, and about 100 gallons of fuel made. I've been thinking about this, because I know the fuel sitting in trucks is slowly going bad. Anyway, the farmer had put together a very in depth manual on the process he used, so I put it in the Blazer for future use. I also poured his fuel in my tank, and filled some 5 gallon jugs as well. Too bad his truck had electronics, or I would have taken it as well. A 1 ton 4x4 with a large auxiliary fuel tank in the bed would come in very handy.

4:30 PM. Found a nice spot to camp for the night, fairly open and on top of a small hill. I'm going to feast tonight on canned meat and veggies which I found hidden in the industrious farmer's barn. A good, hot stew will be a welcome treat.

8:30 PM. Belly full of stew, a good stiff drink, and a nice little camp fire make this evening almost pleasant. I'm sitting by the fire in my camp chair, shotgun across my lap, under a clear, star lit sky. It's very dark now, something that has taken some getting used to. Never knew how much the lights from the cities back lit the night sky until they were gone. It's absolutely black on the new moon. Nice in a way, but frightening in many others. I know why settlers built fires on the frontier now, as I watch the glowing eyes moving around in the distance. The dogs won't approach the fire. I will tend it until it dies, then I'm off to sleep.