Friday, August 20, 2010

March 31, 2012

6:00 A.M. It's dead still and quiet this morning. I actually tip-toed outside so as not to break the silence, but the crunch of twigs and pine needles rang out like a siren. It was so serene that I just sat there in my camp chair and took in the nothingness.

Once the light broke through the trees, I picked up my shotgun and went "shopping". Headed to the office first. There I found a 5 gallon water jug, still sealed, so I humped it back to the trailer, then went back for more. Picked up a box of ink pens, a legal pad, and a notebook. This one is only half way filled, but I suppose I'll need another at some point. Writing here helps keep my thoughts in order, and honestly, it keeps me sane. You know, I just realized I've not spoken a word in weeks! I just said "hello" to make sure I can still talk.

Most of the stuff in the office was useless to me, being, well, office supplies... Paper clips and stale coffee are not on the list, so I moved on to the campers. Picked up a nice fire poker, and a "hot dog" spear for cooking over a fire. Got some long matches, and fire starter bricks. A sweet set of rain gear. And the cream of the crop, a .45 semi auto, holster, three loaded magazines, and five boxes of hollowpoint ammo. Much nicer to carry than the shotgun or a rifle, yet still packs a wallop. Time to get on the road...

1:15 P.M. I was making such good time I didn't want to stop, but my stomach got the best of me. Actually got up to 45 MPH! That's the fastest speed of the whole trip so far. Had me some lunch, and topped off the diesel tank from an 18 wheeler. I should be near the Alabama border, and beyond it by this evening. When I hit the coast, I suppose I will head north. No particular reason behind that, other than this truck won't float. Though I could have my choice of boat if I so desired.

4:30 P.M. Stopped early today, because I'd really like to eat something that didn't come from a can. I parked at a roadside picnic area near some woods and a creek, so finding some chow on the hoof should be fairly easy. Of course, I remember the saying about "famous last words"...

6:45 P.M. Success! I brought down a small doe who came to the creek for a drink. Cut her tenderloins and back strap to cook up tonight. Felt bad leaving all that meat, but there's no way I can preserve it all. Not while travelling. The dogs, or other wildlife will have a good feed when they find her. Nature lets nothing go to waste.

9:00 P.M. Sitting here by the fire light, still feeling warm and satisfied all over from such a delectable meal. I couldn't eat it all, so I wrapped the leftovers in plastic wrap for breakfast tomorrow. The refrigerator in the trailer still works on propane, which is great. So long as I can find propane... It doesn't use much, nor does my cooking. Don't use the heater, my sleeping bag is plenty warm. Besides, the heater won't work without the fan, and the fan would run the battery down in a hurry. The truck charges it as I drive each day, but the heater fan just draws too much juice. Something I need to consider come winter. But it's spring now, the weather is moderate (though a lot cooler at night up this way than I'm used to), and I've got plenty of options when the time comes.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

March 30,2012

11:30 A.M. Woke up with a throbbing head. Serves me right I guess for finishing off that bottle. So I just grabbed some cereal bars and got rolling. I'm about 100 miles from the river now, made pretty good time on the side roads. My outlook has improved over yesterday, just a bad day I guess. Not my first, and I'm sure it won't be my last. Anyway, time for a quick bite, then get on the move again.

2:15 P.M. I had to stop. Up in the sky, I see what looks like a jet trail! It's very high up, higher than airliners used to fly. A military aircraft maybe? I don't know. Maybe they had a plane stored somewhere that it would be protected from the CME that fried everything? Or maybe some part of the world was not effected? Or it could be a meteor I guess. Or some space junk reentering the atmosphere. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. I won't know unless I keep going...

6:30 P.M. Found a nice campground to stay at tonight. It's small, and tucked up in the pine trees. Looks like it was a peaceful place to stay once, but it's a bit overgrown now. It will serve.

I don't know why, but I pulled out the awning and broke out a camp chair to sit in while my dinner warms. Maybe I wanted to feel like I'm actually camping out, just for the hell of it. Either way, it's rather pleasant. There's a bit of a breeze blowing through the trees, squirrels are running around all over, and a skunk waddled by, thankfully at a respectable distance. A mischievous looking raccoon is eyeballing me from atop a picnic table across the road. But there's something missing. No chirping and chattering of birds. This place should be loaded with birds, yet I've not heard or seen a single one. It's eerie. Were it not for the other critters out and about, I'd think there was a predator of some sort nearby. Or maybe a major storm approaching. There's no sign of either.

Which sets my mind to wondering... I've heard of "bird flu" before. Could that be what happened? Could some kind of "super bug" have gotten loose when the lights went out? Was it carried by birds and spread to humans? And what makes me immune to it, but nobody else? Surely it's impossible for one single person to be immune. There must be others! There has to be. Somewhere there has to be. Supper's ready...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

March 29, 2012

6:00 A.M. Up early again, breakfast is already done. Something simple, me still being full from last night. Today I cross the bridge into Mississippi, for whatever that's worth. I don't expect to see anything different, really. My attitude is bad this morning, and I'm angry in general. That's how I feel, and there's not much I can do about it. Maybe I could read a "self help" book by Dr. Phil, but right now all I want to do is piss on Dr. Phil's corpse. He's got no clue what I've gone through, and am still going through. I'm going to end this now, because I'm getting too worked up...

11:30 A.M. Crossed the bridge without incident. My bad attitude persists. Don't know why, I just can't shake it. Made it to a little town, and I hoped to find some grub, but the store was wiped clean. It's pissing me off that food was wasted on the dead, or gathered up somewhere by a bunch of self righteous bastards to be passed out in some rationing scheme. Yes, I've got enough for a good long while, but I'm still angry. I'm livid at the tin pot dictators that decided to take it upon themselves to decide who was "worthy" of being fed and who was not. Again, I end this, because this anger is doing me no good.

3:00 P.M. The going has been pretty easy by comparison, but I'm just tired. It's time to stop for a while, and collect myself. Time to decide what I'm really doing, and why. Time to decide if it's worth it...

I honestly don't know. If it's just me, then what the hell is the point? Why bother? If I live another 30 years by myself, what have I proved? What have I gained? Ah dammit, I'm gonna drain that bottle of booze I found and take myself away. I'm just not in the mood to be alone today. It's driving me nuts...

Friday, August 6, 2010

March 28, 2012

12:00 P.M. Got an early start this morning to make up some time. Not that time really matters I guess, but in the back of my mind I'm hoping I might "outrun" the disease and find someone alive out there. The heavily decomposed bodies say otherwise, but I still hold on to that little bit of hope. Hope that I'm not the only one...

The truck is running really well, and has the bonus of dual fuel tanks. I will only run one down at a time, and switch to the other when the empty is filled again. I picked up a barrel pump at the farm where I found this truck, which will make filling up much easier for me. Just tested it out on an 18 wheeler and it worked very well. Both my tanks are full, as are my portable containers. My fuel mileage seems to be a little less than the Blazer, but that's understandable, this being a much bigger, heavier truck. Not that it matters much, there's an 18 wheeler full of diesel every hundred yards it seems along the interstate. One reason why I'm following them.

I stopped at a highway rest area, always a prime refueling spot, there being several big trucks at every one I find. They are also excellent places to find any gear I might need, being filled with vehicles packed for travel. The further east I go, the more vehicles are in the rest stops. More folks were on the road in the eastern time zone when the solar flare hit, and left them stranded. Which makes me wonder if I should have gone west instead...

I've come this far, so I will keep heading east. Doesn't really matter much at this point I suppose. Maybe going west would be a little harder, the population being less dense, so less traffic on the roads. Less fuel and supplies for me. But maybe folks escaped the effects out west? Sure wish I had a radio that worked, that might answer my questions. For now, eastward it is. And lunch time.

3:00 P.M. I reached the Mississippi river. The I-20 bridge is a mess... Don't know why, but the bridges always seem to be jammed up. Looks like I'll need to drop the trailer and put the winch to work.

7:30 P.M. The winch got a real workout. So did the big dozer I found! It's an older model, no electronics. After a few shots of ether I found in the truck that was towing the dozer, it came to life and made short work of clearing a path. Tonight I'll camp here at the base of the bridge and head over tomorrow. It looked like a lot of vehicles lost power going up the bridge, and started rolling back down, crashing into each other. The "downhill" side was the same near the bottom. People panicked I guess, and without power steering or brakes, they didn't know what to do. Somebody in an older vehicle shoved his way through, there are tire marks, traded paint, and crumpled body panels on the bottom half. He just shoved his way between cars and floored it. Lots of door mirrors on the pavement, and pieces of trim. Even a few bumpers. That guy really wanted to get out of there.

I've got fresh pork for dinner tonight! Just as I was parking, a small group of feral hogs came busting out of the brush near the river. I ran to the trailer, grabbed my scoped 30.06, and took a piglet down from 150 yards. No sooner did I drop that pig then a pack of six dogs came right on their heels. Took out the dogs as well as they converged on my kill. I'm writing this as that piglet roasts over a crackling fire. The smell is wonderful! I think a can of baked beans will complement the meal nicely, so I'm off for the beans and a pot.

9:00 P.M. Oohhhh, I ate too much. It was so good I just couldn't stop. But it feels good too, having an overstuffed gut full of fresh meat. It's also nice to sit here next to the fire "digesting". The only thing missing is music. I really miss music. And companionship...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

March 27, 2012

6:00 A.M. It's cereal bars for breakfast this morning, because I need to get going. The John Deere would serve my purposes, but I'd much rather find something a little more "enclosed". The pop up camper was comfortable, though the sound insulation leaves a little to be desired. Every howl, every bark woke me up throughout the night. I slept with my shotgun in my arms...

10:30 A.M. I might have found a candidate. It's an older crew cab 4x4 that looks to be in pretty good shape. Good tires, a winch, and a solid hitch. Time to go to work.

12:30 P.M. After charging up the batteries with the tractor, she fired right up. All the belts and hoses look good, no major leaks anywhere, and a standard transmission. Perfect. So long John Deere, and thanks.

7:00 P.M. Made it back to the trailer. I tried out the winch on the Blazer after I unhitched the camper. Works like a charm. After transferring all my gear into the truck, I hitched up to the camper and pulled it a few miles while watching all the gauges, and everything looks good. Found a cozy little picnic area beside the road and decided to stay here for the night.

On my way back with the "new" truck, I noticed more dead birds. I've also realized that I haven't heard too many singing in the mornings the last week. It just struck me that maybe the birds are carrying the disease that killed everyone. Maybe it's some mutated bird flu. I sure wish I knew. And I wish I knew why it hasn't killed me. Or any other animals. I wish I knew if it will kill me yet...

8:30 P.M. There's a pond behind the picnic area here, and I saw fish jumping. Fresh fish sounded wonderful after eating packaged crap the last couple days. There are a couple rods and reels in the camper, so I decided to make good use of them. Caught two beautiful catfish, cleaned them, and fried 'em up in some cornmeal that was in the camper (along with the oil). Absolutely delicious! Sure wish I had some hush puppies and 'slaw to go with the fish, but no such luck. That's okay, the fish was good enough, along with some canned green beans.

Well I found a new truck, I'm back in my camper, and I've got a belly full of fresh fish. Should sleep really good tonight.