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12:30 P.M. We got moving this morning. Kevin and I got Josey up and about on crutches, which she mastered pretty quickly. After a good breakfast of veal steaks and powdered egg omelettes with canned peppers and dried onions, we helped her into the Scout. It felt good to be moving again.
I took it easy while traveling, so as not to cause her any more pain than she is already dealing with. She did wince a couple times on some hard bumps, but she never complained. At 11:30 I stopped, to give her a break and to make lunch. Kevin the "chef" sliced up more veal from the refrigerator and browned it, along with more peppers and onions, plus some canned veggies. A kind of "survival stir-fry", which was delicious.
We've decided to rest a while, even though Josey claimed she is "just fine" and ready to roll. Bless that woman, she's tough as nails...
5:45 P.M. We didn't cover a lot of ground today, but we did at least make some progress. I stopped at 4 P.M. so that we'd have plenty of time to prepare a good meal, because that's what Josey needs right now. She needs it to heal and regain her strength. Though she puts on a good show, Kevin and I know she's still pretty weak. Which is to be expected, given the horrific ordeal she's gone through.
I changed the dressing on her wound, which is looking pretty good, thank God. The redness is fading, the swelling has gone down, and the oozing has nearly stopped. Soon I'll be able to remove the stitches, and hopefully I'll be able to fashion some sort of peg leg for her. With a little luck, she'll be standing tall again. I hope so.
Kevin got a nice fire going, and we're going to roast a large piece of veal for supper. We stopped at a small roadside restaurant for the night, and found a treasure trove of canned goodies which had not been pillaged when things went to hell. The remoteness of this former roadside greasy spoon kept it intact, for the most part. It was broken into, but not much was taken. Must have been a small group that came across it before they were taken by the disease.
We scored some spices, BBQ sauce, canned beans, peppers, olive oil, salt, and black pepper corns and grinders. The biggest find though was flour, baking soda, and sugar in sealed buckets. We haven't had bread at all since we found each other, but now we have the makings of it. This will be a special treat for us...
10:00 P.M. Our bellies are full. And we even had a little beer from a case I found in the restaurant's store room. The rest I packed into the trailer's storage area, save for three which I put in the 'fridge for later.
Josey is sound asleep after I gave her another round of morphine and antibiotic. Kevin and I are enjoying a couple cigars from the humidor we found in the restaurant owner's office. There's still a nice fire burning, and things are looking up for us right now. There's a delivery truck out back with a fair amount of diesel which we'll utilize to top off our fuel tank before we leave tomorrow.
On fuel: I've been thinking about that a lot lately. Soon most of what we find will have gone bad. What then? I know we can burn cooking oil and such, which should keep much longer, being in sealed containers. And we've found plenty of it in stores that have been stripped of everything else. But I wonder what might happen if we get caught somewhere that's not got a supply of it. As we approach the northeast, there's more stores and such, but there's also more vehicles piled up on the roads. Which makes the going slower, and consumes more fuel. Soon, I think, we'll run into sections of highway that are completely impassible. Totally blocked by derelicts that died when the CME fried their electronic brains. Unfortunately, many drivers coasted to the shoulders when their vehicles died, leaving vast stretches near the cities impassible. Though I've avoided major cities as much as possible, the further north we press the more cities we'll encounter.
I don't know why I'm drawn northward, but it just seems right. Maybe the disease can't proliferate in a colder climate. Maybe there's more survivors up there. I don't know for sure. But I do know that I am driven from deep inside to continue north along the east coast. Straight into the heart of the most dense population. Or former population. Which will make for difficult travel at best. At worst, well I hesitate to think about that.