Day 320 “Trapped in a box”

 

 I slept like the dead. After days of running and hiding I almost didn’t want to wake up. This year I have lost so much.  It would have been fitting to have ended my journey here. Inside a tomb next to Beth. Being inside this tomb is giving me these dark thoughts. We are going to only stay here for a few days. Then start the trip to 50/50 rock.  Hopefully that others will meet us there. I wonder is taking them so long?

 

I thought I heard a vehicle heading our way while outside today. I could have been my mind just giving me what I want. Like people that are traveling the desert and see water off in the horizon. Only to find an ocean of sand. Beth said she heard it to. Both of us waited outside of the maslouem for as long as we could for them. You never know if something was following them and we had only a small window to load in and take off. Once it got dark we went back inside.  (more…)

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Day 319 “Dance with the dead”

 

The journey to the mausoleum was long, dirty and exhausting. Beth and I managed to make it here early in the morning. It stood in tact, but empty. The SUV is not here yet. Which means that either we are late or the others are still on their way. Either way we are staying here for a bit.  We would have heard gunfire or at least the SUV driving, but so far nothing. Which means that they might still be stuck inside the shelter. With the amount of monsters chasing us in the forest I doubt that is the case. I hope they didn’t just keep driving past this place.

 

 To get inside the mausoleum first you have to enter the graveyard. A walled off area  with two large iron gates to the east and west. The forest is trying its best to reclaims this ares, but so far failed.  Nothing grows on the inside of the gates. The grounds sit as empty as the tomb. The maslouem has no visible doors to on the outside inside. To get inside you have to enter a secret code, by pressing three colored bricks then pull one of the gargoyles tail. The weather had worn off most of the paint on the bricks. Making it  difficult to get inside. I cut numbers into them to make it easier to work the hidden door. Let’s be honest anyone hiding out here most likely knows what they are looking for. When I see Dad again going to let him know about the changes I made.

 

Fremont and Dad made this hidden entrance. They said it was to help secure  this spot better, but I know they did it for the fun of it. I mean a big door with a lock would work just as well. I do agree with Dad it is a lot cooler the way he did it. Is it strange to be resting in a tomb? Though with never having any bodies laid to rest here is it really a grave? Hopefully it will not find permanent residence with us.

 

Once inside the air was cool and musky. The layout on the inside is bigger than you would expect. There are two rooms. A living room and sleeping area. The sleeping area has a small but functional bathroom. No hot water though. Making for a cold shower. There is minimal power inside this place from the photovoltaic roof tiles. Enough to power a hot plate, radio beacon and lights on the inside. Nothing to advance just sends a check in signal. It can send out a distress signal, but no voice chat. At least here the water is clean and  food will be hot. Also a bed well a coot with a pillow. After so many nights without sleep it is time to rack out for a bit.

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Day 318 “Myth of the Mausoleum”

Beth and I are taking a break from walking all night. You will not believe the things we saw out here! In the early morning one of those borrowing beasts ate a Charred whole. In one bite like it was nothing. Some much for honor among monsters. Which I am thankful the Charred helped us find that before it could eat us. That was on the path we where going. This was the first time Beth had seen one of those. She was understandably shaken by it. Beth turned sheet white when I told her what one of those things did to Lily. They are a lot bigger now than it was almost a year ago. Guess it has been eating good out here.

It is taking a lot longer to get  to the mausoleum with all these monsters around. I don’t think we are being followed right now. Still I am taking us on a more zig zag pattern in case we are. We don’t have much in terms of weapons so best not lead them to our hideout. Beth was carrying the long rifle in her pack that floated downstream. I gave her my shotgun, but that is only good for closer range. Though it will not be useful if something jumps up out from beneath us and swallows us whole. Nothing we can  do about that. I hope that does not happen again. Remembering Lily being dragged below by one of those still haunts my dreams.

The others will hopefully be at the mausoleum still when we get there. Beth and . I are going to need the sleep after these last few days .I guess now is a good time to talk about what the mausoleum. A long time ago there were few miners in these parts. Remember all those mines in Daikon well there are a few out in the forest. One of these mines belong to a whole family of miners. They would work the land and dig in the mines and made a decent living. Now back in the day there was no real cemeteries out here, so the family built a tomb.

The wife wanted to be buried close to home when she passed, but didn’t like the idea of worms eating her corpse. Her husband  who was modestly wealthy had an above ground cemetery built which is a mausoleum. Now mining is not the safest of ventures and neither is farming back in those days. Thankfully the husband and wife made it to a fine old age. Though as you get older it is normal for your body to start breaking down. After a heated debate one night between the two it was decided that the whole family would pack up, sell the land and move closer to the city for medical reason. This is where things get interesting.

The husband sold the land to a developer who planned on making the mine more industrial. Hire bigger teams to work the land and mines to turn a bigger profit. Once all the paper was signed the family moved out and he in. Now the investor was itchy to start getting to work on his mine and decide to stay on the land while getting everything in order. He was not the most adept at mining or farming, but one day decided to try his hand at it. Thinking how hard could it be if some backcountry forest people could do it. He went deeper into the mine than he should have. Working long into the night. Not knowing that he was in one of the more dangerous parts of the mine and triggered cave him. His body was never found.

You see when the investor put this deal together he did it behind his partner backs. The investor never married, had no children and was disliked by most of his family. The land and mine sat vacant for a long time until one day Fremont and Dad found it. They were hiking out here for a way to make it back to Daikon from our house on foot. Fremont found the investors journal inside the worn down house. He bought the land and then fixed up the empty mausoleum. To be used as a resting stop for the trail back to Daikon. Dad was the one that told me this story. I think he is lying, but still a cool story if true. When I ask Mom about it she says we all are to young for the real one. I miss my family so much. Only a few more days until we make it back to them. My legs have stopped their aching time to start walking again.

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Day 316 “Withered in the woodlands”

Beth and I have to leave the treehouse today to make it to the mausoleum in time. Also we have to leave due to half our rations floating downstream.  Now if we cut our remaining food in half it should last us. Hunting will be out as we are being hunted ourselves. Plus it is hard to field dress and cook something when on the run. There is no doubt that monsters are out here looking for a human to snack on. Water will also be an issue again no fire to boil it which is bad. Food we could go without, but water is important to keep you going.

People think that nothing happens until you hit that three day no water point then boom your dead. Dehydration sucks to put it lightly. First is the headache that gets more intense the longer without water you go. Then you start to get dizzy/confused. Muscle cramps making walking hard or do anything. These symptoms vary from person to person, but it always ends the same death. None of these I want to experience. Now there is water out here  if you know how to find it. Lucky for us I do.

Let’s break down a few options for water out here. Most of the snow that still is on the ground is a no go without boiling. It is covered in ash and other things. There are some small streams along the way that should work. Just have to find them and I know where two are. Once we find water we have to make it safe to drink. In my pack I have a small vial of iodine and water purification tablets. When using tablets make sure they can kill Cryptosporidium. Also  wait at least 4 hours per liter to drink. A safe way to make sure you are avoiding a night of “big water”. I also have one life straw which is a portable water filter. Going to save that for when we can stop and drink without worry. With the water tablets can fill up our cantins and keep moving. Now onward for the plan tonight.

Tonight the plan is simple we keep moving while taking short rest. If we push ourselves too hard while traveling we could get hurt and there is no help. We will be leaving at night, so also have to travel slow. I have the walk from the treehouse to the mausoleum at least a dozen times. A few of them as the navigator. Even though I know the path there overconfidence can lead you down some bad paths. Slow and steady is the name of this game. I really don’t want to miss our ride back, but a twisted ankle in the middle of the woods surrounded by man eaters is worse. Plus Beth has never taken this route, so I have to factor that in to.  I know we can do this and don’t have a choice. Into the woods we go.

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Day 312 “door to nothingness”

 

If Lt. Gale didn’t have shelter shock before she does now. Everyone is starting to show the signs. The monsters are still  outside the shelter door. Testing for ways inside. Racking nails, teeth and claws against the door. Like nails on a chalkboard. It is only a matter of time until they get in at this rate. There is a second way out of the shelter a hidden passage. Leading to a hatch that will take us a little ways again from the front door. I doubt that more than 2 people can make it out this hatch without getting noticed though.

 

I am going to be honest with myself for once here.  If Colonel Rives is still recovering from a broken leg. It takes up to 3 months to fully heal from that. Even minor breaks take a long time with leg bones. Unless we can make it to the SUV going unnoticed he will not make it on foot to Daikon. I have seen the Charred run faster than even a healthy person can run.  Then add on top of that the only two people that know the area we are traveling is Lily and I. Which further reduces his odds if separated from us. He is a smart man and I can tell he knows this.  (more…)

Day 310 “The Zombies are coming”

 

Today is the final day outside before we leave for home. Colonel Rives is making great progress on walking and Ronin has fully cleared for duty. In two weeks we will be making our way back home. The SUV still needs some work and made ready to travel. Which means a lot of grunt work. Like rotate the tires, change the oil and clean out the filters if they even can be cleaned.  Lily and Beth are working on getting the packs for each ready. Ronin and Will were on guard detail. While we tasked away. It was Will that sounded the alarm to hide. The ghouls have made it to our home.

 

We gathered  to watch them march down the road. At first it was just a few of them. Then a small army of  just marching down the road. To fire a gun would be a death sentence for us. There were more of them than we had bullets.  We took shelter inside the garage while the ghouls passed. I had finished working on the SUV, so we hid in there ready to drive out of there if we needed to. Thinking back, we should have just ran back into the shelter. I was sitting in the driver’s seat and could just make out the endless tide of monsters. They were heading somewhere, but the road they are marching on ends in a few miles. Something must have been calling for them. (more…)

Day 302 “Family to the end”

 

My whole body hurts from all that work yesterday.  I think everyone felt that way. If we needed to leave for Daikon today I am sure none of us would make it. Another storm has came in while we slept and is still going. Meaning more bike time if we want to talk to Daikon. I guess I can be sore after we talked to everyone back home. (more…)

Day 301 “I was so wrong”

 

I got you with that title I bet. The honey was just fine. It was difficult to get the lid off though. Almost had to smash it open. I did not want it to come to that. That would have been so messy and Lily would have made me clean the whole shelter. From top to button just like Mom would have. Lt. Gale was upset with me and told me that I will be the test subject. If in a few day if am okay she will clear it safe to eat. Which means more honey for me. Which I might have made a mistake on eating it. (more…)

Day 300 “Wasteland Looting”

 

Ronin seems to be fully recovered, but Colonel Rives needs more time. Lt. Gale has taken to staying outside longer and longer each day. It is better than waking up one morning and have her missing. She has been reporting something walking around in the forest line. Nothing we can do about it until whatever it is comes out. It could just be wildlife, but you never know. The last thing we want to do is alert everything that we are here. Nothing says that like gun fire. A bullet from a rifle can be heard almost 3 miles away. Still it would be nice to get all the monsters taken care of before he start to head out. (more…)

Day 290 “Only static”

Still nothing over the radio and it is starting to get to all of us. If we can not get in touch will Daikon the trip back to camp will be so much more difficult. It would be great to have the support or at least a meet up point with a team. Maybe some of the military personnel from Canson have made it to camp by now. To let them know where we are. To think I could have been back with the rest of my family by now if I joined that team. Was coming back to our old shelter a mistake? Ronin would not have made the walk back. That is for sure. Someone would have carried Colonel Rives back on a stretcher. Also guided Will until his eyes opened back up. Maybe it was wrong to come back here. My head keeps telling me it was wrong to come back, but my gut says it was the right call.

During our sewing time I brought it up to the group. Was it wrong for us to come back here. I felt guilty almost instantly once Ronin spoke up. He said that if it had not been for him we could all be back in Daikon. You could see it in everyone’s faces that he was not wrong about it. Colonel Rives took a break from working on the radio to chime in. He said that there was no way of knowing what was on the road back to Daikon. That transporting the injured to a save location while the others made there way back to camp was a better option. The way Canson looked after the last cascade event this was the closest safest place to be. Then he used all those year of command knowledge to put my mind to ease. (more…)