All posts by ExHiker

Extract A Tooth In A Survival Situation

We all know that tooth pain is one of the most intense pains you can face. What if someone in your group or family gets a tooth broken or needs to be extracted for whatever reason? If a broken tooth becomes infected it could be deadly. Anyone have experience in dental work who could explain the do’s and dont’s of home tooth extraction?

As far as a natural pain killer for this….at the bottom of the leaves of the cattail plant is a sticky substance which is a powerful anesthetic and will numb your mouth almost comparable to novocaine….(almost). I know that certain teeth have to be pulled in certain ways in order to prevent jaw breakage or fracture. Anyone?

The Long Walk Home Part II

Some targets are just too easy and safe to hit. We decided on one more piece of sabatoge before we left the area, rail lines. Using the spike pullers we had requisitioned from
the railyard we pulled a few dozen spikes from several different locations. We would never know the damage we had caused, but we were sure it would be a headache and drain of
manpower to have to constantly check tracks.

Camping near a small pond let the horses feed and drink, us to defunk ourselves and smell somewhat human again. The smell of that fuel still hung heavy on us.
The grub packed by our hosts beat those buckets hands down. Homemade bread, a can of that bbq’d hog, home canned corn. This was almost like a long camping trip,except for the rifles on our shoulders, and soldiers on our tail. Guard shifts were short three hours.
As the sun rose Allen rousted all.
“Let’s git movin, lotta ground to cover, and breakfast is ready” he announced.
Breakfast, interesting description, bisquits, coffee, and bbq’d hog. Well considering that the army was confiscating supplies it was probably better than a lot were eating.

Around noon we saw helicopters cruising over a wide area.
“Must be looking for other troublemakers” I said.
“Yea, bad hunting” Allen chimed in.
About that time one of the helicopters exploded in a ball of flame.
“Somebody has some serious firepower” Allen proclaimed.
“Yea, and more attention than I want to draw, let’s move” I replied.
Well at least we knew we wern’t the only ones in the area causing trouble, there was by their weaponry some organized resistance.

After watering the animals in a small creek we broke march for the day. Jeremy went out to do his usual look around, Allen and I readied camp and a meal.
Dinner had been ready for an hour when Jeremy came back.
“We got company” he announced.
“Govt. troops” I asked.
“I don’t think so” he replied, “they are speaking English, and have a lot of mismatched gear”
“they were talking about where to move next” he added “I think the’re ours”
“Well, we need to make sure” I suggested “How close can we get, unseen” I asked.
“I can pick thier pockets, you can probably git within 30 yards” Jeremy grinned.
“Well lets go take a look see” Allen said.

We rope lined the animals and headed out with Jeremy in the lead. Sure enough a little over a half mile away there they were. Their light and fire disipline was good.
Guards were out, it looked like a profesional orginization. Should we make contact? How should we make contact? Curiosity and the need to know what was happening got the better of us.

Jeremy slithered up and took one of their guards by surprise.
“Quiet” he commanded “If’n I wanted you dead you would already be”
By the time we moved up to meet him he already had answers. They were a national guard outfit, engineers, on the run like us. Leaving Allen to take the guards place.

Jeremy and I walked him into a surprised camp of about twenty soldiers. All nervously pointing weapons at us.
“Who is in command here” I asked.
A half uniformed seargent came walking up “I am, SSG Mahoney” he replied “who the hell are you”
“Jeremy Giddens, 1st Louisiana Cavalry” was the reply. “Heard ya from tha woods,and smelled ya from tha creek, figgered we’d come say hello”
That response drew a smile from the haggard looking sarge, “would offer ya a cup but got no coffee, and running a cold camp tonight”
“Good idea” I offered “saw a lot of choppers in the area”
“If’n you’ll make a small fire” Jeremy quipped, “there is coffee all around ya” As he proceeded to tell them about holly coffee and his favorite, pine needle tea.

As we talked a bit we found out a lot. That chopper had been brought down by another renegade outfit from the national guard. It seems that when the foreign troops arrived a lot of the American troops that didn’t have families they could threaten headed for the hills with whatever they could carry, pack, steal, there was a lot of men and firepower out there.
The remaining troops that had to stay were not for the most part enthusiastically following orders. Most had been assigned to base duties, many without weapons because of all the thefts and security leaks.
Sure there were more than a few that cooperated, some overly enthusiastically. But most of the old line veterans were a drain on the occupiers. When he spoke of all the acts of sabotage that had been performed our little rail strike was mentioned. Seems that seven fuel tanks
had burned, it warped some tracks, burned six railcars, the terminal was out of commission as far as he knew. We beamed inside and kept our mouths shut.

“Where are y’all headed” he asked.
“Unfinished buisness near Wakefield” Allen piped up.
“Don’t know anything about up there” he said “this is as far north as we have come, were based in Hammond”. He said there was not any real command structure, it was more like an angry ant colony spreading out and hitting everywhere.
We said our goodbyes, wished each other good luck and good hunting, then went on our way back to camp.

It was sure a relief to find others out here, at least we wern’t alone, or the only ones they were looking for. Double edged sword that was, more gurellias, more strikes, mean more sweeps. Well Hell, at least America was fighting back, a gun behind every blade of grass I thought as I smiled.
On the way back Jeremy checked the snares and traps he had set on patrol, one Opossum, one rabbit. There would be meat in the meal, and we could save our packed supplies. Would it be Rabsum, or Oposbit stew, didn’t matter, with some wild garlic and onion, Biscuits, and coffee (real coffee) it hit the spot. The late meal made it a short night, we got a before dawn start.
We wanted to be sure we got moving and out before that guard unit stirred for the day. The terrain was broken woods so there was enough cover for easy movement. We saw some smoke rising to the east quite a ways off. Wondered who the target was us or preferably them. Another days ride behind us, we should start to see the familiar terrain of our home turf tomorrow.

It seems it’s been so long that …… how long have we been gone? Over two weeks? Seems like a lot longer, a long long time ago that life made any sense.

“Ah, a bean and bisquit breakfast, musical accompniment for the ride home” Allen laughed.
“Yer ridin in back then” Jeremy exclaimed “and don’t frighten tha mules”

Everything was strangely quiet, not a lot of even birds could be heard as we rode toward Wakefield. The terrain finially began to look familiar, we were getting close enough to home to smell it. And it didn’t smell good. The Marston farm was the first we saw, a blackened hulk, decomposed cattle, carrion, and the smell of decay and, death.

Skirting around the remains of the farm binoculars told the story from the our wooded cover. Broken front gate, holes ripped in the fences, track marks from vehicles in the yard and a crushed toyota in the driveway. I only hoped that unlike the Wards’ they had managed to get out in time. Another few miles and we would be in Wakefield. Coming up the backside of the wooded hills east of town we crept up to the edge of the woodline for a look. Burned and gutted buildings, the national guard armory was completely destroyed. The fight Sammy told us about was indeed a hard fought one. Burned out cars were everywhere, along with three APCs.
“It looks like they put up one hell of a fight” I remarked.
The town though seemed deserted. Either there was noone left, or they were all in hiding.

Despair mixed with anger and hatred, this was our community. Destroyed, ransacked by foreign mercinaries, my blood boiled as I thought only of spilling thiers. O.K. so if they left where did they go?
South I bet, back towards the interstate, or to the bridge over the Mississippi. Well if that’s where they went, then that is where they will die.

“Look” Allen shouted “Movement in the elementery school”
There in the back something had been momentarily visible. There did not seem to be any military vehicles present, no patrols. Maybe civilians, our neighbors?
Mounting up we rode around town to the north of the school. There in the yard were four children, and three weomen. Riding out of cover we approached, they ran into the building
As we approached there was also other movement, two rifle barrels poked out of buildings towards us. As we drew near we were recognized. Out came an old friend and H.S. flame, Ann and her younger sister Mae,

“and just where have you been” she querried.
“How many are still here” I asked.
“Only fourty six, the rest were either killed, or taken away in trucks” she replied. “We took the children and hid in the woods for three days. It was horrible”
They shooting everyone, some of the men managed to get to the armory and put up a fight. After they killed everyone that resisted they looted the town, and then loaded everyone up on trucks and left”
“How did you survive” I asked
“We scavanged all we could, we had the fruit trees in the park, and found four of cows, have three left and five horses.” she explained.
“We have twelve adults, teenagers and thirty-four children, can you help us” she pleaded.
“Are there any cars or trucks running” I asked
“We have one old pickup” but not much gas” Ann replied.
“Jeremy, lets go find some fuel in these wercked cars”.

The town had been pretty much picked clean but we found three cars with some fuel. We collected it in buckets, bottles, and then into their truck.
I gave Ann the cache maps.
“Here” I told her “there are supplies buried and hidden where these maps are marked, If you watch it you should be able to go quite a while on them.
You need to take everyone up to the Sammy’s place, the Barn is still standing and will be less exposed, safer, and closer to the supplies than here in town”.
“There are also cans of seeds you can plant in the spring, Uncle Sammy has good dirt, grows crops well” I told her.
The rest of the day was spent ferrying kids, supplies, three cows, and whatever we could scavange to Sammy’s old barn.

There were two rifles and a shotgun between them, so we added two M-4s, three beretta pistols, some mags and some ammo to their arsenal.
“Are you sure you don’t need these” Ann asked?
“Don’t worry there are plenty more where those came from” Jeremy replied
After a round of hugs and thank yous we left them at Sammys and headed for town, with the spare mounts in tow.

We had done all that we could do, we couldn’t stay. There was now even more reason to track down those criminals and exact revenge. With the survivors of Wakefield reasonably safe we spent the night at the school. Rising with the sun we made our way south following the trail of devastation that they left behind. The trail led to St. Francisville.

The next week was spent gathering information. The Rosedown Plantation seemed to be where they had set up their headquarters. The Magnuson Hotel had been turned into a barracks. The old GMC dealer and warehouse on Wilcox street their storage dumps. It seemed that they had kept a lot the people here in town. I guess they needed their servants and toadies. good, because we needed intelligence and help. Finding those that would help us was easy, simply look for those that they are abusing. Revenge is a powerful motivator.

Jeremy was appointed as supply officer, they had a large ammo dump, and his theory was why use your stuff when you can use theirs stuff ta do tha job. The stockpile of detonators explosives, weapons and ammo grew at an impressive rate.

Late one evening Allen spotted a couple of soldiers harassing a couple near the hotel. Knocking down the man, pawing at the woman, acting like the subhuman beasts that they were. After the soldiers left Allen made contact and brought them back to our camp. The intelligence they provided was invaluable, the list of those who would help, some of whom had even managed to hide some weapons was indeed impressive. They contacted others, and by ones and twos they brought us intel, building plans, guard schedules, supply schedules, even plans for the sewer system.

It took two weeks of meetings for the plan to begin to come together. There was a sewerline right under the hotel which came up in the kitchen annex. same for the supply dump at the dealership. The headquarters would be the tough nut to crack. the explosives had been moved into the sewers, weapons stashed at needed locations, people informed of the plan. Duct tape and detonators awaited under the hotel. Jeremy had wired everything in the dumps, and anything else he could get close to. Propane was to be delivered to the Plantation on Tuesday afternoon. The gas delivery man placed a charge and detonator in the uncut tall grass under the 1000 gal. propane tank near the plantation.

The attack would come that night. As the kitchen staff at the hotel shut down to leave they opened the access to the sewer. Armed with detonators and duct tape we went to work. Sealing all the doors, windows, and air duct vents in the kitchen and dining room, placing the detonators. Jeremy and two Iraqi/Afghan vets, Alex and Stephanie took out the downstairs guards, and locked the doors from the inside. Gathering in the kitchen we turned on every gas stove we headed back down the sewer.

Stephanie took the detonator for the kitchen with Alex as cover. Their signal to set it off was when lights came on upstairs. That way we knew the gas had filled the kitchen, dining room and penetrated the building when people noticed it and woke up. We raced off to join the others at the plantation. We had not quite made it there when all hell broke loose.

At the sound of the Hotel blast Jeremy’s ammo dump went off with a ground shaking explosion like an earthquake. The propane tank took out half of the Plantation house and set it on fire. Those waiting in the woods poured all their fire into the remaining part of the structure.

The Hotel kitchen and dining room, filled with natural gas went up like – well I guess the best description would be a “fuel air building”, collapsing floors above the blast and leaving most of the walls as a shell.

Everyone split into small groups and headed for the rendevous point. Our group had now become a bit bigger. There would for sure be reprisals. Those who could fled, or hid. Our group now totaled thirteen men, eight horses, two mules, and the Mexican army looking to toast our burittos. Heading east riding double travel was slow as the horses tired quickly.

It took three days of travel and dodging surprisingly few patrols to make it back to Pine Grove. Dog tired, worn to a frazel we arrived to a celebatory atmosphere.
I had never been hugged so tightly as by Sarah who could only say over and over “Thank you, Thank you”

We spent that night in revelry, recounting the tales of the weeks since we had left. Wondering what we would do now. Many things had happened since we left. The die off especially in the large cities after they were kept contained had been of apocolyptic perportions. Most all of those trapped in the coastal population belt didn’t make it.

The federal Govt had reconstituted in Colorado. The president had been impeached for failure to respond to the attack. Texas had suceeded and formed their own republic. Montana and Idaho had joined together as new nation. Chinese troops occupied the west coast. Russian troops occupied the east coast. Mexican troops the southwest and as far e
east as Mississippi.

The foreign troops we were told had taken a beating. America had managed to launch a counter EMP strike so their countries were not in a lot better shape than we were.
Those that were over here were apparently stranded and being strangled by the resistance, gangs, lack of supply, and unreplacable losses.

Rumors abounded … China had collapsed into fuedal warlord states, Russia had further fragmented, Europe was devestated by another plague. Africa and the middle east hit with starvation and riots. The South Americans were fighting each other as well as the drug lords.

It was most certianly a new world which had emerged.

We assembled the group and talked things over.
The contingent from St. Francisville wanted to go back and fight.
Jeremy wanted to stay in Pine Grove, with Sarah. Sammy and Helen were going to stay as well.
We split up the mounts, let the new generation of freedom fighters have most weapons and the mules. They would need them.

That next morning we wished them good luck and good hunting as they went on their way.

As for Allen and I, well we each kept our prairie mounts, rifles, bed rolls, and headed northwest.
Allen thought we needed to head home and rebuild.
“It’s time for the world to reset” Allen said.
I agreed.

As I looked to the east the sun was coming up, yea I thought, maybe it is a new day.

Besides …… I really wanted to see Ann again, share a sunset, start a new life, and help raise however many of those kids she decided to keep.



The Long Walk Home

Written by Anonymous User

What a weekend it had been, cold mist, now hard rain, deer just out of range, not the most sucessful of hunting trips. “Oh well”
he thought, “maybe next week that eight pointer will show”. Wiping the Savage as he put it away in it’s case and stowing his
gear he could almost feel that comfort of that warm bed awaiting him at home. After shedding his wet clothes for dry duds he
climbed behind the wheel, turned the key…… and nothing. “fuck” he grumbled,”dead battery a million miles from nowhere.”
“Yea ” he laughed “Die hard, died and left me in a hard spot”. Digging through the glove compartment he retrieved his cell
phone, flipped it open, and it would not turn on. He had left it off to conserve the battery, and not to be disturbed during his hunt.
“If it wasn’t for bad luck” he mused, “I wouldn’t have any luck at all”.
“If I’m going to be stranded a bit” he thought “not a bad place to have to wait”. He had left word as to where he would be, same place
as last year, his favorite hunting grounds. With a twenty mile walk to the nearest anything he figured he would at least wait for the rain
to stop before hiking back.digging out the portable radio, the coffee thermos, and a bottle of Jack he sat back to listen to his Saints,
maybe the wouldn’t disappoint him today. “Strange’ he muttered, he could always pick up WWl from here before. Running the dial from one end
to the other the reality, and horror set in. There was nothing on the radio but static. There would be no help coming for him, or for anyone
else, his worst fear, an E.M.P. attack, had just become a living nightmare. How many days had it been since the attack, he had not even had a radio on for most of the week.

Eighty five miles of unknown, and the Mississippi River lay between him and his home. “Settle down, examine the situation, and be rational”
he thought as he tried to calm his fears. Getting home was not just a matter of a walk, he had brought a weeks worth of camping gear with him.
“Can’t carry it all” he shrugged, “this is gonna suk”. Decision time, what to carry, what to leave, and where to leave it. Inventoring the
weapons alone was depressing, his Savage scoped .308, an old Winchester .22, his FN, a 1911, .22 ruger pistol, and his 12 gauge Browning. He
surely couldn’t carry them all. Tent, stove, cookware, food, sleeping bag, at fifty-nine he sure wasn’t going to load a rucksak and run like he did
in the service fourty years ago. “I can comfortably and quickly about carry fourty pounds” he thought, “but I can drag a hunderd on a travois”

While waiting for the rain to stop he climbed into the back and started sorting, and selecting the essentials. Tac-vest with two two litre
bladders, 3-556 mags, 4-1911 mags, 2-1 qt canteens, butt pack with survival kit, that he could carry on him. the backpack he stuffed with a set
of clothes, socks, 4 cans of chili, some crackers, a jar of honey, ziplocks of oatmeal, 4 cans of soup, jerky, coffee, the large first aid kit, t.p.,
hobo stove and pot, extra poncho, batteries, 6 cell maglite, and a ziplock with his truck title, registration, other important papers, and his dead
cell phone. That was the easy part, now which weapons to carry. They would all fit on the travois, but what if he had to abandon it? They all had
good cases so they could be hidden, essential would be defense and hunting. The 1911 defenitely, having carried one for fourty years it was more like a body part, that couldn’t be left behind. The FN was the go to rifle, and the ruger .22 pistol would take small game. So the rest would have to be hidden and hopefully when it was all over still be there.

The rain stopped before morning, finding a fallen tree some distance from the truck he dug under it, shoved the three rifle cases, an ammo can, and covered them with dirt and leaves. Making a quick map of the cache he headed back to the truck, grimacing about all the stuff he had to leave behind. Three saplings and some rope made a quick and sturdy travois. In addition to the backpack his axe, shovel, a taurp, some rope, and his sleeping bag were tied down, now the fun part. Getting back home.

The old logging road was not the best, but a slow steady pace was maintainable. It took all day to get out of the wooded area he had been in to the parrish road that wasn’t much better. “Paved potholes” he snickered as he approached it. The sun was beginning to set so he headed a ways into the woods flipped and leaned the travois up against a large pine tree, spread his taurp over it, anchored it down — covered the floor with pine boughs, instant tent, crude but dry. making a fire in his hobo stove he heated a can of chili, boiled some coffee, and settled in for a mostly sleepless night. The visions he had of what he was facing were disturbing at best. Would his house and preps still be there, will roads be safe, will bridges be open, how many refugees will he have to avoid, the possibilities and situations were as endless, as they were troubling.

Day 2
A quick hot oatmeal and honey breakfast and coffee made for a good start on the day as he headed out for Brenner. Lunch, another can of chili, and crackers. Dragging that travois was a bit harder than he imagined, as well as more frequent rest stops. “One step at a time, perseverance will get you there, yeah eventually” he laughed. it started a light rain as he left, hiking in a poncho he found is a tough way to go, and a dehydrating one. The fluid loss walking in a poncho dragging a travois was consuming a lot of water. Worried about meeting someone unfriendly he kept to the woods about 40 yards from the road. “Mental note” he grunted, “travois and woods not a good mix.” The road sign said Brenner 2 miles. It wasn’t much of a town, a gas station, feed store, intersection, and some great boiled crawfish. “Sure could go for a plate or two of that now’ he smiled. It took about an hour to traverse the distance. Holding up in the woods near the feed store he dropped the travois and moved up to take a look. Several people were milling around the gas station, a couple of cars and a trucks were littering the station and road. he crept up as close as he dared to try and hear their conversations. He didn’t have to, there behind the station were the previous owners, dead. Rage almost overtook him, but he knew that there were far too many to fight. Those two had been filling his tank and belly for the past eight years he had been hunting here. Crawling back to his hidden travois he fumed, but what could he do. Go around, and continue on his way was about all, as much as it riled him to do so.

It was all he could do to manage another ten miles through the woods with his load that day, but he ended the day near a pond. Digging out two yo-yos, catching a few crickets, he crawled out on a limb overhanging the pond and set his lines. With any luck there would be fresh fish for breakfast. it didn’ttake long for the first yo-yo to go off. A small bream had scarfed up that juicy cricket. it wasn’t even as big as his hand, but it sure tasted better than chili, or oatmeal. a hot meal, a refreshing quick wash in the pond, a swig of J.D., and another night in the travois tent. a night filled with visions of that old couple laid out behind their store. Was this what he had to look forward to for the rest of his trek home? Was this what society had devolved into? Surely there were those out there who had managed to keep a semblance of order and humanity to their communities. he felt like finishing the bottle, it would make him sleep better, but being alert was more important.

Day 3
Woo-Hoo a nice Catfish had taken the hook he baited with the bream entrails. Pinned to a tree with the bayonet, skinned with a leatherman, what a good way to start the day. Roasted with some wild onion found near the pond, a side of cattail tubers, and a nettle salad. “If my forum buddies could see me know”he smiled. “If I ever hear from them again” he winced. After breaking camp, filtering and filling water containers it was time to go. another day of a slow long walk home. Keeping to covered terrain required a considerable detour, a cotton field had to be walked around. “Detours like this will add a lot of miles, and time” he sighed. But it was after what he seen at Brenner better safe than sorry, or dead. Going around the field and the farm took what seemed like forever. To make matters worse there was little cover, no place to hold up and start a fire, so lunch was cold oatmeal gruel. Filling and sustaining, but that was all that could be said for it. At this rate it would take more than a week to reach home, and four days to reach the river, what kind of problem would that be he thought. Supper was once again chili and crackers. “A few days of this makes you wish for a treat like spam” he laughed. But a warm fire and a cup of Irish coffee made the day seem better and the night more restful. Especially as it was the first night that had not had at least a light rain.

Day 4
As he broke camp he looked back at his trail. The travois was leaving a nice set of tracks in the muddy terrain as he went, it couldn’t be helped, but it was awful worrisome. There was not much getting back to the road and there were no woods for all of the farms and fields. stealth almost impossible. The farms were strangely quiet, deserted. there were no cattle, no people to be seen, except for an occasional bird all was disconcertingly quiet. More cold oatmeal, a short rest then plod on. The boredom, and slow pace was beginning to take it’s toll, dejection mixed with desperation is a will sapping combination. Hard to deal with, and almost impossible to stop. Both bladders were empty, one canteen was dry but one thing about cattle farms that can be counted on is stock watering tanks. Filtering water, eating a cold meal, sleeping in the open, getting a restless nights sleep. “This was getting old quick” he complained to himself.

Day 5
He slept facing East for his alarm clock. Up at dawn, cold meal and gone. Moving as fast as he could to make it out of the fields was draining more energy than he was taking in. It was harder to cover the same amount of distance as he had the day before. But he had no choice, he had to get out of this open terrain as quickly as possible. If all went well he would be in the woods again by the end of the day. It would do his mind good to feel the safety of real cover again. And the possibility
of game, a body and soul warming fire, and a hot meal. Finally, woods again. Harder travel but it felt a lot more safe. As the sun faded he saw the clearing, “*%$&” more farmland” he griped. Setting camp he once again filled water from livestock tanks after dark.

Day 6
As daybroke camped just inside the woodline then he saw movement, someone was coming from the farmhouse to the watering tank he got water from evening. An older man witha shotgun slung over his sholder. “Well” he thought “at least this one doesn’t look like a looter” Looking back at the farmhouse he saw a child appear on the porch. “That defenitely is not a looter or brigand” he noted. Leaving his gear, carrying only his pistol he arose and began walking into the field. Stopping some 50 yards from the woodline he called out “friendly — just passing through”. Startled the man raised his weapon, studied this stranger for a moment then called him over. “Slowly” he
commanded “walk towards me”. The conversation was friendly, and informative. there had indeed been an attack, three missiles, one on each coast. The center of the country had somewhat survived it. The big cities were for the most part burning and lawless. Informed of what had happened at Brenner he was visibly shaken, they had been old friends. He had his extended family there, sons, wives, kids, 16 in all. He said he had to put his cattle in the barn on the second day and fight off a group of looters. We both assumed the same ones that were in Brenner. There were running vehicles at the farm, but not much fuel, the diesel was reserved for the tractor, so a ride was not a possiblity.
There was however a warm, dry bed, and hot meal to be had, for a half pound of coffee as trade. What a comfot it was to sleep dry, off the ground, and not worried about what may wake you up, but the 1911 was still under the pillow.

Day 7
Before dawn there was a knock on the door and a call “breakfast in 30 miniutes”. “Yea” he thought as he arose. The day on the farm, just like when he was young started early, and as he recalled ended late. Eggs, bacon, and homemade bisquits, what memories that recalled. After that feast he prepared to move on. Barter time again, a box of .45 ammo, another half pound of coffee (his last), and a hundred .22 rounds bought a bonanza of provisions. Some jerky, three mason jars, squash, stewed tomatoes, and pork, a loaf of homemade bread, and three jugs of water. Those would be a lifesaver he thought. At least the walk would be better today as he knew the lands owner, and didn’t have to hide during the crossing. Well by the end of the day the mighty Mississippi should be in sight. “Mighty, Yea “he mused” mighty hard to get across” he mused. Another two hours of walking and dragging, with a tasty (for a change) meal of bread, squash, and boiled pork, there was his nemesis, the Mississippi. Dropping and hiding his travois he headed for the bridge. With a little luck (he could sure use some) it would be an easy crossing. As he approached through the woods he heard voices, and they weren’t speaking English, but Spanish. Working his way slowly back then down to the river bank he surveyed the situation through his binoculars. This was not good at all. Foreign troops at a roadblock on an American bridge. He was sure they were not going to allow an armed man to cross, even if he could prove he lived only fifteen miles away. The crossing would have to be light, “once again leaving gear behind. This was getting real old” he muttered. Arriving back at his drop location he surveyed his situation and gear. Well, the tacvest, weapons, and two days food were a must. The rest would have to be buried – again. Moving upstream for the better part of an hour he figured this would give him enough distance that the current would not carry him as far a the bridge.Taking his time digging a shallow pit because he would not be able to cross until dark he buried the pack, and water jugs. The squash, pork and some more bread made a hefty meal, he would need the energy. Packing the remaining bread, pork, jerky, oatmeal, and dry clothes into a waterproof bag he prepared for the swim. filling the taurp with brush he tied it off as a floatation device. It had been a long day and tired as he was he didn’t dare stay the night, too many boots tromping through the area for comfort. Moving quietly to the waters edge he set the taurp float in the water, places his waterproof bag, tacvest and rifle on top, pushed off and started the long swim across the river. It seemed like it took forever to make the half mile wide crossing, felt like it as well, he was exhausted. There was not a lot of night left for a fully restful sleep, just a nap it seemed before the light woke him in the morning.

Day 8
looking down the river towards the bridge he had almost not moved up far enough, less than a half mile seperated him from those invaders. Too close for comfort as far as he was concerned, but he was still too tired to set out again. Oatmeal and honey again for a cold breakfast as he didn’t dare start a fire. Resting until near noon he set off again. There would, except for the highway, was mostly timber company land. Easier to walk now that he wasn’t dragging that travois. But he sure did miss those extra supplies. He had just enough with what was in his cargo pockets and what he could gather to feed himself until he got home. Home, how good and scary that sounded. Was it unocupied, were his neighbors alright? A thousand questions raced through his mind, but no answers were forthcoming. There it was, four lanes, a median, a lot of abandoned vehicles. and a few bloated scattered bodies. His binoculars revealed nothing moving as far as he could see. A night crossing would be safer, but it had been a long journey, and patience was nearing it’s limits. Crawling over the fence he jogged for the wooded cover beyond the road. Finally it seemed he made it. “That was not as easy as I remember it 20 years ago” he laughed as he rested for a bit. Only a few miles to go, joy, anticipation, and worry mixed together in his mind. Late in the day Giddens creek came into view. Home he thought, water, and catfish holes I know. Crossing the creek he set up camp. Camp, that was almost a joke, his taurp had to be left at the river. His shelter was now a pair of ponchos buttoned together. At least the catfish cooperated and a late dinner was filling and nourishing. This nights sleep was peaceful, something about your old stomping grounds does that. Pine needle tea with a touch of Irish was a good end to the day as he settled in for the night.

Day 9
Almost running he crossed the last mile of the Georgia Pacific timberland that stood between him and home. as he crossed the powerline right of way he saw smoke. Smoke coming from near his cabin. “Well” he thought “this might be one fight I can’t avoid”. Moving slowly through the pines he saw it, smoke coming from his chimney. Creeping around past the spring he came up through the crape myrtles near the spring. There, in his rocker sat a large figure, a figure he recognized, Jeremy. Calling out as he stood up –“never thought I’d ever be happy to see someone as butt ugly as you”. Jeremy slowly looked up from shaping a new axe handle and replied. “Heard ya comin the other side of tha cabin, saw ya creepin past tha spring, what took ya so long ta git back”? Getting up he disapeared into the cabin and reemerged with his jug – “could ya use a drink” he asked? Jeremy’s shine was multi purpose, in addition to drinking it would clean rust, paint, and run a car. “Absolutely” he said and took a long belly smoldering swig. “How is everyone doing”? “Well, as can be expected”” Jeremy said, “we had a little trouble with some yahoos, but they won’t be trouble again, me, Sammy, Fred, and Allen handled it”. “Ran ’em off” he asked”? “Naw” replied Jeremy “buried em”. He said he saw soldiers in town, and they weren’t being very neighborly. Wondered how long it would be before they came this a way. Sammy and the rest had started moving things into hiding, and patrolling the area near the road. “Looks like there is a fight on it’s way” he thought, “it’s 1776 again”.

READ: The Long Walk Home Part II

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How To Prevent A Bear Attack

Prevention is the best medicine. Stay on top of the food chain by letting the bears know you are in their territory. They will avoid contact with you if they have forewarning. Even if you carry a weapon which can kill a bear, you can still be easily killed by a surprise attack or face to face confrontation. A bear can withstand multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body and while dying becomes even more viscous and adrenaline filled. A bears skull can sometimes be so thick that anything short of a .50 cal handgun will penetrate it. They run and kill with lightning speed. Never underestimate the power and ferocious killing ability of a North American bear.

Rules of camp in bear country:

Always hang ALL of your food away from camp and out of reach

Burn any left over food you will not be eating.

Males urinate everywhere possible around camp though bury all feces.

Females dig a 1 foot hole and bury ALLĀ feces and ALL urine.

Keep your fire going all night if possible (See Fire Maintenance)

Camp as close as safely possible to the fire.

Rules of the trail in bear country:

Make your presence known (from a distance).

Never carry any meat or cooked food in your backpack. You dont want to smell delicious in the backcountry.

Blow through a loud whistle often and frequently yell out “Hey Bear!” Surprising a mother bear and her cubs is the number one reason for deadly and viscous bear attacks.

Wear a bell that rings when you walk or drag empty bean cansĀ behind you





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