A safe haven, abandoned.
Day 12 – Chores
I started bright and early, making my way back to the hunting cabin. I played it safe, following the edge of the valley to the cabin itself. Only took me a little while before I found my way there.
I can’t decide if I’m happy that everything was exactly as I left it, or sad. Not a single thing was out of place from when I left the note. At least I didn’t feel bad for taking something.
Spent the next couple hours trucking back to the dam, sleeping bag in tow. It was a long day, so I figure a bit of rest is in order. It isn’t dark just yet, so maybe I’ll thumb through the hunting magazine I found. Saw an article titled 5 Ways To Never Miss A Shot. I guess I’ll see if the author is full of shit or not.
Day 13 – More Scouting
I feel like I’m getting complacent. I spent the morning reading some outdoors magazine, but it was incredibly boring. I just couldn’t sleep and I figured reading was better than sitting in the dark and staring at the wall. Grandpa would’ve loved this issue if he had the chance to read it. All about different tests of fishing line and what’s the best drill for getting through the tough Alaskan ice.
I know in hindsight that I should’ve stayed inside, but I was tired of sitting around. The blizzard didn’t seem too bad at first with my new gear, but I learned quickly that I was wrong. I started along the tracks heading east again (I think?) but I quickly realized that it was heading down a narrow canyon and I didn’t want to take any chances. I turned back and headed south along the river to see what was down that way, but the cold started getting to me. I noticed that I was shivering so bad that I dropped my rifle, and I had to go back to get it. I packed it away and headed back towards where I thought the lake was, so I could find some shelter.
I wandered through the blizzard for what felt like hours before I realized that I had gone all the way back to the ranger cabin. Of course, once my feet thawed out I started to feel my ankles again, and promptly noticed that I must’ve sprained them. I took some hydrocodone I found (at least I hope it was) and I began to feel much better.
Once I could feel my fingers and toes again, I had a snack and headed out. Since I had some time left in the day, I took a stroll along the southern edge of the lake while steering clear of the wildlife. Found another hunting blind somewhere down there, and I picked up some supplies: a bullet and an arrow. Left behind the pry bar and knife though… Someone else might need them.
Now I’m sitting in the dam again, regretting today’s choices. My ankle is still a bit swollen, but I’ll just nurse it a bit tonight and tomorrow.
I’m going to pass out now.
Day 14 – So Much For Safe
I woke up to the sound of the glass in the other room breaking, along with what sounded like frantic pounding on the door. I had barricaded the entrance last night before going to sleep, and now I’m glad I did. I don’t know who was trying to get in, but I wasn’t going to stick around. I scraped up everything I could carry and ran as fast as I could further into the dam. Left behind all of my venison, my lanterns, most of my water, and my sleeping bag (of course). I hope whoever was breaking in is happy with all of the stuff I spent the last two weeks collecting. Assholes…
I probably could’ve waited them out (I made a really good barricade) but I felt safer just getting the hell outta Dodge. I went as far as I could into the dam complex until I found an exit, swiping whatever supplies I could find along the way, as fast as I could. In the end, I made it out well with an MRE, an old Canadian military winter coat, and some fleece gloves. I didn’t realize the gravity of my decision to head outside until I got out there.
The door locked behind me.
So I went the only way I could. I found my way down to the river below and started walking. It wasn’t long before I got stuck, with a cave looking like the only way forward. Luckily the cave was relatively empty… except the guy that fell down a crevice into the cave. It looked like he was trying to cross the crevice on the fallen tree. The same tree that fell on him once he hit the bottom.
I had to stop in the cave to rest for a while, but I knew I needed to keep moving. I took a short power nap in a sleeping bag I stumbled across in the dark (don’t want to think too much about that).
After feeling my way around the caves, I saw a glint of light… and the sound of wind. Another blizzard. I should’ve stayed in the cave.
It took me hours to find shelter in that blizzard. The visibility was terrible. I followed what I thought was a road to some power lines, then went along those until I saw a ranch.
I’m sleeping in a barn tonight for the first time since I was a kid. These ranchers must’ve been pretty well-off, because it is awfully warm in here. They also apparently keep their pickup in here, but it doesn’t start, and the battery is dead. Not even a click when you turn the key.
By the way, if you’re reading this Chuck, screw you. You left me to die after that run-in with the bear. I hope you got what’s coming to you.
Ready to move on to the next one? Read Part 6 here.
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