A quick post today.
We have made a breakthrough contact. There is a large group of survivors in southern Michigan that have managed to get in touch with us. Courtney has spent all morning talking with them, and what she has passed on to the rest of us makes it clear that we have to gain the trust of these people, and build a lasting relationship.
The reasons for this are many. The first is that there are more than three hundred of them, a greater number of living people than any of us have yet encountered, with maybe the exception of the team at Google, though they are very tight-lipped about their numbers. The second reason is that they are almost all automotive workers--among them many skilled die-makers, machinists, welders, and mechanical engineers. A few chemists from a nearby Dow plant have joined them, and the vast amount of abandoned raw materials at the factory they have set up camp in, as well as the surrounding plants, means that with time, they can start making things that many of us believed would never be produced again.
They are making things now, though most of it very basic and crude; farming implements, wind turbines, linkable defense frames that you can snap together in sections and put outside a wall to act as a zombie deterrent (sort of like our pointy stakes, but better). But the lack of serious agriculture in that area is a huge problem for them, and though they were wise to raid many food manufacturing warehouses in that area, they need help with farming. They have the manpower and the know-how, but they need seedlings, seeds, and the like, as they have planted all they could find. We are hoping that we can help them, and maybe set up some a trade system and a safe route between here and there.
So it goes without saying: we are getting the bus ready to go. Time is vital for planting, and we are going to be on the road by morning, loaded up with what we can spare. This time we have had a lot of time to prepare for our next big trip, and the bus is an armored beast, trailer in tow. I am excited, and Courtney is ready and eager to engage her role as our diplomat face to face. This is exciting!