We left the compound a little later than planned this morning due to an unfortunate case of forgetting to pack my clothes. The zombie apocalypse might have come, but some things never change.
We're camped out right now about twenty miles into Tennessee. The going through Kentucky was clear for the first few hours, though we had to drive slowly. It's funny, but I don't even think about going highway speeds anymore. There's too much risk involved in that--zombies and animals dashing in front of your car, unnoticed debris that can shred tires, even trapped sections of road meant to halt aggressors. Even when the roads are perfectly clear, we take it slow and careful. Actually, we're especially cautious when things are going well.
Paranoia is a way of life.
We had to take a few detours when we got a good pace south, though. The main road was washed out in places by what looks to have been pretty severe flooding. That took a while to navigate, and we were super careful after that. You never know when erosion has reared its ugly head and swept away 90% of the dirt supporting a road where you can't see it. I've got no desire to spend my last few seconds fervently wishing I'd driven five miles an hour slower and saved my spine from being sheared in half.
Ugh, that's gruesome. I guess I'm in a gruesome mood.
The reason for that is simple. We've decided to make camp in one of the safest places we could find: one of the many, many rest areas that dot the US interstate highway system. This one is pretty big and has couches and chairs in it, so at least some of us will be able to get comfy tonight. I'm pretty beat so I don't feel too guilty about wasting most of an evening of driving. I don't know that we could have found anything nearly as secure between here and nightfall.
I just hate these places now. Ever since Jess and I got trapped in that one up in Michigan, I've gotten the creeps just passing them on the road. I remember being a kid, travelling from Illinois to Kentucky with my mom. They seemed so neat and unique to me, little islands of temperature-controlled civilization right in the middle of endless miles of empty road. Now they just remind me of getting trapped by my own stupidity.
Not this time, though. we've parked our vehicles very close to the building (one of them right up against it) and have taken precautions to make escape simple and easy. The glass in the windows and doors is thick and strong, just like most of these places. Built for durability and limited maintenance. That thick glass might leave us exposed, but it also gives us visibility. I'm sitting on a stone bench right now, looking outside. I can see the undead moving toward us even though we've been here less than half an hour. They tend to clump near places where people used to gather.
Given the near torrential rains last month and the clear signs of terrible flooding, it's up in the air what kind of condition we'll find the roads ahead of us in. There aren't any road crews out there to clear fallen trees or patch potholes. We'll take it easy and minimize risks.
I'm just really glad the council let us take one of the smaller portable cell transmitters with us. I'm jazzed about having guaranteed communications wherever we go.
Now, to figure out how to cook food in here.