517 words • 2~4 min read

#Ocean2Ocean: Dorkface has Died of Dysentery Edition

Screenshot 2013-08-20 at 17.08.41Location: Scotts Bluff, NE

Distance Traveled: 1837 miles

Distance Remaining: 1163 miles

MPG: not great.

After replacing the surge-break assembly on the trailer, we resumed the long haul across Missouri, ending the day with a 10 PM arrival at the Diamond B ranch. The goats we’re ready to get out of the car.

Tired, but still wired from too much caffeine and a frustrating day, we made the mistake of turning on the TV to see if there were any good shows on. We discovered something along the lines of Doomsday Castle Builders. I adore Doomsday Preppers and find their mentality absolutely fascinating. However, I adore them in much the same way that I adore the poor one-eyed cat that constantly tries to get into our chicken coop. If there actually were a doomsday, these guys are the last people with which you’d want to be stuck. Anti-social, paranoid, trigger happy — I can’t help but assume the fact that they operate under the assumption that people will immediately resort to roving gangs of murders is less about understanding the human condition and more about projection. The entire mentality of the “prepper” movement necessarily ignores the fact that civilization exists because we’re an inherently cooperative species. It does make for entertaining television.

Actually, on second thought, we’re probably better off if the preppers go lock themselves in bunkers and let the rest of us get on with the business of recovery.

The truck started to overheat near the western edge of Nebraska, so we took a break while I ran a systems check and fueled up the passengers, both human and ruminant.

Your questions, answered:

Will you: attempt to ford the river? Caulk the wagon and float across? Hire a guide? Wait and see if conditions improve?

Ford the river.

One of you oxen has died.

Good thing I’m playing as a carpenter.

Read any good books on this trip?

I just finished Saturn’s Children and am moving on to Dust, by High Howey.  I love a good science fiction novel. Also, I’ve been reading through back issues of Wood to plan out the furniture I’ll be building once we get to California. Like I said, I always play as a carpenter.

How’s the trailer holding up?

Pretty well, now. Fixing the breaks made a world of difference.

Best road trip food?

We’ve basically done a beef jerky tour of the continental US. Kentucky has the best.


Deep-sea biologist, population/conservation geneticist, backyard farm advocate. The deep sea is Earth's last great wilderness.


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