Not far from the bus, I found a comfortable looking rock to park my ass on and take stock. My possessions to date consisted of: my rifle (utterly devoid of ammo), the clothes on my back (protective and practical for the post-apocalyptic man on the go, albeit unfashionable), five and 1/2 cigarettes (I smoked one in the process), half a candy bar I must have forgotten in my jeans before the world ended (it sure smelled that way) and a mutant pig who apparently subsisted on potato chips (which I was also out of). Oh and a derelict school bus with no gas.

Things were not, per-se, looking up. For the first time, I realized I was sitting in a square-shaped hunk of shade; the scorched remnant of a wooden sign loomed above me.
“Pleasant Gorge” was apparently the name for the valley trail ahead. I glanced past the sign at a cheery vista of naked black stone, ashen wastes that had probably been forests, and the gnarled, crispy figures of unlucky woodland creatures. Junior was already crunching a medium-rare squirrel.

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