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wausauloner - Thu Oct 27 2011

05:57 AM #
And we're off! Shawn is navigating us across what's left of the Wisconsin River to the west side, just north of that part of Mosinee.

06:01 AM #
There are ten of us on this scouting trip: Me, Shawn, Kurt, May, Jason, Mark, two reps from the Farm Colonies, and two from Fort NTC.

06:03 AM #
The duck isn't quiet, so we're not planning on stopping. We'd be swarmed by zombies in no time. Our plan is to look around & get out alive.

06:30 AM #
We're on Hwy KK, heading south. Shawn ran down a zombie with the duck's reinforced & angled prow. It bounced aside without slowing us down.

06:40 AM #
Now on Hwy B, entering Mosinee. Shawn is driving a little slower now, making sure he always has a clear forward path. Passing many zombies.

06:55 AM #
We found and passed a roadblock checkpoint. Someone had already cleared a path through it, from the inside, shoving aside a squad car...

06:58 AM #
I looked at the inside of the squad car through its smashed windows as we passed it. The seats were caked with dried gore. I saw white bone.

07:15 AM #
Shawn is picking his way past knots of zombies, abandoned vehicles, and storm-downed trees. Sometimes he almost has to go too slow.

07:18 AM #
In addition to an assortment of guns, all of us aboard brought long spears. We're using the latter to fend off zombies that get too close.

07:21 AM #
It's crowded at the sides, so we're fighting off the zombies in shifts. I'm about to take a turn. Back when things quiet down. #zompocalypse

08:32 AM #
Shawn got us close to the remains of the refugee camp that was set up by local officials here on the day the zombie plague broke out...

08:35 AM #
It looked like the refugees were housed in the high school & middle school, while the elementary school was used as a defensive rally point.

08:38 AM #
Wherever there were gaps in the chain link fences around the school grounds, ad hoc defenses were put up to protect the camp from zombies.

08:41 AM #
Some of the gaps had vehicles blocking them, some had barbed wire, others had semicircles of sandbags. But all the defenses pointed outward.

08:44 AM #
From the direction the barricades were pushed over in a few places, it appears the camp fell when the zombie plague erupted from within.

08:47 AM #
We're west of Mosinee now on 153, resting & reloading before heading back in to check out parts of the camp we missed the first time around.

09:30 AM #
Man, there are a lot of zombies here on this side of Mosinee. Fortunately, they're fairly spread out so we can drive right past most of them

09:57 AM #
We've driven past the Piggly Wiggly & Charlie's Hardware to see if there was any chance to salvage food or firearms. The stores were emptied

10:01 AM #
People here had some time to prepare for the wave of zombies coming south from Wausau. They probably took anything useful the stores had.

10:20 AM #
Well, back into the worst of it. We still have the south side of the school grounds and the local National Guard center to eyeball. #zombies

12:01 PM #
Back on 153 west of Mosinee again, taking a breather. We also have to fix some of the anti-boarding netting a couple of zombies tore away.

12:03 PM #
The south side of the school grounds looked the same as the opposite side, but worse. There weren't even any outward-facing defenses there.

12:06 PM #
It looked like the National Guard office SE of the school saw quite a one-sided firefight. There were piles of dessicated Zs around it.

12:09 PM #
Most of them showed deliberate head trauma, a sign that by the time this battle was fought, the people inside knew how to stop the zombies.

12:12 PM #
But a glimpse of camo-wearing zombies still stumbling around inside the building told us that the fight was lost in the end. #zompocalypse

12:21 PM #
We think there may be some salvageable heavy weapons at the main entrances to the camp, though it may be awhile before we can claim them.

12:24 PM #
Right now, we're more interested in something else we saw on the grounds of the school: a message, left behind by someone who lived.

12:27 PM #
It was hand-painted on a 4x8 piece of plywood, wedged up against the chain link fence by some re-purposed sandbags. It included a rough map.

12:31 PM #
The message & map told survivors that the camp was unsafe, but that boats were ferrying people away via the public landing off Fremont.

12:33 PM #
The sign included instructions to take shelter in the Mosinee sewage treatment plant and wait for boats during daylight hours. #zompocalypse

12:36 PM #
The sign was dated 11/2/09, 2 or 3 days after the camp fell, so we need to check out that sewage treatment plant. Someone may still be there

01:13 PM #
The public landing on the map was one of the places we checked out ahead of time from the river, so we're going to approach from that side.

02:41 PM #
We're back on the river after checking out the sewage treatment plant. We approached quietly and took out the zombies there by bow and spear

02:44 PM #
The stealthy approach gave us time to get inside and check out the place. It was abandoned, though people had lived there, maybe for awhile.

02:47 PM #
There were weapons and boxes of ammo out on tables, but dust covered them, so we took them. Also: one of those new flip cam video cameras.

02:50 PM #
We're now on our way back to the Mosinee survivors' group base. We're running out of daylight and we've taken enough chances today.