Chapter Eleven – On the Road Again
The Strikers and George all decided that there wasn’t anything left there for them and told the brothers and Roni that they were coming with them whether they liked it or not. So it was a slightly larger caravan of vehicles that set out again for Colorado two days later.
After all the action that had been going on, the rest of the trip to Durango was almost boring and no one complained one bit. The group had stopped in one town that had a Wally World and stocked up on some things like diapers and they were able to pump up gas from the gas station with the generator on the RV the Strikers had taken to drive. They had thoroughly cleaned it before claiming it. They had found some cash, drugs of course which they had destroyed, and a few weapons but not much else they could use. There was a lot of electronic stuff they just dumped out. It was now filled with supplies from Wally World.
The store hadn’t look like it had been scavenged at all so they felt pretty safe as they made the rounds of the aisles. The guys stood guard while the women went in and shopped. Roni took Tracey in and they found a neat little snuggler in the baby department that they put Erin in. So then the three of them had fun filling the shopping carts. They would fill one and push it to the front where Brock would load it in the vehicles and trailers. When asked if they were done, they just smiled and grabbed another cart and some bags and went off back into the store. Brock lost count at 8 carts. But with some clever packing, he managed to fit everything they brought in the truck and trailer. Some stuff went into totes that were then strapped down on the bike trailer along with the now filled gas cans. All the food went into the RV though. Michelle did a great job of cleaning out the health and beauty aids section. She didn’t forget to stock up on all the OTC meds, first aid supplies, soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and various other necessities.
It was a good thing that George was riding his bike since by the time everyone was done shopping; there was barely any room left in the RV for Mike and Michelle! The trailer was fully loaded and so was the back of the jeep and the trailer that it was pulling. And since they figured that they should be at Brock and Kevin’s parents place that day, even Tracey gave up her small space in the back of the pickup and they loaded it up with baby things and some things that Tracey had picked out.
They were finally back on the road again with George scouting ahead on his bike and keeping in touch by some walkie talkie’s they had gotten from Wally World. They were amazed that they even worked but every vehicle had one and plenty of batteries. After George came the truck pulling the trailer with Brock, Roni, Tracey, and Erin in it. Then came the RV with Mike and Michelle and following in back was Kevin in the Jeep pulling the small trailer.
It was a weary group that pulled into the Stetson Ranch and was met by at least a dozen guns pointed right at them.
Kevin had taken over the lead about ten miles outside of the Ranch so he was first to step out of the jeep with his hands up.
“Is that anyway to greet long lost family members?” he shouted. From behind what looked like very large gun barrels, a female voice called out “We shoot varmints that come around here. We turn them into Gramma’s secret stew.”
“Well, we sure could handle a few bowlfuls of that stew and maybe even a hug or two from our sisters! Get yer tush over here Rachael and give me a hug!”
The young woman flew into her brother’s arms before anyone could stop her. “So how many mountains did ya have to move to get here big brother?” The rifles lowered and were slung out of the way as the two brothers were welcomed home.
Kevin and Brock both answered “All of them!”
Roni stood off to the side at first but Brock drug her and the girls with her to his side to introduce her to his sister. “Roni, this is my bratty little sister Rachael and Rachael, this is Roni; the woman I moved the mountains with and the one I’m falling in love with.”
That announcement about sucked the air right out of Roni’s lungs and she barely got the “pleased to meet you” out. Brock laughed at her expression and grabbed her up and gave her a soul pounding kiss that made her go so weak in the knees, he had to hold her up.
The laughing and clapping brought them back to their senses and of course Erin who was still in Roni’s arms. Tracey was giggling like crazy and when Roni looked around, there was only warmth in everyone’s eyes. She smiled sheepishly and then began to laugh with everyone else.
Dinner that night was a party that lasted well into the night. Roni met all of Brock’s family including his crazy Gramma. They all had been welcomed with open arms and made to feel part of the family. Erin was passed around and awed over and Tracey found that Alexandria, Brock and Kevin’s other sister; had a daughter just her age and they became fast friends.
They had a night of celebration; a celebration of life and a hope for a new beginning.