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Devils Mountain

Page history last edited by Michael 1 year, 3 months ago

to the Index or back to The Escape Goat


report covers:   27 June, 2140 to 14 July, 2140


Friday, 24 June, 2140


     The team visited cache OR03, about 40 kilometers east of Oregon City, and retrieved its contents.


  • twelve cases. Each case held 6 TRW Low Maintenance Rifles with slings, 6 ammunition bags, and 36 Stoner system magazines

  • eight cases, each of 1640 rds 5.56x45mm ball ammunition

  • one 14.5x20 runflat tire and wheel, for Commando vehicles


      That evening, Doc had Jesse make some radio calls:  Ultraviolet, the DRA, etc.; Doom Rider units were prowling around all the way west to South Pass, near the Red Desert, and all along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.


Saturday, 25 June, 2140


     Three large River Folk steamboats departed from Portland this morning, with six 7.5 ton Soviet army trucks aboard, and some Expedition supplies.

     Doc, JJ, Bob Rickert and Scotty visited Newtown, where a firing range was laid out for training with Low Maintenance Rifles.


Sunday, 26 June, 2140


weather report (Portland):  low 57° F, high 75° F, humidity 56%, winds average 18 kph, visibility 60 kilometers. Scattered clouds or clear.


     The latest issue of the Oregon City Spectator came out, with Doc's call to action against the Doom Riders. He'd been spending the last few days talking to the Newtown Army, representatives of the DRA and River Folk, and (by radio) team S-71 and King Jubal of Ultraviolet. He had a plan ...


See Notes On Devils Mountain


     Doc and Scotty returned to Oregon City in the evening; JJ and Bob Rickert remained in Newtown to help with training.


Monday, 27 June, 2140


weather report (Portland):  low 57° F, high 75° F, humidity 56%, winds average 18 kph, visibility 60 kilometers. Scattered clouds or clear.


     In the morning the team interviewed a lot of young men, to join the expedition. The new 81mm direct fire mounts were installed in the gun truck.

     JJ returned to Oregon City in the evening. Bob Rickert (of team S-71) remained in Newtown, working with the troops there.

     The three large River Folk steamboats arrived at Grand Coulee, and unloaded the six Soviet trucks (and a couple of jeeps, six trailers, some cargo, etc.).

     In the evening, Brother Mark of the Mount Angel abbey asked to speak with the Expedition leaders; he offered the service of the mercenary Engelberg Company (but not outside of the Willamette Valley). Doc asked them to keep an eye on things, especially the Harris clan.

     Also in the evening, Jesse presented the other members of team R-54 with personal Mister Jesse Sprayers, each powered by two MP-AA batteries. The batteries will power the fan for a couple of days of constant usage. They are 33 cm tall, with a simple shroud around the metal fan blades, and weigh about a 0.3 kg empty, or 0.7 kg when filled with water. There's a carabiner clip and a lanyard strap.


Tuesday, 28 June, 2140


weather report (Portland):  low 55° F, high 68° F, humidity 68%, winds average 18 kph, visibility 30 kilometers. Overcast during the day, light rain in the evening.


     Three large River Folk steamboats left Grand Coulee, bound for Portland.

     Leaving Art Jackson of team S-71 in Oregon City (communications and some training duties), the rest of the team boarded the Nikokay Vilkov at Portland around dawn. Aboard were a half-dozen big trucks, three jeep-ish vehicles, an ambulance, and an armored car, along with several dozen Soviet naval infantry, and the ship's crew. Lieutenant Samsonov was commanding the landing force.


Nikolay Vilkov

      An Tapir-class landing ship, commissioned in 1974. Displacement 4650 tons, 113 meters long, draft loaded 6.15 meters, with two type 58A4 4500 HP diesels plus a 300 kilowatt diesel generator. It has two fixed-pitch propellers.

     There are 2000 liters of lubricating oil in the engines and propulsion system; another 2000 liters of fresh water circulates in the cooling system; the fuel tanks hold 400 cubic meters (320 tons) of diesel. The engines each use 500 liters of fuel per hour at full power, giving 16.5 knots (30 kph) speed. At the cruise speed of 15 knots (27 kph), fuel usage is 300 liters per hour per engine, giving a range of 18,000 kilometers. Each engine weighs about 30 tons, is 6.5 meters long, 2 meters wide, 3 meters tall.

     The current condition and reliability of the ship's engines is not known, but expected to be "less than perfect".

     The ship had a 5-ton crane aft and a 7.5-ton crane on the forward deck, though the aft crane has been removed; originally the crew was 55, along with about 440 troops (see below for capacity). The bow entrance has two doors and a ramp; the stern has a drawbridge-type ramp. A couple of lifeboats are fitted, along with some rafts.

     This vessel in 1989 mounted a ZIF-31B twin 57mm gun (using the same ammunition as the various Soviet Army 57mm AA guns), two 2M3 twin 25mm AA guns, and a UMS-73 multi-barrel rocket launcher (40 tubes, with 160 rounds carried; 140mm), for dealing with beach defenses. Small arms for the crew, and three SA-N-5 Grail launchers, completed the armament.

     The 22nd Century weapons are less capable, but still pretty hefty compared to any gun truck. Various radars and other electronic sensors are long gone.

     Transport capacity as a "non-tactical" vessel is 1750 tons. For landing cargo over the beach, in a tactical environment, typical loads were:


  • 313 troops + one (or a combination of) the following:

    • x5 BTR-60 (or -70, or -80) APCs + 120 additional troops including 120mm mortars + 10 KrAZ-255B military trucks (for mortars, supplies, etc.)

    • x20 PT-76 amphibious tank

    • x52 ZIL-131 trucks

    • x85 GAZ-66 jeeps + 100 additional troops

    • 600t of dry cargo


     The mild steel hull ranges in thickness from 9.5 mm along the sides, to 25mm at the bow (including the bow doors). Armor value 15 (sides), 22 (bow).


     The ship steamed down the Columbia River, out to sea, and north around the Olympic Peninsula. Some Makah fishing boats waved to the ship in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

     The ship's captain decided not to enter Deception Pass into Skagit bay at sunset. Looking with powerful binoculrs, a few brightly-painted war canoes could be seen on the east side of Skagit Bay.

     A noisy dinner was had, with lots of vodka; Doc danced a hornpipe on the broad, polished brass top of a capstan! "Russians are having invented this dance long before America," as a sailor hopped up on the other capstan to do a dance. The team got to sleep in bunk beds, take proper showers, use flush toilets, etc.


Wednesday, 29 June, 2140


weather report (Whidbey Island):  low temperature 63° F, high temperature 84° F, mid-day humidity 44%,  wind speed 12 kph from the west, scattered clouds. It was raining in Portland this day.


     As the sun came up behind Devil's Mountain, fog could be seen rolling off the forested hills. Squinting into the glare, the Morrow team noticed that the canoes were gone from the beach. The mountain was adjacent to the 20th Century town of Mount Vernon, in Skagit county, Washington; the mountain ridge was about 260 meters above the bay. Only a couple hundred meters of level ground separated the foot of the mountain from the bay. 

     The Nikolay Vilkov moved slowly through Deception Pass, and carefully crossed the bay. Two dugout canoes, each with 10 men aboard, were seen moving rapidly east to the mouth of the Skagit River; the team decided not to intercept them.

     About half of the bay's area were shallows with ruins of 20th Century structures poking out of the water. The ship would be beached near high tide, a few kilometers south of Devil's Mountain.

     Several trucks, both armored cars, and a couple of jeeps rolled off the landing ship; a bunch of naval infantry took up positions on the beach. Numerous lookouts ashore and on the ship scanned for activity; the fog screened the coast.

     Along the coast a kilometer or so away were a half-dozen poles; impaled on each pole was the body of Purist. Lieutenant Samsonov decided that most of the trucks would wait on the beach; just one truck (with a dozen naval infantry and the Morrow team) would drive up the steep, narrow road.

     Quail Drive -- the road up Devil's Mountain -- hadn't been used by any motor vehicles for over a century; there were some moccasin and horse hoof prints. A couple of time the Project members and naval infantry would have to stop and clear the road. There was at least one booby trap along the road, although it was not of the sort that would set itself off.

     Just below the top of the mountain, an even less-traveled road split off from Quail Drive; it was only about 40 meters long, and ended at a landing in front of a mine entrance. The truck was parked, and the Soviets got out. Some were assigned as guards and on watch, and the rest began clearing trees and brush from the mine road.

     While his team mates worked on blowing open the bunker doors, Doc and a Soviet soldier went to the top of the ridge, only about 10 or 15 meter higher elevation than the mine. There were three concrete pads -- the remnants of a radio tower and transmitting station. Doc could see southwest to the beach where the Vilkov was waiting, and north into the valley of the Skagit River, where a few streaks of smoke marked some villages.

     With a resounding thud, a small hole was blown in the concrete on one side of the door. The truck's winch cable was led into the mine, and hooked onto the now-exposed edge of the door. With a metallic squeal and a snap, the steel door was pulled from its hinges, and fell down with a crash.


     The Devil's Mountain Bunker


     Wearing their gas masks, the Morrow team entered the bunker, their flashlights making glowing cones in the dusty air. They were pleased by some things -- Barrett assault rifles, and lots of ammunition -- and not so pleased by others:  a Chrysler sedan, and a lot of spoiled rubber seals and cables.

     A few locals were spotted sneaking along the low, brushy coast, towards the Soviet troops; and a fire was set on the mountainside along Quail Drive. A rifle shot at the sneaking locals, and a half-dozen shells into the hillside, put an end to the somewhat-sneaky activities.

     Realizing they could not remove all the contents of the bunker, the team backed the Soviet truck into the mine, and put several of the naval infantrymen to work loading loot supplies into the truck. The two halves of the door were first, followed by car parts, weapons and ammunition, a generator, radio, etc.

     Two fragmentation hand grenades, and a white phosphorus hand grenade, were placed as three separate booby traps in the mine tunnel; the white phosphorus grenade was the furthest towards the back, and would set the bunker contents on fire. "If we can't have it, nobody can, and they should die in a fire."


Kevin will have to add the "taken" stuff to his inventory list for the team.


     While delayed by the small forest fire, and the back-fire the team had set, by the end of the day the Project members were back aboard the Vilkov with their loot. The captain hauled the ship off the beach, and sailed out towards the setting sun through Deception Pass. The ship anchored for the night, 15 kilometers away from the coast.

     The three big steamboats, and some smaller ones, arrived at Portland at sunset.


Thursday, 30 June, 2140


weather report (Portland):  low temperature 55° F, high temperature 63° F, mid-day humidity 76%,  wind speed 18 kph from the south, scattered clouds and several light rain showers.


     The Soviet landing ship raised anchor and got underway before dawn, traveling slowly into the Straits (one engine was not operating correctly). Late in the afternoon, the ship stopped briefly at Astoria, and then continued up the Columbia River to Portland.

     Tied up to the River Folk docks there were three large steamboats, and a half-dozen smaller vessels. Camped on the shore were hundreds of men -- the Montanan Army, recruits from Oregon City, and other members of the Expedition! A great cheer went up when the Vilkov was sighted.


The Nikolay Vilkov used 14,000 liters of biodiesel on the trip to Skagit Bay and back. At a normal "pump" price of $0.10 per liter ... $1,400 worth.


     Four of the Soviet trucks, two of their armored cars, and a jeep were unloaded from the landing ship, and slowly loaded onto the large steamboats. Some other vehicles -- and many supplies -- were already aboard, ready for departure the next day.

     Late into the night, the members of the Morrow teams worked at sorting their loot, and deciding which items to bring on the Expedition -- the rest would be shipped back to Oregon City.


Friday, 1 July, 2140


weather report (Portland):  low temperature 53° F, high temperature 62° F, mid-day humidity 73%,  wind speed 13 kph from the south-southeast, overcast all day with light rain from 10 a.m. until after sunset.


     A fleet of River Folk vessels got underway at dawn, bound for the ruins of Grand Coulee Dam. The big steamboats carried 30 to 50 soldiers; the six smaller ones carried 18 soldiers each. Another eight of the small vessels would follow a day later, with more troops.


The vessels departing July 1st and 2nd can carry a total of 372 troops,

six heavy vehicles (two army trucks, two BTR-70 armored cars, the gun truck, the V150),

and quite a few jeep or XR-311 size vehicles.

I think the forces from the Northwest total 370 men,

including Soviets and Morrow Project members.


Sunday, 3 July, 2140


weather report (Bone City):  low temperature 52° F, high temperature 82° F, mid-day humidity 89%,  wind speed 9 kph from the west-northwest, scattered clouds until sunset.


     In the afternoon, the fleet of steam and motor vessels arrived at Grand Coulee; the troops, vehicles and supplies were unloaded. Two tractor-trailer "big rigs" were waiting (sent from Bone City by order of Mischief Jones), along with six Soviet trucks brought up a week or so ago. The trip to Bone City by truck took about 4 hours; the tractor-trailer rigs made another trip back to Grand Coulee after sunset, and brought even more soldiers and supplies to Bone City.

     Each trailer can carry 80 passengers, or 16 horses, in "ordinary military conditions". The Soviet trucks can carry 12 passengers each, along with supplies; the jeeps each carry 2 passengers; the armored cars can carry 10 passengers.

     The River Folk vessels spent the night at Grand Coulee, resting.

R-101 awakes


Monday, 4 July, 2140


weather report (Bone City):  low temperature 55° F, high temperature 77° F, mid-day humidity 67%,  wind speed 12 kph from the southwest, scattered clouds or mostly cloudy all day.


     The River Folk vessels at Grand Coulee set out for Portland -- they expected to arrive there on July 6th, to load more cargo for the Expedition, and a couple hundred "tier two" Montanan troops. They should be back at Grand Coulee by July 9th or 10th.

     As Independence Day began in Bone City, the Expedition looked at stacks, tents, and warehouses full of their supplies. Mischief Jones gave a report of more recent events. She had arranged for supply wagons and over 200 horses (including pack animals) in the Snake River Plain; they were mostly being gathered at Pocatello. There were only 50 horses available at Bone City.

     The Expedition would include some mounted infantry from the Snake River Plain (Fort Boise, Pocatello, etc.), but most of their forces were facing north towards the pass into Beaverhead.

     At the end of the day, more soldiers arrived at Bone City, from the smaller vessels which arrived before sunset at Grand Coulee. Some pyrotechnics were fired off after dark by the Morrow team members.


The "Tier Two" Montanan troops may be carrying more cartridge weapons by this point,

depending on how the LMRs, Mini-14s, and other rifles were handed out.


Tuesday, 5 July, 2140


weather report (Bone City):  low temperature 55° F, high temperature 77° F, mid-day humidity 67%,  wind speed 12 kph from the southwest, scattered clouds or mostly cloudy all day.


     The Expedition set out from Bone City: 


  • eight Soviet army KrAZ-255B trucks (each 2 crew, 12 passengers - reduced from 14 due to supplies carried) + six 4200 liter fuel trailers + 2 cargo trailers

  • two Soviet BTR-70 clones (each 3 crew, 10 passengers)

  • two Soviet jeeps (each 2 crew)

  • Morrow Project gasogen-powered gun truck (~7 crew) towing the 20mm Bike

  • V-150 (3 to 5 crew), possibly towing something

  • XR311 (2 crew), possibly towing something

  • two gasogen powered semi-tractors with 40' cattle trailers (each 2 crew, 80 men); these are non-tactical, and cannot go where "all wheel drive" is required.

  • dune buggy (Mischief Jones and a crew member)


     ... for a total of 322 men. 50 men would follow from Bone City on horses or in wagons, to be fetched by the semi-tractors with cattle trailers in a few days. Off to Pocatello! The trip of 970 kilometers should take 4 or 5 days, by which time the "Fifty on Horseback" will covered about 160 kilometers.


From Bone City to Fort Boise is 584 kilometers.

Thursday, 7 July, 2140


     Fort Boise! The Montanans felt especially proud -- the last time they'd been here, they were impoverished refugees living on charity.


Saturday, 9 July, 2140


     The motorized portion of the Expedition reached Pocatello this day. Corrals with horses awaited them ... no more riding in livestock trailers.

     There were a hundred mounted Idahoans here, ready to join the Expedition. They were led by Captain Adams of the Boise Brigade, and carry simple cartridge weapons -- men with muzzle loaders, crossbows, etc. had been sent up along the Snake River to guard the northern pass.


Sunday, 10 July, 2140


     A day of rest, with a bit of organizing and listening to radio reports. The two semi-tractors headed back towards Bone City, to fetch the Fifty on Horse.

     The River Folk steamers arrived at Grand Coulee, and unloaded 200 Montanan "tier two" troops, who started marching to Bone City (it would take them four days).

R-101 commandeers the Mail Boat in Duluth 


Monday, 11 July, 2140


     Everyone is very busy, finding their horses, loading supply wagons, obtaining things they forgot to pack or lost on the way. Mischief Jones had purchased quite a lot of food, which was waiting here.


Tuesday, 12 July, 2140


     The Expedition set out from Pocatello; it was 380 kilometers to Farson, Wyoming (in the Green River Valley). The trip would take almost two days (the road was rough going); the Snake River mounted contingent under Captain Adams would be following along at a slower pace.


Thursday, 14 July, 2140


     Just before 3 in the afternoon, the Expedition reached Farson, Wyoming. The Green River Folk were amazed and ecstatic! 18 capable-looking motor vehicles, hundreds of well-armed troops, hooray! The 100 mounted Green River militia were already out to the east, protecting the gap between the Red Desert and the Wind River Range. A supply of 50 riding or light draft horses was waiting here.

     It took some urging by Doc to get the Expedition moving again ... the Green River womenfolk were in excellent spirits and good-looking. "Master at arms, seach the trucks for stowaways, and look around the town for deserters." Camp was made that night 60 kilometers further east, at South Pass on the Continental Divide.

     The two Bone City semi-trailers met the Fifty on Horseback. Ten of their favorite riding animals were loaded onto one of the trailers, and the other forty horses  left with some local farmers for now. The truck carrying the Fifty turned around and headed for Pocatello again (should be there by July 15th); the other one continued on towards Bone City.

     Doc's plan was looking good ... there were well over 700 men already part of the Expedition, and the troops from Ultraviolet weren't even added in yet. It was running a day behind, but there was a much better proportion of motorized infantry than he had planned for, and of course many more cartridge-firing weapons.

     This day, a Ravager gyrocopter arrived, and landed to talk with the Expedition. Plans were made to send a couple of Project members along to scout or snipe at the Doom Riders near Ravager Air Base. The Ravager pilot, Lieutenant Savage, flew back to RAB with the news.


Friday, 15 July, 2140


     The mechanized part of the Expedition advanced, with a bit more tactical care, east into the Green Mountains. Doom Rider raiders had ventured as far as South Pass within the last three weeks. Two Ravager gyrocopters, one of them able to carry a passenger, arrived at 3 p.m.; it was a six hour flight from the Green Mountains to RAB.

     The 200 second tier Montanan troops (technically, Companies D and E) marched into Bone City this day, to be met by the semi-tractor with a livestock trailer.


Expedition route shown in red


on to The End of the Beginning

Comments (2)

Michael said

at 9:40 pm on Jun 11, 2018

Ah ha, Kirk's looking at the Big Picture of all the groups!

Kirk said

at 9:54 pm on Jun 11, 2018

R-54 is finally catching up and making that possible.

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