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The Jeeps

Page history last edited by Michael 1 year, 7 months ago

back to the Index, or to the list of R36 reports, or to Team R36


report covers 14 February 2141 to 20 February 2141

Tuesday, 14 February 2141


weather:   high temperature 64° F, low 37° F. Mostly cloudy all day, with winds up to 35 kph. Sunrise at 7 a.m., sunset at 5:45 p.m.


     The Morrow Project team, along with Jocelyn Tayler, had spent the night near the Ancient bunker in Olney, Maryland. They decided to take some of the durable plastic cases with oil paintings, along with some of the food, blankets, etc. that Jocelyn had left behind originally.

     With several of the plastic cases tied onto the rear deck of their ARV, they drove back to Princeton. The cases and some of Tayler's other supplies were stored in the barn rented by Harold Novak, some more camping supplies were purchased, dinner was eaten, and everyone got to sleep in nice beds again.


Wednesday, 15 February 2141


weather:   high temperature 41° F, low 36° F, cloudy all day, with light winds from the east and southeast.


     Before dawn, the team departed Princeton, and headed west roughly towards Harrisburg; their initial destination was the Potomac River at Point of Rocks, MD (about 350 kilometers away). By traveling to the west well clear of Three Mile Island, they hoped to avoid the worst of the nuclear contamination which led from the destroyed reactors southeast towards Aberdeen -- plus, Harrisburg was a nexus of several trade routes (the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Susquehanna Trail, and the Appalachian Trade Road).

     This led them through the Jinnet tribelands, in southeastern Pennsylvania; near Lebanon they saw a small town.

     Past the tangled ruins at Harrisburg, the team followed the remnants of U.S. Route 15 to the southwest, driving through Gettysburg.

     Arriving at Point of Rocks around 4 p.m., they found that an enormous nuclear crater had obliterated a hill just north of the town; the team decided to head towards Harpers Ferry without searching for a bunker.  The drive upstream was about 18 kilometers, which took about an hour.

     The town of Harpers Ferry was entirely in ruins, caused by fires, weather and floods -- but no nuclear attacks. The highway and rail bridges were reduced to the stumps of piers; looking down from Maryland Heights almost nothing but trees were visible. Crossing the river to the West Virginia side, the long peninsula between the Potomac River and the Shenandoah River had the ruins of 19th Century fortifications, the foundations of old buildings, along with collapsed cellars, porcelain fixtures, and other durable items.

      There were three caves recorded as being in the area, the first, Washington's Cave, had only bats and rubbish. The second cave had the remains of a small shed around it -- the wood-and-sheet-metal shed was long gone, leaving only the foundation -- but the opening looked promising. Benefiel and Turner carefully went inside, with flashlights and guns.

     At the back of the cave, it widened out; the floor seemed to have been smoothed and filled-in, and the rear wall was concrete, with visible form lines. It was fairly warm inside, with a rusty steel door set into the middle of the concrete wall. An Eastern Black Bear was sleeping against the door (no doubt appreciating the warmth). Afer some whispered discussion (during which the bear snored and twitched), Turner shot the bear in the head twice with his M21 rifle.

      The door had a rusty combination lock set in it, and the illegible remains of messages painted on it. The team pulled their ARV up within reach of the cutting laser's cable, and cut the door open.


This is an edit by the referee over the description of a key lock during the game; JEEP bunkers have combination locks to open the doors.


     This was JEEP bunker number 5. It was hot inside, and resembled the bunker Tayler had been in -- but unoccupied, with an empty cryoberth, and undisturbed survival supplies (though deteriorated similarly to those in JEEP 4). The CHIPP vault held dozens of small fiberglass boxes; inside them were old American coins and notes. Besides all manner of historical paper notes and base metal coins, there were:


  • silver trade dollars, issued 1873 to 1885:  38, thus $38, weight 1 kg

  • gold $1 coins, issued 1849 to 1889:  80, thus $80 and 0.6 kg

  • gold $5 coins, issued 1795 to 1929:  140, thus $700 and 1.1 kg

  • gold $10 coins, issued 1795 to 1933:  210, thus $2,100 and 3.2 kg

  • gold $20 coins, issued 1849 to 1933:  170, thus $3,400 and 5.1 kg

  • silver dollars, from 1840 to 1873, and from 1878 to 1904, and from 1921 to 1935:  290, thus $290 and 7.8 kg

  • other silver coins (dimes mostly):  200, thus $20 and 0.5 kg


     ... 1,128 gold or silver coins, with a total face value of $6,628, and a total weight of 19.3 kg. "Un-wanted" coins (base metal) probably totaled 2 or 3 thousand coins, with a total weight of 15 kg and a total value of less than $70.


Or, the team could bring another three or so plastic storage boxes, and bring all the pennies, nickels, quarters, etc. with them ...


     The team dumped all the base metal coins (mostly pennies, nickels and quarter-dollars) and paper notes on the floor (along with various inventory, custody and descriptive documents), removed the plastic sleeves and protective covers from the coins, and jammed the coins into three of the plastic cases. The airtight cases were 0.8 kg empty each, with a volume of 3 liters (if the protective foam is removed); one of them might hold all the coins, but would have been seriously heavy, so the coins were divided among three cases. Other items removed from the cave were telephone equipment, light bulbs and electrical gear, blankets and pillows, etc.

     While Benefiel led the team on their numismatic massacre, Turner and Doc Aquino dressed the bear and wrapped the meat (40 kg) in its skin.

     The third cavern, John Brown's Cave, went un-visited; the team spent the night admiring coins, and discussing bear-meat recipes (and tried some quick-fried breaded liver).

     Edible meat for an experienced hunter is about half of the animal weight (depending on your skill at dressing, the region, what you consider worth eating, etc. -- some people can get up to 65%, and a picky, unskilled butcher might only get 35%).


animal weights, kg









deer, whitetail




deer, mule




sheep, bighorn




bear, black




bear, grizzly












from the Butcher & Packer web site


Thursday, 16 February 2141


weather:   high temperature 62° F, low 37° F


     Early in the day, the team began the trip back to Princeton, arriving in the late afternoon. They stashed their latest finds, and dealt with their supply of bear meat.


Friday, 17 February 2141


weather:   high temperature 55° F, low 30° F


     Again departing from Princeton, and heading inland around the worst radiation on the Susquehanna River; then southeast towards Elk Neck, where they crossed Cheseapeake Bay into the Delmarva Peninsula. This took much of the day, as the shores were littered with debris, the currents were unhelpful, the water was cold with ice floating in it, etc.

     By the end of the day the team was tired, and camped near the ruins of Frederickstown. There was no sign of advanced civilization, but some remains of hunters' camps were noticed. There was very little snow on the ground, just patches under thick stands of trees.


Saturday, 18 February 2141


weather:   high temperature 44° F, low 26° F; winds very light or calm, cloudy skies.


     On the Delmarva Peninsula, the team drove through 90 kilometers of scruffy pine forests, much like the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. All of the Ancient roads were covered in sand, undergrowth, and even trees; there had been three nuclear weapon attacks around Dover, but most of the contamination was from debris carried on the wind from inland (past Chesapeake Bay). 


the blue line is the limit of 22nd Century storm surge at high tides;

note that the Virginian part of the peninsula has been entirely covered by water during a few exceptional hurricanes


     Hurricanes and fires had knocked down trees over the years, and more had grown up again; then more storms and fires destroyed the trees, etc.. None of the pines were very thick or tall.



      A couple of kilometers north of Staytonville, the team noticed a camp in the distance through the trees, with tents and dogs -- they tried to quietly drive around it, but suspected they had been noticed. They thus altered their course to one side, and drove several kilometers past Staytonville before turning back.

      Once they arrived at the ruins of the town, they began searching, focusing on parks and other areas not in private hands. Before the Atomic War, the village only had a couple hundred inhabitants, with a church and some commercial greenhouses being the largest structures.


an example of the highest level of Autonav maps for the Staytonville area;

note that some areas -- especially major cities -- have more detailed maps


     The team and Ms. Taylor did some searching, but when the sun went down they made camp, set guards, had dinner, and rested.


Sunday, 19 February 2141


weather:   high temperature 54° F, low 42° F; winds about 15 kph from the west-southwest, with cloudy skies.


     It was a nicely warmer day (compared to the last few weeks); the team had breakfast and began their search again. After a few hours, they uncovered a concrete slab the same size as the entrance to JEEP-4, next to a small ceramic box with a steel cover (similar to sidewalk utility boxes). Both the slab and the box were buried under a few inches of soil and leaf litter.



     Inside the box was a combination dial and a turn handle, along with some sand and grit; the dial lock, while rusty, was able to turn. Using Doc's stethoscope, Turner was able to open the lock (it was a simple 4-digit combination); turning the handle released the bolts for the slab, and should have activated the hydraulic system to raise the slab -- the bolts did retract, but the hydraulics had died long ago.

     Begay brought the ARV over to the slab, and had some mechanical fun with the crane and laser. After lunch the lid was raised, and blocked so that it wouldn't flop back down. Hot, hot air rose up from the stairway into the bunker; the team decided to give the bunker an hour or so to cool down a bit.

     Thus in the afternoon the team descended into the bunker, which smelled like hot cement and dried-out paper. It was laid out the same as JEEP-4, including the nuclear generator and cryogenic berth. Most of the supplies (drums of water, food and medicine) were gone, probably removed just after the Atomic War.

     There was no luggage, but some person -- probably the person in the cryogenic berth -- had left their personal effects:


  • men's clothing:  slacks, a polo shirt, expensive comfortable "weekend" shoes, underwear, a black zip-front windbreaker, an expensive wristwatch

  • wallet:  $150, a platinum Visa card, a Maryland driver's license, a DOD identification card, a Pentagon access card, a Pentagon parking card (vehicle described as "AUDI 90 QUATTRO"), an access card for a non-governmental facility called "OSF Sterling", business cards, a gym membership card, a membership card for the Chartwell Golf and Country Club, a car insurance card, a health insurance card, an AAA card

  • other pocket contents:  car keys for an Audi, Swiss Army knife, Yale University ring with a 1965 date -- no wedding ring


     The driver's license, identity cards, etc. were all from the same person:


Gerard Norben

     Born 2 October 1943; presuming he was frozen on the day of the Atomic War, he would be 46 years old.  Address is apparently a house in Annapolis, Maryland (there's no apartment number). He worked for the Department of Defense as a Senior Plans Analyst for the Joint Planning and Execution System within the Department of Defense. Height 6', weight 180 pounds (SIZ 13).



Just to confirm for Cin:  November 18, 1989 was indeed a Saturday.

Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" was at #7 on the U.S. music charts.


     The cryogenic berth was heating up the bunker on its own; the door to the storage room was opened to let the hot air out. The team removed a lot of telephone gear, light bulbs and other supplies in the meantime. The CHIPP vault held a dozen hard plastic cases, each containing 50 or so original drawings and documents from the early days of heavier-than-air flight in America (1902 to 1912).


None of the contents was of any particular utility to the Morrow Project, at least as far as building aircraft.


     Once the storage room was down to a reasonable temperature, the team entered and looked through the window in the cryoberth -- the person within did seem to be Gerald. The wake-up process would take eight hours; they hit the button and left the bunker.

     While the team was waiting, a pair of teenage children approached cautiously -- a boy with a bow and knife, and a girl with no visible weapons. They wore something like buckskin clothing, with the boy in leggings and a baggy shirt, and the girl wearing a poncho-like dress. The boy never said anything; the girl introduced herself as Sally Slone, with her brother Tom. They were from the nearby village, and agreed to take some team members back to meet their Aunt Mabel.

     The village, or more properly camp, consisted of five "longhouse" structures, made of poles and planks, and covered by hide, fabric and bark. They were built among the pine trees -- in fact a few trees still grew up through the top of some of the longhouses. Dogs and goats were the visible animals; a few men, and a few more women, inhabited the camp.


8 males and 16 females, to be exact:   4 adult males, 9 adult females, 4 male children and 7 female children.


     The men stood back, and were armed with short bows and crossbows, knives and staves; the women did the talking, and in fact only the older women spoke with the strangers. They tended to ignore what the male Project members said (but this wasn't absolute).

     People of their tribe moved their camps once a year or so, and built their longhouses among the trees to conceal them from Imperial double-X wing aircraft. In a few weeks they would plant gardens. They obtained woven fabric and some other items from traders (like Harry Novak) in exchange for salvaged goods, usually copper wire (which they were willing to trade to the Morrow team, along with some fresh meat and vegetables).

     More about this tribe here.


Monday, 20 February 2141


weather:   high temperature 46° F, low 26° F; winds about 15 kph from the west-southwest, with cloudy skies. Seas:  waves from east-northeast 1 meter at 5 seconds.


     Before dawn, the cryoberth in JEEP-16 opened ...


On to The Tiger Fair

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