I was sitting on the back of our 1991 Sleek Craft Enforcer 30 ft twin Merlin Engine boat with my legs crossed.  The sun overhead, the water calm, as I sat there with my eyes closed listening to all the distant chatter on the lake that summer day in 2017, all I could think was how wonderful would it be if we were the only ones there, the still quietness would be memorizing.   That day I asked Red, the last part of September can we take a weekend just you and I out here, stay on the lake, and enjoy the peace of Nature?  Red is my husband. He is a tall, thin man with red hair. He was sitting on the bar between the boat drives in the lake, talking to friends.  Red was all for it. That weekend changed our lives and the World forever!

The day was September 29, 2017; it was a Friday. I remember it as if it were yesterday, I worked all day getting the boat packed, Red had to work all day, so it was my job to go shopping and get everything ready and loaded, that I could lift, so when Red got home, he could load the last couple of things and hit the road.  We were going to Alamo Lake for the weekend to camp on the sandy beaches, and since we were taking the dogs, it was perfect.  We got the boat launched about 6:30 pm. The sun was peeking over the mountains, trailing gold, pink and red across the sky.  Red gets the truck and trailer turned around on the launch and backed up to the water, and then we trade, Red gets in the boat, and I finish backing him in the water. I suck at backing this monster up, I get him into place, set the emergency brake, and I walk back to the boat to get him unlocked from the trailer. I’ve done this many times before, but every time he hits the gas so I can pull the pin, and it scares the hell out of me, only this time I screamed, and it echoed in the canyons, and I fell backward into the lake. Laughing, and shivering I got out of the water and looked around; the entire lake was laughing. I couldn’t even see Red’s head over the side of the boat. He was laughing so hard he fell back into the seat.  Taking him a good 5 minutes to get the words “You OK?” out.  Graceful wasn’t me. In fact, every time we went camping with our friends, the bet was always how many hours into this would Doc hurt herself and end up in the ER.  I dried myself off and drove the truck up to a large parking space at the top of the hill, mostly empty except for a few scattered trucks and trailers.  I grabbed the last couple of things in the truck and headed down to the dock.  At the top of the boat launch, there was a stunning view, and as a writer and vlogger, I take a lot of pictures and videos. I put my things down and took a couple of pictures and a short video.  As I approached the boat, Red, still laughing, tries to ask, “how’s the water, babe?”  I giggle and mutter back at him, “I’ll show you how cold.”.  “Ok, be careful. It’s slippery. You don’t want to fall here,” said Red.  I look at him and shake my head and easily make it on board.

The lake was pretty empty except for a few fishermen here and there, but they’re pretty quiet and stay away from people most of the time.   We have a great place to camp on a little sandy island in the middle of the lake.  The island was fun to get to, but we had to be careful. We drove around along the far side of the lake where a good-sized river connects at a Y.  You follow the river up, and about 2.1 miles, where another river is connected on the port side.  Follow that river around, and it pours into another small lake that you can’t drive back to, on Indian Reservation Land.  The water here is a clear and beautiful blue. The lake was about a mile around with a good-sized sandy beach. We called it little Fiji.  We got the campfire going and unpacked the camp area. We sleep in the cabin on the boat, so setup is pretty easy. We just put out an awning to make a little kitchen area with a stove and a sink. You hook up gallons of water and go.  Barry, the lines for the dogs in case we have to tie them up.  Red sets up the camp bathroom because I’m too short to hang it, the whole time making fun of me as we laugh because he actually makes a pretty good impression of me being my graceful self.  Once camp is set up, I start making dinner.  The dogs are running around playing. The island is big enough to set up a pretty good camp area, and we don’t have to tie the dogs up most of the time unless someone we know will be there with their pets. However, people have to be invited to this island as the Indian’s use this island for ceremonial rituals.  We aren’t allowed on the island during these times.

Red goes over the boat to check all the wiring and oil and what knot, occasionally yelling at whatever gage gives him a hard time.  Red inherited the boat when his mother passed away a few years earlier. Before that, it hadn’t been driven or worked on in 10 years.  Red had spent the last year working on it every weekend. I even went out to help so that we could get it on the water this year.  The boat is older, but the paint job still looks good after it’s waxed.  The Red, Silver, and White are really standing out this year, we had it professionally waxed just before this trip, and we wanted to put it away for the winter, so she would be ready to go next year.  We pulled the refrigerator and microwave out of the boat and converted them to drawers with locking doors.  Each drawer could be pulled out and locked.  The top drawer had 4 mason jars filled with cannabis and large square silicone dab containers.  Drawer 2 was deeper; it can also be pulled out and unlocked with 2 bongs on two dab mats. The middle draw was carbonators and dab tools. 1 bong had an e-nail attached for dabbing, and the second bong had a flower bowl. There was a trey on one side with several cone containers.  The bottom drawer had all our cannabis cleaning equipment.

The first night was uneventful; we sat up at the campfire, smoked a shit ton of cannabis, and just relaxed, talking, laughing, and occasionally dancing to the music.  Red always says, “don’t say anything to anyone about our Island paradise, but I really don’t think that matters anymore.  We wanted to get into the cannabis business before the World ended, but the world had another idea.

I have stage 4 bladder cancer, and I was given the terminal diagnosis last December, so I stopped all treatments and replaced it with cannabis.  I also have a disease called IC, which causes my bladder to bleed and spasm, so I am dependent on catheters to void or urinate, and ulcerative colitis, which causes my large intestines to bleed.  The dr.’s say I can bleed to death if it keeps going untreated.  This was supposed to be our last trip before surgery.  My surgery was scheduled for the first Friday in October. The dr. was going to remove my large intestines. I would then have to have a colostomy bag for 6 months and then surgery to reconnect the bowel.

Red is an insulin-dependent diabetic; he also had ulcerative colitis and had to have surgery several years ago to have his large intestine removed; this causes dehydration issues.   World ending and all, it’s pretty messed up. We weren’t rich, but we were ok. We had enough medications to last us for the next month, but then what?  We probably went to bed about 10 pm.  It was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in years. I slept like the dead.  We got up around 5 am and made some coffee.  It was still dark when we set up camp last night, so I wasn’t able to get any of my photos or videos for my blog, so I started recording and photographing the campsite.  As the sun was coming up, we started noticing the occasional boat sound, and then as if the world was sped up, all the boats on the lake sounded as if they were racing in a no-wake zone, but we thought nothing of it and started breakfast.  We eat well when we’re camping. Red started cooking the bacon on a rack over the fire.  I peeled and sliced the potatoes; we cook our potatoes in cannabis-infused bacon grease, then scramble up the eggs after the potatoes are done and toast.  Cannabis has been a key staple of our diet since I was diagnosed with terminal cancer; eating it in my foods helps me with pain management and improved my quality of life. After seeing my life dramatically improve, Red decided to join me. It has dramatically helped him as well.

While we were eating, a blue speed boat comes borrowing through and then stops.  Red looks at me and says, “he’s yelling something.”  We try to hear him but we couldn’t he was too far away.  Then the guy takes off. We look at each other and decide to clean up camp and go check it out.  We break everything down, load it back in the boat and secure it.  Get the life vests on the dogs and get them in the cabin of the boat.  As we were following the river back down to the lake opening and noticed no other boats, we must have been the last one up the river, Red deciding he didn’t like the feeling he had started to accelerate.  We know this lake really well, so, between the depth finder and Red’s knowledge of this lake, I knew we would make it out to the lake without a problem.

As we approached the dock, we heard emergency personnel telling us to stay put; it’s not safe to leave the water, stay there, and wait for further instructions.  Wait for emergency personnel to come out and talk to all of you individually. The announcement blared 2 or 3 times loudly every 15 minutes.  As we waited, we anchored down, and several boats came to tie off with us.  Dave and Jase tied up to us first with their pontoon boat, both blonde-haired guys, Jase was taller than Dave, but both were in good shape, very nice guys.  Then came Andy and Matt with their pontoon boat. Matt was a good foot taller than Andy. Andy had brown hair.  Matt had long blonde hair, hilarious guys, and they were very much in love. They were so cute, like the guys next door kind of vibe.  Tom ties off to our other side. He had a small fishing boat, and he was an older man with a very grey mullet and a large beer belly.  At this point, we are all sitting on Dave and Jase’s pontoon boat and talking when we hear a medium-speed boat coming up and asking to tie off. Red, Dave, and Jase jumped up and started helping Nathen and Tammy tie off. Nathen was this really tall blonde-haired kid who looked like a very spoiled kid.  Tammy was this adorable petite brunette.  As they were tying off, Don and Beth pulled in, asking if we had heard anything.  They tied to Nathen’s boat. Don and Beth looked to be in their 50’s very nice people.  As they sat down on Dave and Jase’s boat, they started passing out beer.  Thirty minutes into drinking and talking, Jerry shows up in a small fishing boat; he seemed disoriented.  “ I was fishing the sun hadn’t come up yet, so I’m not sure what time it was, but I had this feeling, this feeling was so strong I passed out in my boat, the next thing I know I woke up and the sun was bright overhead, and everyone is sitting here, what the hell happened!!” Jerry frantically talking.  The guys got Jerry tied off to us, and we got him on Dave’s boat. As we calmed him down, he guzzled 4 water bottles down like he hadn’t drunk anything in years.  Jerry was also retired. He was a big burly guy with long scruffy hair, a beard, and a mustache. He looked like one of those off-gridder’s from Alaska.  Then came Kevin and John on their pontoon boat and Ben and Justin on their pontoon boat.  Kevin was a tall skinny, black-haired man that walked with a limp, and John was a tall and large man. He had dirty blonde hair and smoked like a chimney.  Ben was in his 40’s probably 5 foot 2, black hair, slender and muscular. Justin was probably 18 or 19. He was Ben’s Nephew tall, slender blonde kid.  As the guys were finishing up, another medium-speed boat pulled up and asked if we had room for one more. Richard and Mary tied off and fiddled with a few things on their boat. He was a very talkative person, and she was quiet, and she waited on him hand and foot. It was almost overbearingly.  She was a short and plump woman, and he was a tall, plump man.  As we sat anchored, waiting for news, we speculated every conspiracy theory we could think of.  In a situation where we were all scared and worried, we tried our radios…Nothing, cellphones….No service, we even scanned for radio stations and nothing we were completely cut off from the world.  That feeling of complete isolation…

We sat there for what seemed like a lifetime, and the lake patrol came out, and this is what they said.  “I’m sorry to tell you this, but the water is the only safe place right now. We believe a biological agent was released in every big city across the world. Its incubation period is 12 to 36 hours. They don’t know what’s going to happen.”  At that, I dropped thinking of my family, friends, and so many innocent people, and it hit me “he didn’t know what was going to happen.” So I asked, “who, where did you hear this?” The kid’s name was Adam.  Adam couldn’t have been older than 21 years old. Maybe he heard fake news. Adam Replied, “It came over the Emergency Broadcast System,” he turned it back on, and it was still playing on a loop.  The biological threat is Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever.  Adam turned off the broadcast and said he was very sorry, but we should stay on the lake for the next several days to avoid contamination because it is believed to be an airborne weapon.  Adam then asked that we register our campsite with them so they could check on all of us, and then they went on to another group of boats.

Our group of boats was 10 boats wide, a couple of small fishing boats, 4 pontoon boats, our Day Cruiser, and 3 medium speed boats.  We all had been sitting on Dave’s pontoon boat. Dave was a construction foreman from Phoenix very nice guy but very worried about his wife and kids.  Red and I decided to call our friend Alo from the local Native American Tribe and ask to bring this group back to the island to avoid breaking our arrangement to use the island…Alo agreed.

Red and I invited everyone back to our camp; we definitely had the room to dock all the way around the little island. It was nicely secluded, and we could see anyone coming into the area.  Little Fiji is a secluded island. The water patrol knows about it, but not many others. We keep this island secluded.  Those of us that know about it have spent a lot of time creating and maintaining it. It wasn’t always an island paradise. We planted plants and trees there every year, and we always spent the last weekend of the season getting it ready for the winter and cleaning it up.  This year was no different. That’s why we picked this area.

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