The day and evening had gone slowly, the evening had a strange smell, that he could not place, it was a mix of burn, sweetness and weirdly enough peppers. The sky had a red glow in the distance and where he was, he had quite the view. Down the hill cars were riding like nothing was happening, only I knew that there was more. “Patrick, I need a car” He nodded and gestured to the exit. I followed and he took me to the garage. A Bugatti Chiron and two Cadillacs. An Escala and an XT6. I took the XT6, I also looked around for jerrycans. Patrick seemingly guessed what I was looking for and opened a chest. In there was, in sand 6 cans, 4 filled. I took them all and placed them in the back of the XT6. I started the car and drove off. The tank was full, so that meant close to 450 miles. That meant, north around Keene when I needed to look to refill the tank and fill up the 2 empty cans. I drove off. There was traffic in both directions, but it was clear that those going towards LA were avoiding the flames, some of them, as well as their cars did not look too good. It was close to 5 hours later when I reached Keene. Traffic was not nice and stressed people were showing to be the worst.
It was at the Murray Family Farms well past Keene when I spotted the Chevron station. I stopped and loaded up the tank as well as the two cans. There was a big red barn which actually looked kinda lovely. After the car was satisfied, it was my turn. In the red barn was a nice selection of fruit, pies and other needs. I kept to the fruits, there were granny smiths, there were tangerines and a few other goods. I took several pieces of each, and as I was not sure how it was done, I took a few extra pieces so that I ended up with about 4 bags of fruit. There were fruit juices and I took three of them too, as well as two bottles of water. I went to the cash register and paid for it all, the fuel was by far the most expensive and overall a really nice deal. I loaded it up in the car and I heard the man call me. “Would you like some coffee?” It was a nice surprise and I nodded and walked back. The man offered a clean mug with coffee. “Cream, sugar?” I shook my head “No, thank you”. He looked at me And asked me “Are you one of these ‘fire tourists’?” I shook my head again. No, that is not my setting. I need to find something, but I do not know what it is. “We all have that, the man said and laughed”. I took a sip, of the coffee and looked around. The red in the sky was more intense, but not in a threatening way. The man continued. There were firemen here, they loaded up on everything they could. They were exhausted. They talked about a fire that would not go out, they threw everything at it, It was like it was fuelled. It was about 20 miles NNE from here, by Twin oaks, where the cave is, south of Lake Isabella. That was a hint he could use, and 20 miles is not that far, but there was every chance that it was a dead end. There was only one way to find out, and that was to set the curse towards Twin Oaks. I thanked the man for the coffee and drove off, in the beginning not in the direction, but only in a general direction. This was not a god time, or a good place to vacate the roads. The next part of the trip was about to begin.