The first rays of the sun are just threatening to peek over the horizon as Ellie pulls into the parking lot. The sign at the gate says "Open dawn to dusk" so she's a little early, but no one stops her. Not that they could, if they tried. She turns the engine off and grabs the backpack from the passenger seat before getting out of the car.
It contains some travel essentials: change of clothes, meal bars, water bottle and purification tabs, first aid kit. Jeanne always did emphasize preparedness, she's had a similar bag sitting next to the door of every house they lived in for as long as she can remember. The battered copies of the Iliad and Odyssey are not part of the standard. A last-minute concession to sentiment. Ellie liked those stories, of gods and heroes and monsters. It provided a relief from the present world, where the monsters far outnumber the heroes, and the gods are indifferent and uncaring. But she's one of them now. No more escaping it.
She sets off into the woods of the national park. Her destination is on the far side, a town called Eagleton, nestled up in the Appalachians. A long hike, but doable. And she shouldn't come across any patrols from this side.
It's a long day of walking before she gets close.