On the evening of October 3, 2012, my traveling partner (I’ll call him Joe) and I were camped just north of Yellowstone National Park, in the national forest near Red Lodge, Montana. It was about 30 degrees outside, (0 Celsius), and we were snuggled in our down bags. At some point, Joe woke me up, exclaiming that there was something outside of the vehicle.
We both sat there peering outside, expecting to see a grizzly bear, or at least a black bear, but we didn’t see anything. Joe had heard a noise that sounded like footfall on gravel, right by the vehicle. We both returned to a restless sleep.
A while later, I heard a squeaking noise, and then a scurrying noise, then I heard the patter of tiny footsteps walking across the roof, and I realized we had a mouse, or two. This mouse sounded like a rat, but we know it wasn’t that big because somehow it managed to get between the metal of the roof and the fabric lining of the vehicle. We could actually feel it walking around on the soft lining above our heads if we put our hand there. The mouse was very active and made a lot of noise, one of which sounded just like a big animal walking just outside the vehicle. At least that mystery was solved.
After a while of trying to scare the mouse away, we tried to go back to sleep. However, every now and then I would feel a tiny weight walking on my pillow, and then I would feel something soft tickle my face. The mouse was checking me out, and I was feeling his whiskers on my face.
It has been too cold for us to want to take everything out of the vehicle, so we are not sure if this mouse is traveling with us and has a nest, or if he was just visiting for the night.
The joys of living in a vehicle.
Update – Mousy stayed in the vehicle and traveled with us for another day, at which point we grew tired of mouse poop in our food bowls, and bought some Bounty dryer sheets and put them around the vehicle. Apparently, mice don’t like the smell of it, and shortly thereafter Mousy left the vehicle. I’m sure he was quite shocked by his environment when he left, as he’d boarded in the National Forest, and excited in a big town. I wonder if he’d ever felt concrete under his tiny paws before.
Until next time…
Enjoying the wildlife ~ A Free-Spirited Woman (My blog prior to A Nomad for Nature)
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