There’s something living in the car!!

There’s something living in the car!

As mentioned in my previous post, we decided to take a road trip to Montana.  We rented a vehicle because we knew we’d be driving a lot of miles and we wanted something that would get better gas mileage than our truck and have more room.  Our ultimate destination was a guard station cabin in Montana, and that required that we pack extra things such as bedding, towels, food, solar shower, lights, chairs, etc.  Needless to say, the Ford Explorer that we ended up getting was packed to the hilt!  When we picked the “family truckster” up (if you’ve ever seen National Lampoon’s Vacation—you’ll know why we called it that.), it only had a few hundred miles on it.  We returned it with an additional 5300+ miles on it…..thank goodness we had unlimited mileage with our rental!  The comment made at Avvis by the attendant when we returned it, was; “Wow—you drove….A LOT….it’s due for an oil change already!”

Because we had driven so much, my mechanically inclined hub kept a close eye on the regular maintenance of the vehicle.  He checked the tires, fluids, and general mechanics of the family truckster each morning before we took out.  He’s quite handy like that!  One particular morning, he was in for a surprise when he popped the hood.  He saw something quickly scamper out of sight and, upon further inspection, he started noticing grass around the motor….as if something was trying to nest in the engine.  Surprised and somewhat baffled at what could be trying to make a nest in the vehicle, he looked under the vehicle and all over the engine, trying to catch another glimpse of said critter so he could possibly figure out what it was.  Finally, the critter popped his head up just long enough to see that it had small ears, was brown, and had a long tail.  He thought it looked similar to the Pica we had seen in the Rockies, only bigger and with a long tail.  He came in and got me, told me to bring the camera and said there was something I had to come see this.  I really didn’t know what he was planning to show me but, he seemed pretty excited about it so, I followed.

As we reached the vehicle with the hood up, the hub explained to me that something was trying to nest in the vehicle and it appeared to still be there.  Uh, yeah, OK…..I think you’re seeing things.  We had just checked the vehicle over the day before and there was no sign of anything.  The night was a bit chilly, and I’m sure the motor was warm the night before when we’d returned to the cabin but, we really hadn’t seen any smaller critters around and we typically spent most of the evening outdoors around the cabin/vehicle.  This thing would have to work fast.  When I asked what it was, he told me it looked like a cross between a rabbit, rat, mouse, pica thing…….uh, OK… other words he had no idea, he’d never seen one before.  Imagine, the hub, both of our kids, and me with my camera up, gathered around the family truckster, anticipating the “it” to pop up at any minute.  Well, as soon as it did—there was chaos….screaming, jumping, everyone scrambling and then laughter because we were all startled.  This went on for a bit, while we were all trying to get a glimpse of “it” and better yet, a picture so we could figure out what it was.  Finally, I think it was as scared of us as we were of it, so, it jumped to the ground and then the chase was on!  We all took out after it, chasing it out away from the vehicle.  The hub’s biggest fear was that it would chew through some wires, plug something up, or get stuck in there and cause major damage.  We the “it” on over the hill, and the excitement apparently over, the hub went to work cleaning out the grasses and leaves from the motor, checking things over thoroughly before we loaded up and headed out for the day.

What a crazy start to the day!  Once I had access to WiFi, I did some research and it seems that the consensus was that “it” was a bushy tailed wood rat……yep, it was some sort of a rat….ewwwww…… Always an adventure with the Brown fam on vaca!


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