Saturday, September 7, 2013

Three-part Gloom and Doom :(

Yesterday morning when I was outside washing windows, cleaning the "city water" spout and it's plug that was leaking, and some other little chores, I noticed this at the rear of the rig:

That doesn't look good, right?  I noticed the fittings were pulling out and the material used to finish off the end was coming out.  I can't imagine how that happened, unless it was just normal weathering.  So, I cleaned up the area and got out my trusty silicone tube and pressed the pieces in as much as I could, and plugged all the openings so it's water tight again.  Judging from the last time I used silicone to plug an opening, it will probably only last a year, but it should get us through the winter, and I'll keep my eye on it.  (The same area on the right in this photo was losing it's "stuff" too, so I gooped it up with silicone before it gets bad.  Then I checked around the outside of the rig for any other bad spots, but these two were the only ones.)

Katie has been pretty vigilant about critters in The Palms.  She has woken me up very early every morning since we've been here at El Malpais with her "I hear a mouse" stance, pointing her nose right at the cab of the truck.  She also turns her head to look along the couch and back into the kitchen.  Every morning I check under the seats, and the snap-traps and sticky-traps are still there, empty, so I thought the critters were running around under the engine, and then running along the gravel under the couch side of the rig. 

Finally this morning, after Katie was so insistent that something was up there, I opened the hood of the truck, and lo and behold:

Whoa!  Big foot prints, nothing like the other tiny mouse tracks.  I got the Fresh Cab packets back out - I put them in the engine compartment at Bluewater, but removed them when I was driving and hadn't put them back.  Well...  this morning they went back, plus two new ones.

When I was fiddling around placing the packets, I heard noises coming from the back of the engine, around where the gas/brake pedals are - that corner of the engine compartment.  I went back and got a little white sticky trap and placed that on top of the battery.  Then I closed the hood and went inside. 

Katie was being insistent again, so I raised the hood again, and in just a matter of minutes, here were some foot prints on the sticky trap, but no animal.  I don't know how he walked over this glue-trap and wasn't stuck.  (The brown stains were there already, only the tracks are new.)  These were tiny prints:

I checked all over the place inside The Palms and there are no signs of rodents, none getting caught in traps, no poops, and no nests, so I'm thinking they were in the engine only, and then jumped down and ran under the motor home on the ground, and that's what Katie heard.  So far (fingers crossed) we haven't had any critters inside since I plugged the last two holes in the cab area.

I also got out my little solar lights and lined them up in the sun.  Tonight I'll place them around the tires and under the engine to see if the light will keep out the critters.  Oh, well.  We'll see what happens tonight.  I hope all is quiet.

I wonder if anyone else in the campground is having the same problem with critters. I'm the only one with a pet, though, so I guess if I didn't have Katie, I wouldn't have known something was in there.  I think I'll let them know they might want to check for foot prints in their engines.

My friend, Hazel - with the two Greyhounds -  let me know that her female dog was attacked by another Greyhound on Thursday.  She was visiting a friend and fellow camper, they were outside at the picnic table saying hello.  Her two dogs were on their leashes, and the other Greyhound was also on a leash. All the dogs were calm and friendly and the owners were right there, when suddenly the other dog went for Fleur's neck and caused quite a bit of damage.  Hazel took Fleur to the Vet in Grants, where Fleur had surgery on her neck and spent the night.  When Hazel picked her up yesterday morning, Fleur was all wrapped up around the wound with a drain to help with fluids.

Poor Sweet Fleur.  And poor Hazel, too.  That must have been such a scary experience for everyone concerned.  They go back to the Vet in two weeks to have the bandages, drain and wrappings removed and the stitches/or/staples taken out.  Hazel,  I hope Fleur is feeling better today and will have a speedy and complete recovery.  I'm thinking about you guys.  See Hazel's post with photos of Fleur here.

Boy, so far this post is really Gloom and Doom, isn't it?  The Palms exterior coming loose, big critters in the engine, Fleur being attacked. Does it help if I tell you that as I'm writing this I'm periodically glancing out the front windshield where a Black-chinned female hummingbird is coming and going, buzzing around, guarding the feeder?  :)

Let's lighten things up:

Here's my 4-year-old Grandson after a Padre's Game in San Diego.  (Thanks Trish, I copied this from your Facebook page. So cute!  I hope you don't mind.)

Do you get the idea that he likes the hot dog more than the bun?

And finally, below is a sign I shamelessly copied from a site full of these signs with funny sayings.  This is originally from TASTE OF AWESOME.COM.  How well do you follow directions?
I usually follow directions pretty well - but I have to admit I failed this one.  I agree - damn misleading arrow!

From me and Katie, have a great Saturday, everyone!  :)


  1. Good luck in you battle of the critters. The war is on.

  2. Good repair job. I sure hope you don't get any more rodents inside.


  3. We keep DeCon under the hood when we're just sitting for a while. Once we found a snake skin that had been "discarded"... once we had serious damage to some vacuum hoses (rodent nibbling). Now the DeCon seems to work. Good Luck!

  4. I sure hope Fleur is okay. That would really be scary. We don't let our girls socialize with other dogs because they are so obnoxious. Good luck with you critter battle. Hope you win. Always something with the rigs. Lee just posted that the Ranger (he's at Eagle Nest) told him that if he stayed less than 14 days (only stayed 12 or 13 days) he only had to leave the park for one day and then when he went back the day count started over again. But if you stay 14 days then you have to do the week out thing.

  5. Thank goodness for vigilent Katie! Poor Fleur looks quite unhappy in her harness--I hope she'll be alright. Loved the photo of your Grandson--so cute! I think he's got to right--the dog is always better than the bun, especially at Costco! Happy trails!

  6. Poor Fleur. I hope she makes a speedy recovery.

  7. Sorry you have such a time with Critters! Maybe Katie is inviting them, for entertainment.

  8. I failed too!
    Wishes for Fleur to have speedy recovery. It's strange how the canines we love just go off the deep end sometimes! I feel so bad for Hazel and for the owners of the other Greyhound as well.

    Critters! Not good. You go Katie!

    And I have to say, you are quite handy there anything you can't do?

  9. Hope your dog gets better. Honey experienced much the same thing a few weeks ago but is doing really well.

    In my business I get to see the damage critters can do to the inside of an engine compartment. Not to give you heart failure but generally if they can find and entrance (the intake tube from the air cleaner to the grille area) they will set up camp inside the air cleaner. They like insulation off the wiring in the engine compartment for bedding. Keep an eye on all the wires under the hood for signs of damage and if you're really brave, open the air cleaner and take out the element to see if anything is living in there.

  10. Here is the NM Park rule from their website: Campers may reside in a park for a maximum of 14 calendar days during any 20-calendar day period unless the director otherwise decreases or waives this limit. Campers shall completely remove camping equipment and gear from the park for six calendar days during the 20-calendar day period.

  11. Regarding the New Mexico State Park stay limits, I've heard both. There are some parks that let you come back after one night out, as long as you don't stay the entire 14 days. Other parks have a six-day-out rule.

    I have been allowed to stay longer, though, a couple of times when I had a package coming, and once when the season was over and the park was almost empty.

    The bottom line is that the Ranger in charge of the park can waive the 14 in-6 out rule or let you stay longer for a specific reason if he chooses. :)

  12. When we were at an Escapees park in Yosemite, there were signs telling people to prop up the hoods on their cars, trucks, motorhomes, etc. because of some varmit that gets into the engine compartment and chews the wires. People put hoods up a few inches and had the solar lights under and inside the engine compartment.

  13. Hope the critters get the message, neither Katie nor you are going to allow to hang out!

    Poor Fleur! I hope she is better soon.

    Love the photo of the little guy eating his 'dog. My kids were like that too. :)

    I too failed!

  14. So sorry to hear about Fleur. I know she loves those dogs so much so hope Fleur heals quickly.

  15. I was so very sorry to hear about your friend's dog being attacked. It really upsets me when people want to let their dog "visit" with your dog and all the while their dog is snarling and showing its teeth. While the owner is saying to you " my dog is very friendly". This was probably not the case here, but it is truly sad that it was attacked. I hope the greyhound is doing well.

    Don't know what to tell you about your uninvited guests; just make them feel as uninvited as possible so they will leave!

  16. Just hope and pray its not a felony for you to take some endangered rodents from the park.



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