Our first stowaway

Two days ago, while one of the Cape Disappointment State Park employees was driving us to our volunteer duties at the North Head Lighthouse, we had an interesting conversation about various animal intrusions that campers had experienced in the area.  Primed by this discussion, Rosemarie woke me with some degree of frantic concern early yesterday morning to investigate rather loud and aggressive scratching noises coming from what sounded like the storage area directly under our bathroom.  Even as we walked around the bus, even flushing the toilet, whatever was under their continued to sporadically claw or gnaw at something quite solid.  The more we listened the larger the thing grew in our imaginations, or the worse the location seemed; we even began to suspect that something was trapped in our sewage holding tank and trying to claw its way out!

I went outside armed with a broom, jerking open the storage compartment under suspicion and immediately flailing about inside with the broom while making helpful Hiyaaaa! sounds.  I saw nothing, even after carefully moving most of the items out of this particular storage.  I backed up to think through my next move, when suddenly a small Douglas squirrel dropped down onto the rear tire just behind the storage compartment I was investigating.  He looked at me with some indignation before fleeing.

Upon further investigation I realized that my simplification and renovation of the strange plumbing arrangement installed by the previous owner had opened up a squirrel sized hole in the wheel well, were the old shower drain used to come down.  This rodent had found it a nice and cozy place to nest and had been busy expanding his new home by gnawing and scratching away at the flexible supporting mat under the fiberglass shower pan.  There was no use sleeping after this adventure, so with much grumbling I made coffee and filled in the hole as best I could with expanding Great Stuff foam.  Let the word go out far and wide to the entire rodent nation: we shall take no riders, not stowaways, no free loading hitch hikers.  When we are ready for a pet we will buy one.