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YEAR #3 - STOP #31

After removing our uninvited guest from THE POD last night we got a peaceful night of sleep with no additional loud snap of the trap noises. We thought we had our mouse problem dealt with.

We returned the borrowed mouse trap to the camp-host in the morning and thanked her once again. Check out time was 11:00AM and check in time at the next campground wasn't until 2:00PM so we hung around as long as we could talking to the camp-host before hitting the road.

We left right at 11:00AM and since we had only a short drive to our next destination we knew we were going to arrive early. Now most state parks will let you check-in early, some even charge a small fee for that privilege, but in Vermont State Parks there appears to be no room for negotiation.

We arrived around 12:30PM and were informed about the 2:00PM check-in time, but we already knew that, and were turned away. The park employee did say we could check back around 1:30PM to see if our site was ready. Now I know it's necessary to have some kind of rules in place or people will start showing up at 8:00AM wanting to get checked in. But if your site is empty and already cleaned (and ours was, I sneaked in and checked) what's the harm in letting us check-in a little early?

In order to pass the time we drove back to the dump station, which is located outside of the campground gates, and proceeded to dump our half-full tanks. We needed to drive down the street and around the block to be pointing in the right direction to reenter the campground before we got parked.

Then we just waited!

After a short while Tricia got bored and walked back up near the check-in station to take pictures of the lovely flower beds and it wasn't until 1:45PM that she stood waving the entrance pass over her head for me to bring the rig back to the gate.

This wasn't the first time we had to wait until check-in time and I'm sure it won't be the last.

Around 4:00PM we started thinking about what to prepare for dinner. We had skipped lunch, having eaten a few snack crackers and pistachios while driving today, and decided on nice big salads. That's when I opened the door under the sink to retrieve a couple of paper towels to use as napkins and guess what, that's right, mouse nibbles on the outside paper towel. They're still here, we've got hitchhikers!

I drove back into town to a hardware store we saw on the way in today and Tricia stayed back to get some more work done. I got to the store and they had mouse traps in two-packs. I picked up a pack and started for the register but thought maybe I should get four. I'm glad I did!

Tricia baited the traps with peanut butter, hey it worked last time, and we set them throughout THE POD in the hidden spaces behind cabinet doors where they appear to be exploring. Within the next five hours, before we crawled into bed, we had evicted two more mice from our house. Let's hope that's the end of them.

FRIDAY - We slept in a little late this morning until 7:00AM, sunrise was at 5:33AM, and before we ate breakfast we checked all four of our traps. When checking the storage area around our water pump Tricia informed me, "We got another one, that makes four so far." I've said it before and I'll say it again, "Let's hope that's the last of 'em."

We have yet to find where they are building their nest using our toilet paper and paper towel pieces they've stolen. Until we do that, I'm not naive enough to believe we're rid of them all.

UPDATE: As of 10:30PM we have now dispatched Mouse #5! The last three have all been snagged by the trap in the water pump locker, which is located just below our wardrobe closet. Tomorrow I should empty out all of our clothes and start looking for their nest. It shouldn't be to hard to spot, I just need to look for all our missing toilet paper and paper towel scraps!

SATURDAY - The entire eastern boundary of Grand Isle State Park is a shoreline of Lake Champlain. There are only a few places you can access the shoreline. There is also a small dirt boat ramp for launching kayaks and small motor boats. Sadly there are no sandy beaches to be found here, only a rocky area which goes all the way down to the edge of the water.

Early morning view of Lake Champlain as seen from Grand Isle State Park, VT

I could use everyone's help here! Does anyone know what this furry caterpillar type creature is?

I caught it cutting through our campsite early this morning and damn near stepped on it due to it's excellent camouflage. I'm not sure where it was headed but it wasn't in any particular hurry, just inching along at a fairly relaxed pace. But isn't that the way all caterpillars travel?

I can't imagine this guy is an aspiring butterfly, it would be huge because this thing was about the same length as my index finger and much thicker around.

Maybe one of our butterfly fanatics can help in identifying it? By the way, the top of the photo is the head and the bottom of the photo is well, I guess the tail, if that helps. Unless of course it was crawling backwards!

UPON FURTHER RESEARCH: If I have it correct, all TRUE caterpillars either turn into either a moth or a butterfly. There are however creatures that visually resemble a caterpillar, but are actually something entirely different.

SUNDAY - I've got good news to share with everyone! For the last 24 hours, and the first time in several days, we have not seen any mouse activity or had any sprung traps (sans mouse). We are keeping our fingers crossed that our house is finally mouse free! But I still haven't found that nest!

Today is our last night here at Grand Isle State Park and once again we have not really been able to do much sightseeing. Tricia is still working everyday, yes Saturday and Sunday included, to try and meet her deadline and I was finally able to accomplish a little bit of progress on a project that has needed attention since we bought THE POD.

I removed all the cloth bins from our wardrobe closet, looking for the mouse nest, and thought it might be a good time to tackle the project of reclaiming a few precious inches of closet space on my side of the closet. My side shares a wall with the side of the shower stall.

Airstream thoughtfully placed an access panel in the closet to the backside of the shower valve in case it ever needs repair. What I don't understand it why they made the access panel box six inches deep. After removing the panel I figured a 1-1/4 inch deep box would serve the same purpose, thereby gaining 4-3/4 inches of space on two of my five closet shelves. It may not sound like a lot but it sure makes the task of removing and reinserting those two cloth bins a lot easier.

Campsite #60 at Grand Isle State Park, VT

This is about as far north as we can travel this year. We are only 25 miles south of the Canadian border and it's closed due to the pandemic. So tomorrow, we hit the road and start slowly heading south. We should average about 100 miles per week, heading south by southwest, until the end of the year in order get back to warmer climates before winter arrives.

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