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Old 06-27-2017, 11:08 PM   #1
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A strange noise in the night

During my last night at a campsite I usually don't sleep well, probably due to thinking about the busy day ahead. But my last night in Palouse was especially disturbing. I was awakened at around 3:00 a.m. by a sound I've never heard before. It sounded like something running from one end of my trailer's roof to the other, a rapid tap-tap-tap-tap that couldn't have been made by one animal; it had to be more, a small herd of some kind of rodent, perhaps. At the end of each run, at both ends of the trailer, I heard a faint whistling/wheezing sound. Several seconds would pass, then the sound would start up again, going the opposite direction. I was mystified.

This went on for a bit while I tried to figure it out. It sort of sounded like rain, but rain would be uniform all over the trailer roof and not be moving around. Rain dripping from the tree next to the trailer wouldn't move around, either. Besides, the Palouse was dry and dusty; it hadn't rained in a while.

I finally reached the only logical conclusion: it was a giant space alien millipede wearing metal shoes that had landed on the trailer and was trying to get inside to kill me and eat me. The wheezing was because the oxygen content is higher on its homeworld. Or it's out of shape like the rest of us.

I got a flashlight and pointed it out a window. I saw nothing. Eventually I saw a horizonal stream of water droplets flash through the beam, coinciding with the noise. I waited, and I saw it again. Then I realized that a pop-up sprinkler that I'd never noticed before had come on at 3AM and was hitting the trailer. It really had me going for a while.
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:14 PM   #2
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:14 PM   #3
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Whew! Glad you got that one figured out!
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:16 PM   #4
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When we lived in Spokane we were in a metal sided, single wide trailer. I would be up late reading and from time to time would hear this noise that completely freaked me out. I was frozen with fear. Literally. And of course Dirk was back in Seattle (job commute for the first year we lived there). It never happened when he was there.

I'd finally get the courage to fling open the door (and flatten anything standing by the door, of course) but there wasn't anything there.

Finally figured it out over a year later when we saw a porcupine walking down the road. One had been walking next to the trailer, in the grassy ditch area, and the quills were rubbing against the side of the trailer.

Now, in your case I was first thinking it could have been flying squirrels if you were near a tree. Had those in Spokane landing on the bird feeder and of course it made a heck of a racket. It'd scamper off by the time I got out the flashlight and opened the curtain. finally saw it and solved that puzzle.
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:17 PM   #5
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Since you were already awake, sounds like a good time to get out your fiberglass cleaning supplies and take advantage of the free rinse water.
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:24 PM   #6
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Finally figured it out over a year later when we saw a porcupine walking down the road. One had been walking next to the trailer, in the grassy ditch area, and the quills were rubbing against the side of the trailer.
Now *that* would have freaked me out-- I would have never figured it out. I'm not suprised you were frightened. Luckily you saw the culprit.
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Then I realized that a pop-up sprinkler that I'd never noticed before had come on at 3AM and was hitting the trailer. It really had me going for a while.
Thanks for the evening chuckle
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:28 PM   #8
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Since you were already awake, sounds like a good time to get out your fiberglass cleaning supplies and take advantage of the free rinse water.
Indeed. My trailer was, and is, filthy.

The Palouse RV Park is well-maintained. They warned us about the sprinklers but I completely forgot. They also said to pick up around the grassy areas for mowing on Wednesday. At least I remembered to do that.
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:44 PM   #9
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Man, these middle of the night stories are . Dang good thing I'm usually awake when the spooky stuff happens.

Mary may remember the story, from years back, when Ed Harris (on FiberglassRV) had a 5' Iguana land on the roof of his fiberglass trailer at 3am.

Here's his story: Oh what a night!
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:34 AM   #10
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That's right-- iguanas live in trees, but I didn't realize we had them in South Florida. Very interesting.
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Old 06-28-2017, 02:50 AM   #11
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Very good for a chuckle...
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Old 06-28-2017, 06:00 AM   #12
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I like the idea of aliens better than a sprinkler.
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Old 06-28-2017, 07:40 AM   #13
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Sounds like the roof tops of Point Pleasant, West Virginia true events of 1966-67, the Mothman. They made a movie about it.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:53 AM   #14
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My favorite "sound in the night" was actually around dawn. Sounded like a machine gun going off just outside the trailer. A flicker decided it liked the sound of pecking on a metal reflector on a street lamp next to my site. Sure got me up fast!
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
... Finally figured it out over a year later when we saw a porcupine walking down the road...
Nothing to do with camping, but my mother managed the night desk at a small ski resort near our home in Colorado for a couple years. The entry door had a side panel that was glass from floor to ceiling. A porcupine used to come up at night, sit outside the window, and just watch my mother work the desk. Seems there was a "mutual fascination."
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:10 AM   #16
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Was tent camping in a Jasper National Park campground a few years back with my sons. I was in my own tent and my sons each had their own hammock strung up. Early one morning I was awoken by the whacking sound of a "stone" hitting the side of my tent. I heard additional stones hitting the ground around my tent and an occasional whack against the side of the tent. I quickly came to the conclusion that one of the kids in the campground was having some fun by throwing stones at our tents. My blood pressure was starting to rise, and I was just about to jump out of my sleeping bag and catch the kid in the act when another "stone" fell and hit one of my sons in his hammock, and he burst out laughing. Turns out there was a squirrel in the pine trees above our camp site who was having fun with us by taking pine cones and dropping them on the tents. Based on the number of pine cones lying around, this was a trick that the squirrel had been playing on tent campers for some time.
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:25 AM   #17
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Nuts

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Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
Was tent camping in a Jasper National Park campground a few years back with my sons. I was in my own tent and my sons each had their own hammock strung up. Early one morning I was awoken by the whacking sound of a "stone" hitting the side of my tent. I heard additional stones hitting the ground around my tent and an occasional whack against the side of the tent. I quickly came to the conclusion that one of the kids in the campground was having some fun by throwing stones at our tents. My blood pressure was starting to rise, and I was just about to jump out of my sleeping bag and catch the kid in the act when another "stone" fell and hit one of my sons in his hammock, and he burst out laughing. Turns out there was a squirrel in the pine trees above our camp site who was having fun with us by taking pine cones and dropping them on the tents. Based on the number of pine cones lying around, this was a trick that the squirrel had been playing on tent campers for some time.

When I fall camp, I usually look at the trees I am camped under. I do not camp under walnuts, hickories, big oaks or fruit trees like persimmons if I have a choice. Walnuts are especially nasty with the black juice in the hulls and large size. I've seen people move to a new site after spending a night under an American Black Walnut. Our Butternuts are about all gone down in this country. In spring and summer, I check overhead limbs for defects in case a storm comes up and I would rather camp in the sun than under a big cottonwood.
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:59 AM   #18
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Halloween has come early this year. climate change I guess ...

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Old 06-28-2017, 12:08 PM   #19
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We've had pine cones "raining" down onto our trailer which startled us out of a dead sleep one morning. But the loudest "wake up call" came one morning when we heard sharp, loud hammering on the roof. We parked under trees with woodpeckers. I had read about the woodpeckers on the Campground website, but forgotten them. The loud BANG BANG on the fiberglass roof made me jump out of bed.
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:13 PM   #20
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Sounds like the roof tops of Point Pleasant, West Virginia true events of 1966-67, the Mothman. They made a movie about it.
Love that movie!!
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