Let me continue with this summer’s saga: After our first idyllic weekend in the woods, we packed up and prepared our cabin-on-wheels for our July 4th return. I tidied up and stocked the bathroom with toilet paper; my husband placed a half-dozen Damp Rid dehumidifiers, several boxes of mothballs and carefully placed mouse traps “just in case” to protect the place from moisture and rodents.
We returned for the holiday weekend. As I opened the door, I stifled a scream when I caught sight of a plump field mouse in a trap. There’s not much I’m squeamish about, but mice and rats gross me out. When my sweat-soaked husband emerged from the trailer nearly an hour later, I knew the news would not be good. Apparently the mice found the toilet paper quiet handy for building cozy nests in the kitchen drawers. All my brand-new kitchen gadgets were ruined and had to be tossed. Instead of enjoying a glorious day in the mountains, I Cloroxed and Lysoled every surface I could inside the trailer to make it habitable for humans again. By the next day we’d relaxed and started enjoying ourselves.
Before driving away, we confidently stocked the trailer with more mothballs, more mouse traps and dehumidifiers. No toilet paper left behind this time! But by now we’d become paranoid about the mice menace and realized we’d have to squeeze in an up-and-back in a weekend visit in August to check on the trailer.
Upon our arrival, more evidence of the uninvited guests awaited us but no dead mice. Again, we cleaned up the mess, set out the arsonal of traps, tucked away scads of Fresh Cab repellent, and headed home. As Labor Day and the end of summer approached, our dream of colonizing our new vacation home was in sight.
Led by the martryed mommy mouse, the mice had beaten us to it.
When we arrived Saturday morning, no mice were present but their pellet “calling cards” were strewn everywhere. Though fragrant, the Fresh Cab didn’t fend them off and they’d made soft nests out of trailer insulation. Daunted but determined, we drove into town to buy more cleaning supplies. Before we left we turned on the water, which soon revealed the rodents’ latest triumph over us humans.
The mice gnawed holes in a water supply pipe and the wood around it, causing the water to spray out inside the wall and across the floor. Turning off the water meant no running water inside the trailer, no showers all weekend and flushing the toilet with jug water from the pump outside. But we stuck it out and stayed. We salvaged what we could of our vacation. We’ll have to take another trip back to salvage our trailer and haul it home.
All it took was one summer for the mice to beat us. It’s the end of the summer, and the end of our trailer-steading dream.