Midnight Raid


Big Bend Ranch State Park in Texas. Photo from loveyourrv.com

Camped along the Rio Grande in Big Bend Ranch State Park, we were pretty much alone in the campground and miles from most everybody.  The night was dark and chilly, so when I heard a clank very near the camper, I stayed in bed and listened rather than leave my warm covers to peer into darkness.  After a bit there was ticking on roof followed by a trill that made me think of a cricket though it was clearly not a cricket. Then there were sprinkles on roof.  Had the ticking only been raindrops?  What could the trill have been?  And that clank!

Next morning the trash from our campsite barrel was scattered across desert. Steve watched for tracks as he picked up the pieces but found no clues except it had to have been big and strong enough to move the lid and reach into the depths. Was it a bear…roadrunner?  Surely not a javelina.

I collected this photo as evidence when the dog and I returned from a walk.

The incident made me think of an interview I heard on the Rocket City Trash Pandas.  The man who submitted that winning name for the Madison, Alabama baseball team, explained his choice this way:  Our community is known for engineering, and no creature in our galaxy is as smart, creative, determined and ingenious a problem solver – dedicated to the challenge at hand – as our local raccoons!

Logo for Rocket City Trash Pandas

Sprocket, the trademark trash bandit/rocket scientist is so adept at stealing people’s hearts, demand for RCTP merchandise, is stratospheric.


About breathtakebyways

Ann Williams’ travel articles have appeared in publications all over the country including The Washington Post, Roads to Adventure, and Jack and Jill. Between researching and writing books, she specializes in creative lectures.

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