Broken Down in Hastings

The van is nine years old, had nearly 186,000 miles when we bought it (though it has been well maintained by the State of Washington, the previous owner), so we’re appreciative it is in as good of shape as it is.

Friday┬ánight, after a shopping trip and on our way back to the campground we chose for Labor Day Weekend, there was a bump and a clunk. We broke down and spent the night in a Target parking lot. Fortunately, we found an auto service shop open on Saturday and got a tow first thing in the morning. The repair is pretty minor with no additional damage from the original problem. We’ll be on our way momentarily, back down the Mississippi on the Wisconsin and Minnesota sides today.

What makes this post interesting is the critters we spied sleeping outside the lobby window of the repair shop.

The manager, Glen, said up to eight might stay here in the winter. Bats are great creatures for our ecosystem, especially in Minnesota where mosquitoes abound. These guys help keep the population down–just a little.

In Reno, Nevada, on West McCarran a bridge crosses the Truckee River. Under it, during the summer, thousands of bats roost during the day and fly out in a dark cloud at twilight. Like little mice they stick to the cement of the bridge. They’re invisible, hidden up between the structures of the bridge, accessible through small spaces that look impossible to get through for any creature. But they are there. They stink and you can hear their tiny squeaks.

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