Death Valley mouse story, traveling 1000 km with us

Well, I thought that Death Valley has its name because nothing is living there, I was obviously wrong.

Death Valley is one of the hottest places on the planet. It is a place of the temperature world record: 56.7 °C in the shade! It was also one of our roadtrip stops around the west coast of United States.

When we arrived, I didn’t have high expectations about this national park. Our friend Peter nearly advised us to skip it. However, we didn’t regret this visit. Interesting sand formations, hills, and dunes are very nice for pictures. The heat was extreme, so we truly appreciated that our car had an air-conditioning. And it was already the end of September, imagine the temperature in July!

Better than all world’s planetariums

I have never seen more spectacular night sky than in Death Valley! Absolutely no light pollution. Before we went to sleep, we took out our mattresses, watched the starry sky and took dozens of photos. There were so many stars that we weren’t even able to recognize a single constellation.

Amazing star-gazing in Death Valley
Amazing star-gazing in Death Valley

Somebody had an idea to let all car door open during the evening to release the not so good air inside, but it didn’t turn out as a good idea. We packed everything in the morning and got ready to discover other "forgotten" parts of Death Valley. Suddenly a mouse jumped on my legs! "Boys, we have a mouse in the car!" My brother turned to me disbelievingly - "What the hell, are you talking about!?" "Mouse!" I got a similar gaze from Jakub. "Are you sure?" The mouse disappeared in a short moment. "No, guys I am not making it up, there was a mouse, right on my legs!"
The truth came out in the morning. Matěj grabbed a pack of pasta and it started to spill all over the car trunk. "Oh my god, it destroyed my headphones!" Sebastian discovered at the same moment.

The mouse hunt started!

We decided to get rid of the mouse as quickly as possible! When we found the wifi next day, all of us downloaded apps, which reduce that terrible squeaky anti-mouse sound. In the evening, we opened everything possible and turned on all our phones with this terrible sound on maximum volume. However, we were getting crazy due to this terrible sound, mouse itself apparently didn’t mind at all and quietly laughed at us. In the morning, we found other damages - licking barrel of water caused that half of our stuff was wet. It is no longer funny! We started to be worried about the car electricity too. We saw that it can bite wires without any problems.

Badwater Basin - The lowest elevated place in North America
Badwater Basin - The lowest elevated place in North America

It was a time for a harder caliber

The next day, we went to Walmart for traps! Of course, we didn’t forget the cheese. Mouse traveled with us more and more miles and destroyed several other water barrels and made a hole in many other packages of food and biscuits. In the evening, we repeated the whole process again. Open the car, turn on the horrible sound and suffer more than the mouse. This time we even unpack the whole trunk to find it (and it was really a “Tetris” to pack it again). But we weren’t successful. Before the “bedtime”, we carefully filled the traps with a cheese and spread them evenly throughout the car. Let’s see in the morning.
In the morning, we couldn’t wait to check the traps. Unfortunately, they were empty and we found other holes in packed food. More pasta all over the car.

Mouse – happy traveler

It was clear that if there is enough food in the car, traps wouldn’t be interesting for her. On the other hand, we understood the mouse - she probably didn’t see that much food in her entire life in Death Valley and suddenly there is a huge banquet! Which mouse wouldn’t travel in such a mice paradise? We slowly gave up using those anti-mouse apps.

One of many viewpoints in Death Valley
One of many beautiful viewpoints in Death Valley

She has traveled with us 1000 km before we got to Yosemite National Park, which has brought new hope to our struggle. Bears rob 130 cars a year in Yosemite, so there are bear boxes in every campground. (Bear box is a place where you have to store all your food and anything else smelly. So we completely unloaded our car. Even the last small crumbs went away! This was our last hope! If this doesn’t work, nothing else will.

We set up traps and went to sleep.
In the morning, we wondered if that little devil is finally caught. YES, finally! We found her in a trap! Wow, it was a pretty fat mouse. We think she had the most amazing week of her life. “All inclusive” travels. Well, we kept finding destroyed things next 3 days, the mouse was for us bigger threat than any bear! Who would want to get stuck in the middle of the Death Valley desert with broken electricity in the car?

Our advice: close your car carefully and quickly wherever you are because you never know what kind of black passenger can get in?

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