Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Unassuming Wild Animal Spectacle

Shortly before Ben and I came home for our last home time, we were hauling a load of Toyota Tundra and Sequoia engines from Huntsille, AL to San Antonio, TX. We drove along the I-10 in Louisiana west to Texas, and after just having crossed the state line into Texas late at night, we stopped at a rest area for a break. There was a nice deck-type ramp going from the parking lot into the restrooms. I waited there for Ben to come out, and noticed a couple of raccoons climbing down a nearby tree. I didn't think much of it until I noticed some shadows out of the corner of my eye on the other side of the ramp, below, on the grass. This is what I saw:

Someone else came out from inside the rest area with a bag of chips from the vending machine. The slight sound of that crinkling wrapper brought the raccoons to assume the begging position.

They're kind of cute, when you look at them from a distance. Mind you, there were no fences or anything keeping the critters from coming up on the deck. In fact, one did to get closer to the chips, but quickly went back to the grass after we shooed him away.

The guy that had the chips eventually just gave them all up to the raccoons. They fought like, well, raccoons over them.

The rest area attendant told us they recently put up a fence around the perimeter of the rest area to keep the alligators out (what!) who would crawl up the ramp and enter the rest area. The fence kept out the gators, but not the raccoons, who were soon joined by an opossum. He didn't last long inside the fence, as he was simply outnumbered by the herd of raccoons, and retreated back to the other side.

As we left, we noticed this sign, and thought it to be ironic; for "beyond this point" was where all the action was with the critters.

Texas just does it up as much as possible; this is our conclusion :-)

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