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El Chupacabra Sightings

city boy meets El Chupacabra sightings

As you may know, my wife and I live in a small travel trailer on a
little piece of Colorado forest at 10,000 feet elevation. We like the
quiet, we like not having neighbors in our faces (nearest is about 1/4
mile away), and we really like not having magazine salesmen pounding
on the door. It's one of very few places in the country where I can
make noise in my shop (serious noise, grinding-steel noise) any time
of the day or night and not hear anybody complain about it except
SWMBO. We like sometimes seeing a deer or elk within 30 feet in the
morning while we're drinking coffee. We shovel a buttload of snow in
the winter to compensate for these little pleasures, but it's worth

Last night I was working on a pipe until about 11:30 when I decided
the chances of screwing up because of tiredness were too high to mess
with. So I closed up shop, turned the generator off, and came inside
to try and find a bug in some new code I'm writing for my website.

About midnight, I heard the wierdest sound I've ever heard. It was
kind of a squeeking sound. I went outside to see what it was, lit up
my pipe, and listened. The sound got louder, increasing in volume
until it was almost deafening in the otherwise still night.

It sounded like some combination of a small dog yapping, the world's
largest cicada, and a horse whinny. I couldn't tell where it was
coming from but it sounded like it was coming from the far side of a
ravine at the north edge of our property. It was pretty loud, and I
couldn't tell if it was getting closer or not. Frankly it scared the
crap out of me, so I came inside to be closer to me pistola, and did
some google searching to find out what it could have been.

The closest I could find was El Chupacabra (not the band), which
wasn't any great comfort. Anyway I gave up looking for clues at
around 2am and went to bed.

This morning when I got up around 6am all was quiet. Out in the shop
having a morning bowl, I decided that I needed to go on a little hunt
before sundown and find out what the critter had been.

After a half hour or so I came back inside to log on and see what was
going on in the wider world. So I'm sitting here in the trailer at my
laptop, reading ASP, and I see something outside about 10 feet away
from the trailer. At first I thought it was the neighbor down the
road's big-assed dog then I realized it was too dark in color. Once I
focussed on it, I saw that it was a small black bear. I told SWMBO
that there was a black bear within a few feet of the trailer, and of
course she thought I was kidding (I'm known to be sort of a tease at
times). We have a couple stadium horns that we keep around to make
noises with, and I grabbed one and headed for the door to chase the
bear off, but it heard me and was already making tracks to the north.
By then SWMBO had decided that I wasn't teasing about the bear, but it
was long gone.

She was asking questions about where it had been, so we went outside
to see if it was still in sight. About that time El Chupacabra
started its wierd noise again. Only this time, since it was daylight,
I could locate it visually.

A damned tree squirrel was going nuts, making the same noise that I'd
heard last night. SWMBO, who spends more time in the forest than I do
(she likes checking out the flowers and ferns and crap, I just play in
my shop and cut firewood but don't spend a lot of time just walking
around), says the squirrels make that sound when something is leaving
their territory. Apparently the squirrel was going nuts this morning
because the bear was leaving. Apparently last night it was going nuts
because something (probably the same bear) was leaving its territory,
and never having heard the sound before, well it *was* a little wierd.
It sounded so loud last night because it was maybe 20 feet from where
I'd been standing.

So the bottom line here is that in the dark I got the livin crap
scared out of me by a friggin tree squirrel. El Chupacabra my ass,
what a city-boy wussie I are.

On the upside of being a city-boy wussie, the reason I was up working
on a pipe until 11:30 last night is that our kids came to visit
yesterday so most of the day was spent hanging out. We had a great
time, and I might have made my first convert to The Way Of The Pipe;
my oldest daughter's boyfriend quit cigarettes a while back and
apparently the smell of my pipe appealed to him -- he said he thought
he might take up smoking a pipe. Of course this was my cue, and he
went home with a starter pipe and a couple small baggies of tobacco
and a few pipe cleaners. We'll see what happens.

The lesson is, when you barbeque burgers and brats over the firepit,
don't leave any food chunks laying around to draw the bears in or El
Chupacabra will scold the hell outa ya

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