Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beaver Smells and Truck Stops

No beavers here, just a drive to the hospital in Wonderful Wyoming

As I said in the last post the Trucking Tumbleweeds are home for the next couple of months. Himself is recovering from surgery, a high tibial osteotomy. He is walking on crutches and doing pretty well, although still in quite a bit of pain. He's a tough Tumbleweed and won't let me wait on him much, it won't be long before his crutches become weapons.

Since I have no new stories of the trucking life I am going in the Wayback Machine to a time when we were on the road, but with a twist; I am using "The Book of Animal Ignorance" in combination with the Wayback Machine to combine useless animal fact with even more useless Tumbleweed facts.

So there we were last spring in Benton, Arkansas at a Pilot truck stop off of I-30. Himself and I went out for our nightly walk. Truck stops are by default right off the highway, but it is surprising how often we find a field, stream or some other bit of nature to walk near. Hundreds of loud trucks idling or moving around, the smell of exhaust fumes and pee on hot asphalt have a way of making us crave the sights, sounds and smells, of nature.
Not our beaver but maybe a distant cousin..

There is a little stream behind this truck stop and we walked along it, down to a culvert where it goes under a busy road. We stopped to look at the little pond of water, not much bigger than a couple of kiddie pools, where it fed into a concrete culvert.

It was dark but we could see something pretty big swimming back and forth. Thinking it must be a big rat, I ran back to the truck to get a flashlight. To our surprise it was a beaver. Leisurely paddling with his feet, his head held above the water like a fussy woman not wanting to get her hair wet. The light didn't bother him and once he even crawled up the sandy bank about 3 feet to pull out some kind of grassy plant with his teeth. He wasn't concerned with us or  the traffic at all.

Don't ask...

Beavers have two glands near their bladder that secrete a substance called castoreum. Used throughout history for medicinal purposes, castoreum was said to cure everything from headaches to epilepsy. It is now only used in perfume. Apparently it gives off a warm, leathery aroma. Shalimar by Guerlain and Magie Noire by Lancome both use synthetic beaver juice. I'm not sure what it says about us humans, that we use beaver juice for expensive perfume, but I for one think the beaver smells better than the truck stop.

Editors Note: Do not look up beaver juice on the Google when at work or near small children


  1. yikes! thanks for the info on the beaver juice!! ha!! and it makes me gag...a know i used to wear that Shalimar!! beaver pheromones...???

    beaver juice = medicinal uses? maybe you can rub it on himself....for a quicker recovery! :]

  2. Nothing better than a furry beaver! OH, and you forgot to tell everyone to listen to Primus - Wynonas Big Brown Beaver

  3. @Laura, hahahaha! does make you think twice, just goes to show we are all animals at heart! ;)

    @ Glen, I am saying nothing to that!

  4. c'mon now....there's got to be SOMETHING to write about!!!!!

    ...miss your stories.... :]

  5. hey there Tumbleweed...Stacey!! i wanted to email u...but no contact at your blog. and i didn't know if u would get 'comment' by me...on my decided to come back and show my face here again. :]

    your comment to me said about visiting Kingsley Plantation! we been there!! not far from us...i'm in gainesville. are you FROM jacksonville? anyway...we went to the plantation a few years ago cause i saw it listed in WEIRD FLORIDA book...ghostly red eyes can be seen along the road leading to the plantation...
    turns out these eyes are albino peacocks! we saw 'em!!
    anyway...hope you're staying wyoming???? and i hope HE is healing so you'll get back on here!!
    seeya!! (i hope this isn't too long...i'm rambling....) laura :]

  6. Hey Laura! I bet albino peacocks are ghostly! I should to a post on them and tie it in to trucking somehow...hmmm I have seen truckers preen around, strutting obnoxiously!!
    Kingsley Plantation is such a jewel and it looks and feels like old Florida before all the shiny stuff got built!

  7. shiny happy people! REM


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