The Water Cooler – The Strangest Place You’ve Ever Had To Sleep

February 12, 2020 12:00 pm · 52 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

Where is the strangest place you’ve ever had to sleep?

Talk about it….

Superstitious Aloysius February 12, 2020 at 12:10 PM

The third base dugout of the baseball field at Durango (Colorado) High School in August 1987. I was riding my bicycle from Cortez to Silverton to Telluride and back to Cortez the week before my senior year of college. In my effort to reduce weight, I didn’t bring a tent. It was raining and cold. I gave up on the ride in Silverton after a trucker told me it was snowing at the top of Red Mountain Pass.

chuckie the troll February 12, 2020 at 12:14 PM

Freeway onramp while trying to hitchhike. And you thought I would say under a bridge!

Dawg February 12, 2020 at 12:17 PM

The hot and humid Vietnamese jungle in a helicopter.

Bad Nombre February 12, 2020 at 12:17 PM

County Jail

Hanne Jeppesen February 12, 2020 at 12:19 PM

Police station in Luxemburg. My 2 girl-friends and I had spend a few months living and working in Iceland, we had friends there. When we left in the summer of 1966 we took a ship from Reykjavik to Edenborough, then we hitch hiked through England, France etc. sleeping at youth hostels. We got into Luxemburg at night. We had the address to the youth hostel, but when we got there a little after 10 p.m. the director came running out saying you can’t stay here we are closed, he also asked “Are you some goddam Americans”. My girl-friend answered “No we are some goddam Danes”. He still would not let us in, although Youth Hostel are not suppose to turn anyone away, especially women. We went to a park and contemplated spending the night there, a couple of guys came by and asked if they could help. They took us to the Police Station, we asked the officer if he could recommend a cheap place to sleep, he asked us to wait a few minutes, he then came back and took us to who I guess was the chief. We explained our dilemma, he still could not recommend a cheaper place to sleep, but offered us an empty training room upstairs, we could stay there until 7 a.m. when they needed the room for training. We slept there, feeling very safe, and when we left the next morning, 3 women in their early twenties, wearing jeans, t-shirts and backpack, all the people that was waiting to get into the police stations, looked at us like: “What did they do, that the spend the night at a police station”. We could only laugh, and the 3 of us are still friends, one lives in Denmark the other in Sweden, but we get together every few years, and always have a good laugh about this experience and others during our 5-6 weeks of hitch hiking through Europe.

Ancient Mariner February 12, 2020 at 12:21 PM

On the roof of my car in the middle of a thick forest, every night for three months.

Simonpure February 12, 2020 at 12:47 PM

On the Grapevine on our wedding night in a 1972 VW Baja bug. A tomato truck had overturned blocking all lanes. We were big into citizen band radio at the time so we made fun out of the situation. Some truckers had cheese, others crackers and bread. We all hung out talking and eating outside our vehicles until it got too cold out. An marriage experience we will never forget.

Roz February 12, 2020 at 3:00 PM

OMG! Sorry,… it made me laugh!
Our Wedding Night (1977) was stuck sleeping at a Truck Stop near Carmel since my Hubby didn’t think he had to check ahead of time, to book a room at any Hotels near by. So we were out of luck or having a bed,…LOL!

Simonpure February 13, 2020 at 7:07 AM

Hi Mrs. Roz…it is rather funny now. We were the talk of the town that night as our car was all decked out and a big “Just Married” on the rear window. People were so nice in those days.

H February 12, 2020 at 12:57 PM


Cellophane February 12, 2020 at 12:58 PM

I would love to tell, but the admins would never let me post such a thing.

MikeyV February 12, 2020 at 1:04 PM

The cold-ass floor at the Houston Airport. With my wife and two little kids.


Dorothy February 12, 2020 at 1:05 PM

While staying overnight a few days with relatives, my cousin and I had to sleep in the chicken coop one night. Next night was a hay loft which was much better.

ChuckStir February 12, 2020 at 1:18 PM

I did not have to but I did. In high school at the time me and a friend slept on top of one of the support structures that holds up the BART tracks. The workers left a ladder one Friday night, well opportunity knocked and up we went.

Rolling Wheels February 12, 2020 at 1:19 PM

Nuclear submarine

Cowellian February 12, 2020 at 1:29 PM

Been there, done that. I even hot bunked once on sea trials.

HappyPappy February 12, 2020 at 1:23 PM

On top of a Navy ship boiler in for repairs. Only dozed off. Too much partying the previous night. I must have had fun?

Exit 12A February 12, 2020 at 2:16 PM

1. While serving in the US Navy (HM-15) out of NAS Alameda, we were doing helicopter minesweeping exercises off a jetty in Pohang, South Korea. We worked such long hours we missed the rides back to base and I ended up sleeping under a 5-ton, 6×6 truck.

2. While with VP-31 at NAS Moffett Field, I took a short nap in the tail cone of a P-3C Orion.

3. On the floor of Phoenix airport…. I. My flight was delayed out of Chicago and Ilanded after hours… Flights didn’t resume til the next morning due to noise restrictions. I woke up at 7 am and the airport was full of people. Whoa.

Bluebird February 12, 2020 at 8:18 PM

I have been inside a P-3 Orion, when stationed at Athens, Greece. I was dating a CTI2 and they had an open house event. Very small compared to the AF planes.

McMuffin February 12, 2020 at 3:04 PM

Attending CalPoly in the late 80’s the rumor was UC Santa Barbara had the biggest Halloween party around. It was described as a town party where everyone could walk the streets and go in any house and party away.

I hitched a ride with some people a kinda knew to make the 2 hour trip down there. There was a sea of people on every street you could see, seemed like a modern Woodstock to me. I got separated from my group early on and never found them again.

I ended up sleeping under a truck parked on someone’s lawn. In the morning I woke up hungry with no money and nowhere to go. Rolling over I found $20 on the grass and walked to McDonalds where I found my group by chance.

Justifiable Languor February 12, 2020 at 4:02 PM

LOL. Can I rub your tummy for good luck?

MoJo February 12, 2020 at 3:16 PM

The Hosebed of a fire engine while out on a strike team and in between assignments.

Justifiable Languor February 12, 2020 at 3:30 PM

In the boiler room of a high rise in SF. We got caught out too late for return by BART. He was a guard at this building, which is why he had the key.

Silva February 12, 2020 at 3:53 PM

I can’t remember exactly where it would’ve been, but I was making a train connection somewhere remote in Wales. It was sort of a bus shelter looking thing, but for trains out in the middle of nowhere, and I didn’t see another living soul for 36 hours. Luckily it was in May.

The Professor February 12, 2020 at 5:18 PM

I once fell asleep while marching. I was in basic training and we were having our final field exercise. We were trucked into the middle of the forest at Ft. Jackson. For the next three days, we played war: digging foxholes, attacking other companies, pulling guard duty. It was a giant, 4 day laser tag game and I think I got about 3 hours total of sleep.

We combat marched back to our base with full packs, weapons, gear etc. I was told it was 20 miles, but I really don’t know. It was hot, humid, and long.

Somewhere along the way, I remember thinking how miserable I was. We were on a dirt road that veered to the right as it climbed a hill. I could see the turn about 100 yds ahead and a small ditch running next to the road. The next thing I remember was falling into the ditch. I had marched straight ahead while the road turned right. I have no recall of the 100 yds. The guy who was walking on the other side of the road told me that my eyes were closed for a while. Luckily, the drill sgts. did not see this or I would have been in trouble.

Michael Langley February 12, 2020 at 10:56 PM

I can believe it. Ft jackson is where I learned to sleep standing up during indoor instruction. That was a skill I taught to my exhausted High School students years later. I did the march back from “omaha beach” at Ft. Jackson on the night march in late June. Heat stroke was felling trainees during the day.

The Professor February 13, 2020 at 12:09 PM

This march was coming back from Omaha Beach. That was one crazy “beach landing”. Scared the crap out of me.

I was at Jackson from 3/89-5/89. Went to Ft. Gordon for MOS training (31C). Maybe we were there at the same time?

I also fell asleep standing in the chow line later on that afternoon, after showering. Drill Sgt. Harshbarger caught me that time and “smoked” me on the spot.

Gittyup February 12, 2020 at 6:02 PM

There were two:

1) On the floor with a only a blanket in South Lake Tahoe visiting another friend and her roommates who had gotten summer jobs at a casino there. Froze to death and ended up with bronchitis.

2) On a cross-country trip late one night got a room and slept on a cot in a motel that had freight trains running all night long on a track right behind it. Gave new meaning to the words “rock and roll all night.”

Justifiable languor February 12, 2020 at 7:07 PM

That reminds me of a dive motel we had to overnight at. Mojave, CA. It was late and cold. The desk clerk (looking mighty appropriate) asked if we wanted “the movie”, drawing an X with his finger. We finally figured out what he meant (no).

The sheets were clean, I think. At around 3AM a train roared through, rumbling the entire room and beyond. Next morning I looked out the bathroom window to see the tracks. 15 – 20 ft away. Which explained the cracks in the wall. Looked like a roadmap to Barstow. We still laugh about the clerk who couldn’t speak English.

Gittyup February 12, 2020 at 11:23 PM

Sounds like the same place! Those tracks were soooo close to that motel.

The Fractionator February 12, 2020 at 6:20 PM

On my office desk while pulling a 24 hour shift due to an emergency in the plant I worked in.

WhoDat Gurl February 18, 2020 at 9:26 PM

Same. My desk was in my office at the hospital where I was doing my residency, and a hurricane was coming through. We surveyed the cat 2 ‘cane from the rooftop, declared things were “under control”, and I slept on my desk using my purse as a pillow.

Barbie Girl February 12, 2020 at 7:08 PM

On top of a flat rock in the snow while backpacking. Didnt get a wink. Nowadays, if I can see a tree outside my window of a 5-Star Hotel I consider that camping.

Nokeem February 12, 2020 at 7:09 PM

I KNEW these would be interesting to read and I’m right. One story better than the next. Cheers to all of you for making it through the night – and one for 36 hours! Awesome. Thank you.

Atticus Thraxx February 12, 2020 at 8:57 PM

Not counting the military or airports, probably sleeping in the backseat of a running rental car in Matador Texas overnight. Poor corporate travel planning. Started making my own travel arrangements from that point on and no one dared protest. Still got a kink in my neck.

F February 12, 2020 at 9:02 PM

an elementary school floor, an unlocked apartment complex managers office, a closet

Ancient Mariner February 12, 2020 at 9:06 PM

Not exactly a strange place, but a strange thing happened.
I was in a sleeping bag in the desert near Kelso, California, nowhere near any of the other members of my biology group.
I am a very deep sleeper (it takes a lot to wake me) but I woke up in the middle of the night with a big knife in my hand (always had it in the sleeping bag), sitting bolt upright. I looked around – there was nothing under the millions of stars. I went back to sleep. The next morning I saw the tracks around my sleeping bag, spiralling closer and closer and stopping where my face had been. A coyote had come in the night to check me out and see it I was edible, sniffing at me and, when I sat up, I scared it off.

Dawg February 12, 2020 at 10:28 PM

That reminds me of a time I was sleeping under the stars with a friend in Yosemite, when my friend woke me up and said, “there’s someone in a fur coat stealing our food.” Sure enough, it was a bear getting into our ice chest.

S February 12, 2020 at 9:14 PM

In a big field of tall grass.

nytemuvr February 12, 2020 at 10:24 PM

@S….”I dreamed I was in a Hollywood movie….”

S February 13, 2020 at 11:03 AM


John P February 12, 2020 at 10:39 PM

My bedroom was a closet in a hippie pad on Waller in the City for 4 months in 1967.

FPN February 12, 2020 at 11:19 PM

I have 2. In a covered wagon with a mean donkey patrolling the entrance. I was 8 years old. Placer Countys boys detention facility. They did not have a facility for girls. I was 16 and high on window pane.

Janon February 13, 2020 at 7:15 AM

Was so amazed to hear these stories, to those who serve THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! God bless you and your loved ones.

AW JEEZ February 13, 2020 at 11:03 AM

In a cave on an Okinawa beach. Midwest boy learned learned a lot about high tides that night.

Exit 12A February 13, 2020 at 11:22 AM

I forgot about this one…

I was transferred from NAS Moffett Field to NAS Norfolk and was going cross-country in my VW Golf. I drive from Martinez to El Paso, TX in one day.

I didn’t need to check into a motel per se so I parked at a hospital’s emergency room parking lot for safety. I folded down one of the rear seats and wiggled my legs into the trunk with the rest of my torso was where the rear seat had been so I slept in a ell shape.

Woke up after a few hours and then made it to Lake Charles, LA… in one day. Texas is a verrrryy wiiiide state!

Chet Robbins February 13, 2020 at 11:28 AM

In 1959 I slept in Teddy Roosevelt’s Death Bed. A classmate of mine lived near Sagamore Hill (Teddy’s home in Oyster Bay) and said we could get into the locked house by climbing into the second story window. It seemed like a good idea at the time to a 15 year old. Thirty six years later while visiting Sagamore Hill, I told the story to a Ranger at the historic site. He was astonished and got on his walky talky (thought I was going to be arrested) and made me tell the story to the other Rangers. Seems like we created a Legend. The story had been circulating ever since that night, when the maids opened the house to visitation the next day and found the bed slept in. All the doors were locked! They were superstitious and wouldn’t return tp the “Haunted” house.

Silva February 19, 2020 at 7:28 AM

Oh My Gosh you win. What a great story!

Kirkwood February 13, 2020 at 2:49 PM

If I had to sleep in a strange place I could probably never get to sleep.

KAD February 18, 2020 at 11:23 PM

On top of a picnic table at a park in Big Sur.

Silva February 19, 2020 at 8:35 AM

This wasn’t to strange, but it was a little funny. A Travel Agent friend and colleague at work talked me into going to Expo 86, the World’s Fair in Vancouver about 2 weeks ahead of the opening. We’d been making reservations for people going for months so we knew there wasn’t a room open for many miles to book for a night, so his big idea was to rent the largest car available which was a 1986 Chrysler New Yorker, and park it as close to the entrance as possible. We’d bring my 2 sleeping bags and sleep in it. I’m not that tall and probably didn’t need a full size car but he was tall and was adamant about it being the biggest car we could get. He had to have the rear bench seat too. He already knew he’d have a tough night and didn’t get much unbroken sleep and he had very stiff joints in the morning. It was still a lot of fun though. We got a free parking spot 1/2 block away from the entrance and left the car there the whole time. We saw everything we wanted to see and enjoyed all the rides, then we visited Stanley Park where there was a lovely Beluga whale who blew small spinning rings of air and as they got bigger she either broke them with her forehead or swam through them, the poor dear. Later when we were back at work it came up with clients in conversation a few times that we’d been to the Expo and both of us were asked where we’d stayed. We had some chuckles because we’d casually reply “Oh, we stayed at the Chrysler New Yorker”, and constantly people had said “Oh, how nice!” and they seemed genuinely impressed before we explained that it was a car we’d slept in.

Jojo Potato February 19, 2020 at 11:42 AM

On the company president’s couch. We had a big computer upgrade to do, around 100 custom desktops for this very high end investment firm. Despite all the planing and training, it wasn’t going well. After kicking things off Friday night I went out to dinner and when I came back realized we were never going to get done by monday morning. The techs didn’t understand the instructions and were just upgrading the same systems again and again. I called my boss and he advised to send them all home and he would come to help out in the morning. The only likely sleeping place was the couch in the presidents office. After a restless sleep my boss woke me up. After a few minutes of planning we two did all the upgrades and had a nice lunch to celebrate. Phew!

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