Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cabin Cruising

To my enormous relief, there are some interesting places to go in our region. Literally.

For example, the wilderness cabin we recently stayed in had a composting toilet, a plumbing device with which I was not familiar.

We had chosen this specific cabin at the resort because it did indeed have an actual toilet.

This was a “No toilet means we’re going home kids, we don’t DO outhouses anymore” type of middle-aged female arrangement.

Upon arrival, we naturally made a bee-line to the bathroom for commode inspection.

You had to climb a little stair, and park yourself on what appeared to be (appropriately) a throne. Sitting there, you could survey one’s domain from a dizzyingly high perch, one which required calls for assistance if you happened to drop your reading material. Or toilet paper.

So here’s how it (the toilet) works, because I’m sure you are just dying to know: After going ‘big jobbies’ (as my kids call it), what you do is pour in a cup of granola or bark mulch or something, and crank a handle to ‘flush’. This rotates the, er, material, and mixes things up and saves the ecology and promotes world peace. Something like that.

Now I’m not easily impressed by toilet facilities let me tell you, unless it’s one of those Japanese ones that do a complete wash, wax, polish, trim and warm-air dry down there. Those babies impress me for sure.

This particular bog was impressive because there was no smell (from the toilet). None.

Given the rules of camping hygiene (Rule #1: Stink), we found there were more flies circling the occupants of the toilet than were circling the toilet itself. It was a wonder.

The only problem was the bathroom floor squeaked. Loudly.

The first night, having slept for a bladder-stretching several hours, I awoke to an urgent need. Not wanting to wake the family by squeaking into the throne room, impressive though it was, I tip toed quietly out onto the deck and stood at the upstairs railing in my underwear.

It was beautiful and silent there amongst the, er, morning woods. Taking careful aim (not really) I let fly, whizzing in a great arcing stream, up (heh), over and down into the shrubbery growing between our cabin and the one next door.

A noise louder than a hundred floor squeeks erupted. A thousand. The large leaves being rained upon sounded like cymbals crashing as they were drenched. The thunder evoked images of a herd of elk rampaging through the underbrush.

I heard disturbed mutterings from other cabins as I tried to ‘adjust fire’ and deaden the racket.

In fact, I could barely aim at all since by then I was covered with a thick, moving pelt of ravenous mosquitoes, relieving me of several units of blood while I, in turn, relieved myself of several units of pee.

Someone looking out of their window at that point would have seen a curious sight. A two storey, glistening arc of moonlit former beer, originating from a large, semi-naked man shivering from blood loss while at the same time shaking from, well, shaking. You know.

Flushed with relief and woozy from several gallons of mosquito-derived histamine coursing through my veins, I padded quietly (for some reason) back to bed, where I spent the next several hours swatting flies and rubbing my welt-covered body across the blessedly sharp teeth of the sleeping bag zipper.

Ahhhh nature.

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