“Close to the bathroom?” “ACK”

friday3Yes. The last time I camped up at Tahquamenon, getting to the bathroom was interesting in the dark. I mean, I could seeeeee where the bathroom was because it was all lit up but if I tried to walk straight to it, I would have to cross other people’s campsites and bits of woods and whatever. The iPhone flashlight is wondrous but it isn’t up to some of those impediments. If I took the road, I had to circle all over the place and sometimes I would pick the wrong place to turn. I could still see the bathroom but I still couldn’t easily access it. I cannot complain. The River Mouth campground *has* flushy terlets and showers and God Bless AT&T, the 4G smartphone network.

I guess I am a wimp about camping. I like to camp. I like to sleep in tents. I like to sleep in the Lyme Lounge. I have no qualms about using an outhouse. That is, I have no qualms about using an outhouse if there aren’t so many people using it that it can’t be kept clean. I remember a very small beach urchin who tried to use an outhouse once on a trip home from somewhere in the Great White North. We were just north of Lansing. I might have been able to endure the stench by holding my nose. My child was on the verge of vomiting or maybe she did. If so, I don’t blame her! It was that awful. I led her out *behind* the damn outhouse and she provided nitrogen to the grass or whatever plants were there. When I was a kid, most of the rest areas on the Great Lake State freeways were outhouses. I forget when that started to change but that change was a good thing, for “the environment” and “public health” and whatever. That particular rest area was a holdout and it is now long gone, thank you Zeus.

So I am getting lost here. Showers are my bete noir, or I guess I should say lack of showers. I always take a shower. Every day. Occasionally, I even take two showers. That’s not to say that, given the right campsite, I won’t find an inventive way to bathe and wash my god-forsaken hair. I grew up bathing and washing my hair in Lake Superior in the summer. I’ve bathed in rivers and have even used bottled water in a pinch. Not to mention the rubber camping shower I bought and used back in the [beloved] moldy old Houghton Lake cabin. But, sorry, I neeeeed to be clean. Every day. I am not comfortable if I am not clean. I have been like this since I was a teenager. At that time, it seemed like it wasn’t a good idea to bathe every day in my house. We didn’t have a shower then but we sure as heck had water up the wazoo up there on the shores of Gitchee Gumee.

I could go on and on about being a teenager with “horrible” parents but (fer kee-reist), they were wonderful and eventually I gained the confidence to bathe when I needed to, even though in the summer, it sometimes meant asking a relative with a year-round house for the use of their shower. And so I was a frequent user of Radical Betty or Don & Katie’s shower when I had to be at work at my summer college job early and Gitchee Gumee was particularly ugly. I appreciated that so much.

3 Responses to ““Close to the bathroom?” “ACK””

  1. Margaret Says:

    I take a bath every day, except when I don’t have to for work and then it stretches to every other day. Two showers a day would make me itch myself to death since I tend to have dry skin. (family curse) I once used a pit toilet at Mt. Rainier that was so foul that I had to hold my nose to avoid gagging/throwing up. Terrible.

  2. isa Says:

    I did puke and it was purple thanks to a grape flavored juice box! I haven’t liked grape juice or outhouses since.

  3. gene Says:

    I have dry everything. An Epidemiologistt-I think that is who he was, once called me and asked how often I washed my hair. You are going to be horrified by my reply that I did it once a week. He said that was about right for me.