Sunday, August 24, 2008

vault toilets vs. flush toilets

This isn't the blog entry I want to be writing, the one peppered with recent pictures and words selected with a moderate bit of care. But I keep getting to the end of the day and I find that I didn't have time, or the clear head, or the organization required to have remembered to pull photos off of the camera first, and it's not working out the way I really want it to, so I don't do anything at all.

What I'm really doing right now is buttoning up plans for September camping. Not one, but two trips in the works. The husband has already requested days off (days! plural! several, even! in a row!!) and now it's just up to me to decide on specific destinations.

We might stay, for our first little trip, at one of the large, sprawling coastal State campgrounds. We like one in particular for its easy beach access. The amenities that seem to draw other families, though, are lost on us, and, if I'm being direct here, maybe a little distracting. Yurt camping sounds fun (and roomy!) and we'd love to give it a go sometime, but as long as we have a dog and no place to leave her, it's the tent for us. And since we're in a tent and not a motor home with satellite and pull-outs, we don't need electricity. Most campgrounds have full hook-ups on some sites, some offer this at every site. We can skip it all together. Here's where the distraction comes in: nothing says camping like hearing your "neighbor's" rig blaring cable television. So while we're willing to overlook those things that obviously work and attract other people but which aren't necessary for us at all, we'd like to make our second September trip (and probably our last of the season) to someplace a little more remote and woodsy and private.

The problem with woodsy and private is that, more often than not, the bathroom situation is a little sketchy. I grew up camping with my grandparents in a little tear drop trailer pulled behind a big boat of a Buick and parked anyplace that looked like a good place to park. So my formative years were well acclimated into the custom of bathroom habits without bathrooms and it's not a problem or a phobia or anything of mine now. I don't need a nice bathroom and I certainly don't need a shower (while camping), but the truth is I'd almost rather have no bathroom than a port-a-potty. I don't have to describe the process to make you understand why it's so distasteful to me; I am going to assume that any reader feels the same way (except, possibly men, who can stand up and avoid touching the seat, if they wish, but would still have to hear that silent quiet falling sound and the terrible flat splashing that follows, but maybe my reaction to those sounds are my own strange quirk and not anything of concern to anyone else, man or no).

We want wooded trails for hiking and to hear the chipmunks and the birds calling for our crumbs and some kind of water nearby and all of those forest sounds muffled by the loamy hush of camping under evergreens, but not, if we can help it, the cartoon network.

When it comes down to it: I'd really prefer plumbing. But a hole in the ground can be good enough. And sometimes good enough really is that. It's not everything, it's not ideal, but it's something, and it's enough.


Deb said...

We tent camp, but we like having electricity available so that we can string xmas lights around the campsite. We have a canopy that will fit over a picnic table, so our foodstuffs stay dry, the lights go on that and usually a string from there to the tent to help light the way. Also, we have a tent heater for camping in the winter, though it still gets down to the 40s in the tent, and a large outdoor fan for spring/fall camping. We don't, however, have teevee, though we do usually have a portable DVD player.

sj said...

remember being in tents sandwiched between rv's with our little families together....that was nice, though not an ideal location, nice non the less :)

sj said...

oh! and then there was just outside cannon beach....that was good, a bit close to the road....but what fun our families had turning cartwheels on the beach and playing in the dirt....

sj said...

....but the best [ i think ] was on the coast, i don't remember exactly where.... i don't remember other people... just the tents, library books, yummy food, your hammock, drizzling rain, sweet friends and fresh air.

i need to make our reservation for camping next month....eric has taken off work already too! yippie.