Monday, June 23, 2008

The World's Coolest Outhouse

My friends Dustin and Hovas have a sweet little home they built on a section of land outside Bayfield, WI. It's a home-grown effort, and while it lacks some of the fit and finish you find on a custom-built home, it is one of my favorite places to visit. It reminds me of my shack in the backyard, just a lot bigger.

One of the coolest thing about the Long residence is the outhouse. Since they're almost off the grid and have no septic field (the clay soil isn't good for septic), they have a cistern that needs to be pumped out periodically by the local honey wagon. To keep the pumping to a minimum, they use a graywater field for showers and such, but the biggest savings is to eliminate waste water, and that means an outhouse.

Forget everything you think you know about outhouses. This is not a fiberglass shell, plastic seat with a crappy door that doesn't shut that smells like a Monsanto Superfund site. This is what outhouses are supposed to be. There's almost no odor because it was ventilated properly. There is plenty of reading material on the bookshelf. There is tons of light due to two nice windows. It is as nice a place to [insert your favorite euphemism for defecation] as anyplace I've ever used except for one other spot: a latrine overlooking Seagull Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. It was a little, er, exposed, but oh the view...

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