The Grossest Outhouse Ever
In the summer of ‘98, during one of my random weekend trips, I pulled into a free campground near El Portal, California. El Portal is just outside of the main, western gate to Yosemite. Surprisingly, the campground was nearly empty, which suited me, and I set up camp. Eventually, I had to use the restroom, and I headed to the single Honey Bucket that served the campground.
I held my breath, opened the door to the Porta-John, and was faced with piles and piles of poop. The “toilet” was full to the brim and beyond with turds. The “urinal” had been defecated in. (The physics of pooping in an outhouse urinal are beyond me. I guess you have to be a bit taller.) Even the corners had been crapped in. Everywhere I turned I saw shit slugs, festooned with toilet paper blossoms, evilly glistening in the blue light. I staggered away as quickly as I could, but that sight will always haunt me.
I ran across the street to the wooded hill. Although the cover was sparse, it was preferable to the vile Porta-Potty. I had neither the time, nor the tools, to dig a hole, so I lifted a rock. The space beneath it, and every other rock in the area, was occupied. As I inspected the hillside a little more closely, I noticed that it was littered with used toilet paper, in wads, clumps, or strung between branches. There were quite a few suspicious piles of leaves and loose dirt. Apparently, I was not the first person to run from the outhouse in horror.
I backed down the hill and reentered the campground. I got in my car, intent on finding somewhere else to relieve myself. As I drove down the road, I passed a number of houses, but was not yet desperate enough to ask to use a stranger’s bathroom, especially not for #2. Luckily, the road ended at a recreation area, complete with picnicking, a playground, and a real, non-portable, hole-in-the-ground outhouse. It was a sanitary haven, never mind the cobwebs and spiders. It had toilet paper and at least 10 feet of clear space beneath the can.
Now, I am forever wary of the “free” campground. Twelve bucks a night is worth a maintained restroom. I’ve entered some nasty portable toilets since, but they pale in comparison the El Portal Potty.