The Bathroom

Kat asked about the bathroom situation and whether I minded addressing it. Nope, don’t mind in the least. If all you’ve ever known is indoor plumbing, it’s a curious thing. I’ve probably spent as much of my adult life without indoor plumbing as with it. Can you believe that?


We’ll call this the “full” bathroom. It’s 60 feet or so from the cabin. The seat is Styrofoam, and no matter what you believe about our winter temperature and weather, Styrofoam does not get cold. In fact, I was dismayed at how cold the seat is on our indoor toilet at home; I contemplated making a Styrofoam seat for it.


If that’s the full bathroom, these are the half-bathrooms. On the left is the first story half-bath, and on the right is the second story half-bath. We access the loft with an 8-foot step ladder; I have no desire to climb up and down at night to use the first story half-bath.

Toilet paper is not thrown into buckets or the hole in the ground; it fills up the hole unnecessarily. Rather, it is collected in a bag or box and burned.

The blue container on top of the first story half-bath is baby wipes. Those are handy when not showering regularly. They live in the cabin, too, and are carted back and forth from the full-bath. They will freeze if left out, of course.

The half-baths live inside the cabin, not outside. I empty and clean them often, and they do not stink; you wouldn’t know they’re here if you came to visit.

Showers here are bucket-baths. There may be a sauna here someday, but not yet. There is a bucket with a hose and spigot that can be hung outside, but brrrr! Mike and I pour water over each others’ head to wash hair in the kitchen sink.

There’s always warm water in the pot on the wood stove and no shortage of snow to refill it. Wash water is snow: about 10 inches of snow equals 1 inch of water. We brought drinking water in from Seward, but there’s a spring nearby that appears to run all winter. I’ll take you there someday. I would not hesitate to drink the spring water.

Any other questions on water, cleanliness, or bathrooms?

Categories: Alaska

3 replies »

  1. Have you written somewhere about how you ended up in Alaska? The dude and I honeymooned there. And we did sort of fall in love, but we lived in Los Angeles at the time and it seemed like too extreme of a change–but seeing this convinces me it is!

  2. Oh, dear, Anna. Please don’t consider our caretaking experience the normal lifestyle for all Alaskans. It’s not! You could live in Alaska much the way you live right now, with indoor plumbing, restaurants, cable tv, and medical care nearby. Most Alaskans never live the way we are living just now. We’re doing it because we like it, and it’s useful to the lodge owner.

    How I ended up in Alaska…coming right up.

  3. As a little girl, Jen’s goal was to live on a huge ranch with hundreds and hundreds of animals – so she moved to Alaska…makes sense to me. Love ya, Dad/Dick