Like all children young and old, my wife is completely enamored with fart jokes and/or stories involving doing a #2. I’m pretty sure that her entire drive for pushing me to have a blog is so I can tell this one story. She’ll probably tell me I can stop blogging after this one (who knows, you might agree too). This is more about the ordeal I went through to get this photo than the photo itself, although I kind of like it (but I’m sort of impartial). This is a two part story, which if I don’t lose you in the first half, you’ll probably get a good chuckle after the second half.
As we were preparing for the Olympic National Park (ONP) trip, my wife came across a curious piece of interest in the hiking book we had bought for the trip. It mentioned that in some parts of the park you had to pack out everything that you packed in……..EVERYTHING, even the food you brought……………after you ate it. You get the picture now. One of the references was to a device called a “poop-tube.” Yes that’s right, I can’t even make this sh!t up. (pun intended) For those not interested in googling it, you essentially use a length of 4-inch diameter PVC pipe with a solid cap on one end and a screw-on cap on the other. You deuce in a paper bag or a disposable coffee filter, sprinkle in some kitty litter (cause that’s what I want to do, haul around a few extra pounds of kitty litter when I’m hiking) then pack it in the tube for you to haul out later. Thankfully the part of the national park we were going to didn’t require this because it wasn’t something we wanted to do: carry our turds around in a length of tubing slung over our shoulders with a rope sling. I can see it now, with my luck, it would have come apart somehow and smacked me in the face or something on the way out.
So anyways, I had just hiked the 2.3 miles down the beach from my tent to the Point of Arches. I was trying to get into position for sunset so I arrived a couple hours early. Soon after getting on-site, my stomach had decided that it didn’t particularly like something I had eaten earlier in the day. Not a the prime situation you dream about. There I was, loaded down with camera gear, miles from my shovel, which you’d usually use to dig a cathole for such times, and trapped between the bluff and the ocean. At this point, it’s not like I had much time to come up with too many creative options.
Turns out the subject of this photo had a tunnel/cave worn from the wave-wash on the seaward side. As far as outhouses go it was as good as anything, I reckoned. At that time, right after low tide, it had about 6 inches of water. At high tide, the cave would be completely submerged, so I figured a little feeding of the crabs wouldn’t hurt anything.
And before anyone mentions any kind of environmental impact, think about this: if you’ve ever drank from a plastic bottle in your entire life, I probably saw it washed up on the beach there. It’s sad really, all the plastic bottles washed up on the beach among the pure wild beauty. Seriously, no more plastic water bottles. We like this one because it has a wide mouth and can put ice in it: 40 oz Stainless Steel bottle. Sorry I digress.
So there I was doing my deed, I’ll spare you the details, but halfway through I realized “umm no TP!” No napkins, papertowels, not even a leaf, or a handkerchief, or even a crab big enough to consider. So I started inventorying what I had: 2 socks, pair of gloves, ball cap, couple layers of shirts, rain jacket, boxers, pants, and a camera bag. Hmmm… Not many choices. Couldn’t take my boots off, that 6 inches of water rolling in, besides the socks would be handy later. Rain jacket, this is Washington, so that’s a necessity, gloves too. The hat, really? Ummm, no. I was sort of fond of my shirts and well, it would be just plain stupid to use the pants, although they were convertible ones so they zipped off around the knee. I could at least still have a pair of shorts out of the deal.
This is the stuff you don’t see on Man vs. Wild or Dual Survivor, and for a reason. After weighing my options I opted to actually tear my boxers off and not in that hot 9 & 1/2 weeks way either. I had to tear them off since my pocket knife and my leatherman were in the tent. That’s good planning. Of course if I had known I was going to need to surgically remove my underwear, I would have made sure I had brought one with me. Boy Scouts: 1, Tom: 0. Thankfully, I only had to use half of them, I balled up the other half and tucked it away in case I got caught without again. Thankfully, I didn’t.
So after I told my wife this story and she stopped laughing, 3 days later, she asked if I had wished I brought a poop-tube with me. (see I had to tie in the 2 parts of the story) I admit that it might have come in a wee bit handy at that moment, but I can’t say I really wished I had a plastic tube to carry my post processed food product around with. Although I’m thinking it could make long driving trips much more pleasurable.
Anyways, hopefully you found this as humorous as my wife and will be back for the next rambling. Heck, if you can’t laugh at yourself, what can you laugh at. I promise to clean it up a little bit.