A Honey Pot Runneth Over

Posted: February 14, 2014 in McTrip posts, Uncategorized

Part 2
When I agreed to a long weekend of ice fishing in Northern Minnesota, at a remote cabin with no running water or electricity, I anticipated peculiar things might happen. A urine shower while I slept was not one of them.

Thankfully, that only almost happened. My suitcase was the nearest potential victim, about five feet away from the drip site, but even it made it out, um, undrenched. Still, that’s a little too close for comfort, for both my head and my suitcase.

And now, I suppose you want to know why this near-miss happened in the first place. Demanding reader, you!

Three of the seven of us on this ice fishing trip slept in the cabin’s loft. Because there was no electricity and therefore no lighting, navigating a ladder in the middle of the night to go outside and urinate is rather tricky.

So, seasoned woodsmen (which apparently I am now one) resort to using large urns as urinals. My sophisticated and debonair host refers to them as honey pots, I suppose as an attempt to juxtapose something nice sounding with something really disgusting.

On the second night of the trip one of the gals had, shall we say, a navigational error when attempting to squat over a honey pot, upending the thing with two days’ of accumulation within. The loft floor is constructed of wood slats, allowing liquid to seep through and rain down to the floor below. Which is exactly what happened.

These are not the First World issues I’m accustomed to.

And that was just the beginning of the oddities (for more bathroom folly check Part One).

We ran out of water in the last 12 hours of our trip and resorted to boiling snow for drinking. It didn’t make sense to travel to “town” for bottled water, since it was 45 minutes each way, in good weather.

In this kind of environment, personal hygiene is almost irrelevant, save for a daily teeth brushing. With no shower, it made little sense to even change clothes. Which I didn’t, for four days (my personal shower-free record, by the way).

This was my reality for four days. As time went on, it got a little easier. The first day was hell. Let’s just say I now know how close I can put my frozen foot, encased in three layers of socks and a snow boot, to a wood-burning fire. Yes, I burned a hole in the outer layer of the boot in a desperate attempt to restore feeling in my lower extremities.

But my powers of adaptation slowly evolved.

I’m not sure how long I could live this way — taking sponge baths, missing my favorite television shows, never going to restaurants, unable to jog, or go to the gym, or even see human beings other than my chosen fellow campers.

I wasn’t necessarily craving anything in particular from the “real world.” I was scratching my skin off to get to a Taco Bell.

But when we went to town on Day 3, and I had a Klondike Bar, I thought I was going to have an orgasm. I’m an ice cream-aholic. It was like a hit of heroin for an addict after a three-day dry spell.

I now know what I would do for a Klondike Bar: ice fish (if your not old enough to remember the commercial, google).

(For those of you paying way too close attention to this story, please do not ask why we didn’t get drinking water at the same time I got my Klondike Bar. It probably had something to do with beer and ice cream being the more important staples on our minds at the time.)

The hot shower on Day 5 when I returned to Minneapolis was like liquid euphoria.

Being reunited with a temperature-controlled bathroom, with a flushing toilet, was bliss.

Internet porn felt like I was seeing it through 18-year-old eyes.

You get the idea. It was great to be back in civilization.

So I’m left conflicted. I loved being without television, the Internet and cell phones. I loved not having much of anything battling for my attention. I loved being around people I wanted to be around AND ABSOLUTLY NO ONE ELSE. I loved the simplicity and yet the utter challenge of almost every hour.

But I’m not sure how long I could do it. I’m not sure I want to permanently go that far off the grid.

I’m not sure how long I can go without a Klondike Bar.

(To be continued…)


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