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Where is the Water in a Water-less Cabin!

I climbed out of the shower today at the hotel and realized this is my last week of showers of convenience. We have been in Anchorage as Geoff trains the new manager for the Anchorage store for corporate. No calls so far from his store so no one has burnt it down thank god! At any rate, water is the subject of the day.

Being that we are a waterless cabin, the main focus is water! So the questions are usually, where do you get water? How do you do dishes? How do you shower? Do you have an outhouse? They are pretty easy to answer. Conservation is the key here. We haul our water in from The Water Wagon off of Chena Pump Road.  If we lived on the other side of town, however we would be getting water at Fox.  Unfiltered it is the best tasting water in the area. The Water Wagon is just city water.  We have three five gallon water cooler jugs and six blue camping containers so we have up to forty-five gallons when we are full up. The three water cooler jugs are used for our cooking and drinking water. We have a hand pump that makes life a bit easier. The water in the blue jugs is used for cleaning and bathing.

So we have established where we get the water, how about the next question, how do we do dishes? Believe it or not people ask this before they ask how I bathe! It is pretty basic, but it is a process. I have a thick pair of rubber gloves because I boil water in my large stew pot so I can fill each side of the sink with water. One side I add bleach and dish washing soap. The bleach is to break up any grease and bacteria. The water is boiling hot so at first it is very uncomfortable. I really am bad at doing dishes, I have to force myself. We have very limited counter space and again it is a pain. The water is then drained into a grey water bucket, a five gallon paint bucket, under the sink. The grey water is emptied into our outhouse tank which is pumped so the bleach does not leech into the land. It is a pain, but the dishes are very clean in the end and I am usually collapsed on the couch with a cold drink and the PS3 or 360 controller in my hand.

Showering is the next question. Interesting enough, most of the Laundromats in the Interior have showers in them. So whenever we do laundry we are showering. But in the mean time we take showers on the UAF campus, because it is free. Most of the time I maintain a locker so I do not have to haul my stuff all over campus each day I attend class, while Geoff showers when he picks me up. We also shower at very gracious friends houses. Most people with water have either lived in a waterless cabin or understand our position. When we need to shower and do not have time to run to campus or the Laundromat we wash up at the sink in two ways. One is the quick and easy PTA (Pits, tits and ass) wash. We heat water on the stove and we scrub away at the vital parts of our body. Usually I wash my hair too. The other is with a large Rubbermaid storage bucket and I take a bath. There are of course the occasional massive rain showers in the summer evenings that I throw on my bathing suit, at least most of the time, and run out and wash up in the rain, it is liberating!

View from the Outhouse

Outhouse, yes we have one. But since I am a klutz and have fallen and been seriously injured in the winter going out to it, we have an inside unit that Geoff dumps in the outhouse, which is nice for those cold winter nights when it is -50` out!

If we owned the cabin I would have a 100 gallon water tank that we could fill every other week and have a small water pump set up and also a small 5 gallon water heater too. It would make life much easier in the cabin. Many houses that have indoor plumbing all around still have to have their water delivered or they port it. They have much bigger containers. They are able to have indoor toilets and even full size dishwashers. There are counter-top dishwashers we could have now, but with the limited counter space we have opted out.

It is a pain, it is tiresome, but it is the way we live and have lived since February 2005. It is probably at the top of my HATE list for living here, though there is more for future posts! Also check out this forum for some more info on dry cabin living in Fairbanks!

One Comment

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