Friday, January 11, 2019

The Water Just Keeps on Coming!

Every once in a while, when I turn on the faucet or take a shower, I think back to a couple of the years we lived in Alaska when we hauled our own water. We had septic tanks, so did not have to use an out house as many people did (something we especially appreciated when it was -40 or colder), but no running water. In one house, this was due to a hole in the underground water storage tank, which formed just after Christmas--when the guy built the house, he placed it on the ground in a small underground 'room' and it rusted through. We managed to pump out the 1000 or so gallons of water, but it was months before Bill could find someone to come and patch the tank. When he did, the guy came, climbed into the 1500 gallon tank and welded. The thought still makes me shudder! The cabin we had after that just never had running water installed, although again, there was a bathroom.

Luckily, many people around Fairbanks live without running water, so things were in place for us to haul our own. We got some 5-gallon and 7-gallon water jugs from the store and we were all set.

Water Wagon--they had small jug stations and stations where the water flowed faster for thise who were filling large tanks on trailers or in truck beds

Fox Spring--this place used to get so icy--it was quite something to carry the jugs of water and stay upright!
We quickly developed systems to do things without running water. Instead of showers, we would heat up water and fill pitchers, get into the tub, and throw it over ourselves, lather up, then dump more to rinse. When we were leaving Alaska, we set off in our truck with camping gear, a few belongings, two dogs and a cat. We'd gotten a late start, so planned to stop at a place in the Yukon for our first night. We'd stayed there a decade earlier when we'd been moving to Alaska and we had pets then, which was no problem. This time, with new owners, it was, so we couldn't stay there. Bill drove on until we found a rest area. There were no facilities, just a place to pull off the road, which a couple of RVs had already done. We pulled in there and slept a little bit. The surrounding scenery was breathtaking and made up for the bit of discomfort we experienced.

The next night, we stopped at a campground, set up the tent, and took turns having a shower while the other one walked around with the dogs. Bill went first and told me the water was really hot and the shower was long. I wasn't sure if it really would be long or if it just seemed that way because we hadn't taken a shower in so long. I made my way there, put in my quarter, and the hot water started flowing. I was used to being quick so I tried to slow down a little bit. I figured even if the water stopped, I could put in another quarter and have some more. But habits die hard and I was done in a fairly short period of time. The water wasn't done, though, and there was no way to shut it off. I did not want to waste it, so I tried to think of other things I could do while it was still going. Finally I just decided to stand there until it was done. It just kept on and on and on. It seemed like I might be standing there forever. Finally it stopped and I went back to our tent where we both marveled at the length of that shower. The dogs were eager to have their supper and get into the tent--they loved being in the tent--so we ate and walked and crawled into bed.

We still sometimes laugh about our response to that shower and how much we appreciated it after a couple of days on the road and a night sitting in the small truck. It's the little things.

I hope your day is filled with small moments of great joy!

1 comment:

NanaDiana said...

Well, you are a tough cookie to live with no running water. lol We lived on a boat for 3 summers and had no running water either-although we did have a toilet on board. We hauled water for that and the facility we were at had shower off the boat and into the shower but the water never got much above the tepid level. lol

I am glad you have running water now-it is a plus as we all get older. Have a great upcoming week!! xo Diana