Thursday 29 November 2007

Outhouse Review #4 -- Bryce Canyon -- Cream of the Crop at 9115 FT

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon UT USA 84764-0201

Where is it?

This outhouse is part of a set of them found at the junction of Rainbow Point and Yovimpa , the very last stop on the Bryce Canyon motorway, which it about 20 miles inside the park (from the main entrance). It's also at the highest part of the park, at 9115 ft above sea level. The area features breathtaking overlooks that stretch more than 200 miles, as well as vistas of the southernmost part of Bryce canyon and the enormous rugged valley behind it, which makes up the Grand Staircase National Monument.

The stop is shaped like an elongated rotary, with covered sitting areas placed along the tops of the cliffs and a group of about a dozen cabins pitted in the middle. The facilities are located inside those cabins, four outhouses per cabin.

To get here, enter the park and follow the road signs to Rainbow Point.

What's it like?

Yes, these are still outhouses, but they are certainly the cream of the crop -- at least as outhouses are concerned.

Outside, the cabins are metallic and painted dark brown, to look like they are made of wood (a la log cabin design). Inside, the walls are painted the same brown color and the floors are made of concrete, painted off-white. They hold, like all outhouses, a compost toilet, rolls of paper and a fixed pump containing hand sanitizer (a nice touch, since the facilities lack plumbing).

Unlike other outhouses visited recently, these are spotless inside and out. I didn't find a single scratch in the paint, inside or out, or any trash or waste on the floor of room itself. Considering these are compost toilets, there was nary a smell about them. Part of that had to do with the gusting winds outside, but still for an outhouse it wasn't bad at all.

They were also impeccably clean and remarkably serene, considering the four-to-a-building setup. My visit coincided with a stop made by a tour bus full of elderly, all of whom rushed to the bathroom while just as I entered my station. Even with all stalls filled, I heard nothing of my neighbors and felt perfectly at piece. Few outhouses, let alone public toilets in general, offer such luxury.

Better still: It was just below 40F on the morning of my visit, and I poorly planned for this, wearing only a thin spring jacket to warm me up. It was cold outside (and got warmer as I descended the canyon, naturally) but the construction of these outhouses were so solid and insulating that once I stepped inside I felt comfortable. Not warm, but not freezing either.

Marks out of 10:

9. Slight stench aside (these are outhouses, after all), these are wonderful facilities.

Comments to the Management:

Kudos on every respects.

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