First of all, how in the heck do I end up these situations?! Really now, the most random situations always seem to sneak up on me. It’s either the most incredibly amazing things, or the most ridiculously random. There seems to be no middle ground.
So yes, in case your wondering, I did get locked into a damn outhouse. I have been accustomed to outhouses all over the globe. Or at times shall I say versions of outhouses…. I mean the rotted wooden hole filled caving in ones that I had to use when I was working in the jungle’s of Central and South America were one version, oh and there was that one in very rural Mozambique which was 4 thatched walls, strung together, and inside is no hole in the ground, yet just a pile of boulders, in which you have to step on top of other people’s business and find a spot to do your business – and being the only foreign person these people have ever seen, you have a whole village just stand there watching you go inside and do your thing. Of course I maintained my classy composure, did it like a rockstar(literally rock-star), while smiling and waving at everyone while I entered and then preceded to try my best to hover over these rocks that you would rather not step on. When in Africa…. Sounds like pretty pleasant experiences don’t they?! They definitely weren’t the most glamorous loos that I have ever had the pleasure of using, nor did they smell like a bouquet of roses that some hunk bought me. Trust me that’s only a couple of many outhouse stories.
Of course I prefer porcelain and marble, however in some circumstances, you just ain’t got that option – and if there is one thing that I am, it’s Adaptable. Whether I enjoy the experience or not, its still an experience that I am alive to feel, so I always maintain a smile, and a good sense of humor to the best of my ability.
So here I was yesterday morning, on my 15 hour drive from Northwest Territories to Calgary, in – 30 c weather, and ridiculously icy road conditions, when nature decided to call.
I should know better then to drink a coffee and a tea directly before hitting the highway, as there isn’t much of anything for the first few hours of the drive.
The first road side turn out with an out house that I came across and I immediately pulled over to try and answer natures call…..
Holy geez! Someone did their business all over the toilet seat rather then inside, and it was -30 so it was frozen to the seat. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty – and I could darn well hold it and give nature a busy signal.
40 km later, and I reached the NWT/Alberta boarder, where there happened to be another outhouse. I pulled over once again, jumped out, looked inside, and was once again flabbergast at what I saw. Are you freaken kidding me?! Is it the new in thing to use the toilet seat rather then the toilet hole? Is there some sort of stomach bug in the area? So many questions. Yet I couldn’t stand looking at the sight, so I put nature on hold once again and hit the road. You and I both know, nature does not like being put on hold, and she was getting a bit antsy and starting kicking me in the bladder. Ok, ok, I promise not to ingest so many liquids before my road trips in the future.
20 kms down the road again, and I came up to a little place called Indian Cabins, where you get snacks and cheap alcohol in the middle of nowhere.
I seen the frozen out house and instead of going inside to see if they had a nice warm ladies room, ‘as there just wasn’t time for that’, I went straight to the outhouse and answered the call. I mean third times a charm right?
Mother nature was peeved though, and not so charming this time around. As soon as I found my relief and went to vacate the stall, I realized I was locked in. What the!? There is no way this is happening I thought. I rattled the door knob, and to no avail…. I kicked the door a couple times… Wearing my sneaker wedges weren’t exactly the most ideal for the job. I rattled the knob and pushed the door at the same time… Well it didn’t take me long to realize that Nature was obviously pissed at me, and was trying to hold me captive! In such brutally cold conditions, and not having mitts a hat, or proper boots, I could feel frosty starting to bite at my toes.
I dug in my jacket pockets and all I had with me was my car keys, and my bottle of Abundance essential oil…. I started calling for help, knowing that the one person that was inside would never hear me, and in that kind of weather people don’t go outside unless they have too. I also contemplated inhaling my abundance oil, although I wasn’t sure what kind of abundance it would bring me in that moment, but it would never fail to be relaxing.
So on to Plan B, ‘Survival of the fittest’
I am pretty quick thinker, and I do have loads of wilderness first aid and survival training… So, I stayed calm, and rationally assessed my situation. Freaken Petrena…. How do you find yourself in these places. Here are the three steps I took, to free myself from Natures cold ass cage.
Step 1 – Call for help, I mean even if no one can here you. Call your little heart out. Not to mention it keeps your blood pumping, which keeps you warm, and keeps your vocals singing. Its darn cold outside, and I was about to turn into an ice princess. I have too many ambitions in life for that shit.
Step 2 – Use whatever you have in your pockets as a tool to help you. I realized that on my keys was the car alarm!! I know whomever was inside would never hear me calling for help, but perhaps they would hear the car alarm. So I sounded the high alarm! It would only go off for about 5 minutes at a time before I would have to press the button again, but I wasn’t giving up.
Step 3 – Look at other ways of escaping. Seeing as how my super human strength wasn’t happening when I tried to kick the door down, I looked up and seen there was a bit of openings going over to the other side. It was quite high, but I tried my best to shimmy up. I realized I could probably do it, I would have had to kick off my wedge heels though, and then figure out how I would get down on the other side without breaking a leg on the 6 foot drop. So I decided to wait it out bit longer before that attempt at being in Cirque De Solier.
45 minutes later, I was starting to lose hope and body heat…. But it was in that moment I heard someone come outside, and boot steps coming towards me. It’s always in the moment where you feel like you hit rock bottom that something amazing happens.
A man got to the door, unlocked it, opened it, and said, ‘What are you doing locked in the outhouse?!’
Oh you know, I was just hanging out for some shits and giggles, no big deal. Who doesn’t like a good outhouse sesh? NOT! Clearly I had to pee like a race horse and ran into the first clean looking outhouse I could find. Although sarcasm aside, he was my night in shining armor, and I wanted to through my arms around him and thank him for saving my life. I didn’t though. I mean I did thank him, but I also kept my classy composure, and hands to myself.
He told me maybe I should go inside and freshen up in the nice warm washroom. Oh Petrena, you silly silly women, you shud have followed your gut in the beginning when it told you to go inside and look for a warm ladies room.
Moral of the story: Always listen to your gut – and when you fail to do that, then, be a survivor in the most awesome fashion possible. An hour behind schedule, but I was back on the open road of adventure, and I have finally arrived in Calgary!
So here you go, keep this trusty little step-by-step guide handy to get yourself out of being locked in an outhouse, or you can use this guide to not do what I did, and just don’t get yourself locked in a darn outhouse.
Happy road tripping days!