How I Learned to Fear the Porta-John

As I was pounding out my review on Yelp for the beautiful Minnewaska State Park, I was reminded of a not-so-pleasant memory that made me realize why I have a ghastly fear of porta-johns. I’m a real nature lover, but I still prefer to eliminate my waste in a more civilized manner. I guess camping will be out of the question for me. Please read and don’t be afraid to leave your comments. I can’t be the only person alive who fears the ugly booth of poop.

Beautiful, steep hiking trails, gorgeous waterfall, Minnewaska State Park is worth the road trip to New Paltz.

Though I never hiked it all the way to the lakes (Lake Minnewaska and Lake Awosting), I hear it’s gorgeous. The trails are color coded and depending on which one you choose, they can be long and hilly, so be sure to bring good hiking shoes, lots of water, sunscreen and energy bars.  The waterfall is especially magical. The way it’s formed, you can sit just feet away from the top of the falls and witness the water cascading down in a thunderous rush.   

I’m eliminating one star because I have a phobia of port-a-johns, and unfortunately the park has nothing but. I’ll explain briefly: When I was about 8 or 9, I had to pee badly and had to use one of these monstrosities for the first time.  Bad enough it reminded me of a claustrophobic Catholic confessional, but I wasn’t prepared for the hair curling stench, and I certainly wasn’t prepared for that small unceremonious hole out of which a hulking black turd stood staring back at me. It wasn’t even submerged in that day-glo blue water. There had been a mountain of solid materials that accumulated above the water line, and that cruel black log stood at the peak as if it had just won a game of “King of the Hill”. She had flies swarming about her like minions doing her bidding. She was mocking me, challenging me as she dispatched her drone flies on a recon mission to inspect my foreign presence.

I was traumatized. 

I was undone.

Anyway, all I’m saying is a central bathroom facility couldn’t hurt. Otherwise, Minnewaska is scenic, gorgeous, and a great way to spend the day and commune with nature.

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3 thoughts on “How I Learned to Fear the Porta-John”

  1. Mike, While I love the romanticism of camping, the idea of taking a crap in the woods is precisely why I don’t think I ever could commune too far with nature. I guess I’m a nature poser.

  2. So you want to limit how far you will go to commune with nature?! I still prefer sitting on a Porta-John commode to squatting in true nature. If you want to see the beauty of nature, sometimes you need to see the not-so-pleasant side as well.

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