The Future Home of Iditarod Dreams: Outhouses and Wanderlust

The Future Home of Iditarod Dreams: Outhouses and Wanderlust

Some people sing in the shower. I, on the other hand, tend to think… I know, I know. But hey, what better place to work out the problems of the day or just ask why (?) about things that come up in that gray matter upstairs.

The thought that came to mind today is how in the world, in the civilized world of the Mat-Su Valley, just an hour north of Anchorage, do people get by without indoor plumbing and have to resort to the use of an outhouse?

In the hamlet, city, village, or whatever it is called, of Houston, Alaska–just about nine miles south of here, 40% of the population still uses outhouses and haul water. That is still amazing to me.


One Cool Outhouse


It is 2010 and people still handle their business outdoors? I have heard stories of outhouses since my arrival here and some are works of art. In fact, my friend built one for his wife (just because) and it is equipped with the latest Cabela’s catalog and a Costco sized bottle of hand sanitizer (Did you know that Dr. Laura reported that junk only lasts for 6 seconds in its vigilant fight of the germies).

Another friend, Dave, told me a story about how he used to carry the toilet seat inside in the blizzard cold of an Alaskan winter so his tush didn’t freeze to it.

We even have two outhouses on our property, but thankfully we have plenty of water and indoor plumbing.

I remember when Michele and I started looking at property up here almost a decade ago that indoor plumbing was a must (the kids were very young then). I recall one awesome property that was a castle by musher’s standards that was advertised in Mushing magazine, I believe, did not have a “throne”.

Now, I was a Boy Scout and I love those commercials for Charmin. I could handle myself in the woods if I needed to but what I could not do is not take a hot shower.

I am one of those guys, call it my Diva moment, that has to take a looonngg, hot shower every single day. I sometimes run out of hot water on occasions.

How do these people take showers? Much less a bath? It is not the wild west anymore where you heat up water on the stove and soak in the tub? Or do you?

Maybe you use one of those shower in a bag thingys?


Shower in a Bag


How do you guys do it? The 40% of you of the booming populous of Houston and surrounding areas? Inquiring minds want to know…

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please comment below.

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Doctor Radio | Denver Dog Works


Dr. Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and The Dog Doctor Radio Show

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About robertforto

Robert Forto is the owner of Dog Works Training Company in Alaska, a canine behaviorist, mushin' down a dream, sports nut and radio show host. Robert writes a lot about his observations in Alaska, pop culture, music, and of course dogs!

View all posts by robertforto

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One Comment on “The Future Home of Iditarod Dreams: Outhouses and Wanderlust”

  1. nicole forto Says:

    Plumbing is an awesome invention!!


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