The Interstate Highways provided full service stops at regular intervals until we got into Arizona. According to the locals, the state is out of money. Most of the rest stops are barricaded.
Fortunately the main gate facilities at Grand Canyon National Park (south rim) had restrooms with all the right stuff: running water, sinks, and toilet bowls. And, on the backs of the stall doors you could read the details of how the water got there (from the north rim) and an intricate drawing to explain how it is recycled back to your next flush. (A few of the particulars confused me, but ..oh~ never mind.)
Farther into the park, where no water is available, there are outdoor chemical latrines with huge black vent pipes. I don’t know the physics involved, but I can tell you this: when the wind is blowing 40 mph over the topside, your bottom side gets the picture.
Where's the River? No no no! I want to know: Where is the Rest Stop?
Many of our miles were on side trips where there were no official state maintained rest areas. We saw signs that made it clear to road warriors that the restrooms in the stores were "for customers only." So, we dutifully bought water or juice, which only guaranteed that we would soon be looking for another potty break down the road.
I already posted, with guest help, about The Forty Mile Desert. The photos display uninhabitable country where highway 80 and highway 95 intersect mid Nevada. Since there is no water, but plenty of travelers, you get the deluxe version of the single outhouse. Don't take me wrong. I didn't complain when we rolled into the parking lot, raced to the doors, and didn't have to stand in a queue! Eight of them all hooked together under one roof. Each room with a luxury opaque window so you can see ... uh ... without taking off your sunglasses?
Once you cross the border into Oregon you kiss two things goodbye: the 70 mph speed limit and outdoor toilets. Actually there were NO TOILETS until we reached Interstate 84. Two-hundred and fifty eight miles of mostly sagebrush from Winnemucca, NV to Ontario, Oregon. That may sound innocuous to the twenty-something traveler, but I was traveling with a charter member of the *IBB Club and am on the cusp of joining it myself.
Somewhere in the picturesque outback of southeastern Oregon I was the one who announced that I absolutely had to make a rest stop. The sagebrush was still green and many of them were nearly as tall as I am. (Wider, too. No snide remarks from the gallery.) I insisted on carrying my camera in case a car or a trucker drove by. ( "Who me? I'm just out here taking pictures!") There was also the part about forcing WR to accompany me so we could stomp loudly through the rocks and brambles to scare away any snakes that might be lurking. Shortly after handing off the Canon Powershot to WR and taking position, the sage in front of me began to rustle. Squatting near the ground with your jeans snug on your boots is a very precarious position to be in when you hear adjacent noises in rattlesnake country. Even with your husband standing guard. Fortunately for me, out from its hiding place in the fragrant gray-green foliage fluttered a Sage Thrasher.
"TAKE A PICTURE! TAKE A PICTURE!" I cried. He removed the lens cap and pointed.
I covered my face. "ARGH.......... of the the bird! Not me!"
He snapped a quick shot. Then the thrasher quickly found cover. So did I.
Hey! What a polite little feather pot. He closed his eyes!
And now you know the "rest" of the story.
*itty bitty bladder club