Saturday, January 7, 2012
Rules for the Shower
For the most part, the showers I've run into have been OK - but there have been a few... At one of the campgrounds with the best showers (the one on Cape Cod), a fellow camper and I discussed the shower rules:
Rule 1: To the best of your ability, never, ever, under any circumstance allow any part of your body to touch the shower curtain. If it does, re-soap the affected part. Most of the campgrounds do a pretty good job of swiping down the walls, but the shower curtain may or may not have had any cleansing solution near it in quite some time.
Rule 2: Always bring quarters to the shower with you. The campground may or may not let you know it charges for the shower. I don't mind paying a quarter or two for some nice hot water - and it does ensure that the eight-year old kid who just walked out didn't use all the hot water in their 45 minute stay in the shower stall. But it's most annoying to trek all the way across the campground, sticky, dirty and ready for a shower, only to open the stall and realize you now have to trek back to the camper to get quarters.
Rule 3: You don't mind paying a (relative) lot of money for a shower if you're desperate. For me, the most welcome shower of the trip was the one I took after I made my way off of Dorr Mountain in Acadia Park. After I got off the trail, I had to wait some ten minutes for the bus, then it was a 20 minute ride back to the campground. By this time, I was stiff and cold to the bone. The shower was two dollars for four minutes of hot water - and it was worth every penny. (And I was quite smug when I managed to get my shower in during the allotted time - though I had another set of quarters at the ready, in case I hadn't managed to finish.)
Rule 4: If there are just a few of them, ignore those stray hairs that aren't yours. You know, the ones clinging to the walls and in the corners of the floor. They won't hurt you, and are highly unlikely to carry any diseases. On the other hand, if there are a lot of them, extend the shower curtain rule to the walls and floor of the shower - in that case, it's pretty certain the shower hasn't had a good cleaning in a while. ewww!
Rule 5: Carry the minimum amount of gear to the shower with you - and carry it in a bag with a strap. You never know when the hooks will be torn out of the walls, and you'll find yourself trying to hang all your gear over the door in such a manner it doesn't actually touch anything more than necessary (see the shower curtain rule, above).
Rule 6: Practice flexibility. There seems to be an unwritten rule that says the smaller the available shower space, the more suspect the condition of the walls in the changing area. I can manage to get dressed in a 2x2 foot area without allowing any body part to directly touch either the walls or the floor. Trust me.
and last but not least, Rule 7: If you happen to come across the person who cleans the showers (assuming the showers are clean), thank them. It's a grubby job, cleaning up other people's stray hairs and tissue bits, and from the reactions I've gotten, very few people take the time to appreciate that someone else has done this distasteful task for them.