Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stealth Shower

I slept soundly in the parking lot next to the post office. Maybe because I was clean for the first time in nearly a week.

I took a shower in the parking lot, and it was actually quite pleasant.

There was a conveniently abandoned concrete pad next to the vacant warehouse on the south side of the van that was hot as an oven by 1:00 PM, and earlier in the day I had filled my sun shower and set it in the desert sun to warm up.

So after it got dark I took a stealth shower.

It was quite exciting.

I opened the passenger doors on the van and stood between them for privacy. The side they opened out to faced the blank wall of the warehouse, and I was somewhat sheltered by the pines and sumac tree surrounding the van.

I was still, however, buck naked in an unfamiliar parking lot in a very small town in the desert.

I have a sun shower that pressurizes with a foot pump, so I washed my hair first while I was still partially clothed. I have a LOT of hair and it takes a while to wash. Then I stripped, soaped up and rinsed off, with just enough water to finish. The desert gets quite cool at night, so the thought of being discovered wasn't the only reason I was quick.

As I washed, the cats took advantage of the open doors to sneak out and go exploring.
I saw them get out, but I was naked, what could I do?

I dried off and got dressed, and when I called the cats they came back and jumped in the van.

At 9 PM, this particular block of this little town gets quite deserted. I'm surrounded by a bank, city hall/library/police station(all in one building), the post office, a vacant lot, and an abandoned warehouse. So it's fairly secure, yet quiet at night. I did worry about getting hassled by cops for parking here, but no one seems to care. I think the occasional drifter/van dweller rolling through is not an unusual phenomenon in the little town of Lordsburg.


  1. I really want to get out "on the road" someday.
    With my wife and child.
    My favored method of travel is by boat, but you can't really hit the desert that way.
    By the time I have the chance to travel, Peak Oil will probably mean that we have to go by horse and wagon... or bike.
    thanks for the update...

  2. One method of bathing in middle of nowhere (or everywhere) is taking a sponge bath underneath a poncho. Your head is out so you can keep an eye out and feel pretty secure. Sitting on a 5 gallon bucket helps you keep your balance, and honestly, hard for anyone to definitely see whats going on underneath there, lol. Towel off, go inside and get dressed.

    Incidentally, same method for having to squat in middle of nowhere - my wife is grateful to me for giving her this information. Just peace of mind - its just you and me cowboy - I'll turn around . . . :^)

    Hope this helps. Really enjoying your description of your journey.

  3. I'm loving every minute of your travelog...what an adventure!

    You're my newest hero!

  4. I should have mentioned this earlier, but didnt think about it...Anytime you're at a truck stop you can ask any of the truckers that are fueling up if you can borrow their frequent fueler card to get a shower. Normally, they have several free showers banked on there and would be willing to spare one...They expire anyway, so the driver would be a jerk to not let you have one if he did have extra...Plus you get free soap and a towel.