The Most Eloquent Public Restroom in the West
I don't care how badly I have to go-if I am in a major metropolitan area, the last thing I am going to do is head to a public restroom. You see I'd rather endure excruciating pain than fight disease, risk stepping on a needle, rub shoulders with people who smell like what I need to do, walk in on a drug deal, trick, or God knows what else that is taking place in some of the most vile and foul buildings on the planet! But if it was 1935 and I was strolling in Portland's Forest Park and I had to go; you wouldn't be able to get me out of the public restroom nestled in the Balch Creek Ravine. What a gorgeous and eloquent building-of course proudly built by the men of the CCC. On a recent hiking research trip for my upcoming Day Hiking Columbia Gorge Book I was out patrolling trails and parks in Portland. I'm including some of the best places to hike in both Portland and Vancouver in this book. While hiking a section of Forest Park's Wildwood Trail I came upon the famed old stone house. I had no idea what purpose it once served. I pondered--a summer cottage, inn, stage house, tea house perhaps? Nope-turns out after researching the history of the park, I found out that the classic stone house of Balch Creek was not a tea house but a pee house. It served walkers with active bladders until the 1960s. I suppose the surrounding trees had significantly grown in by then to offer alternative relief spots. The Balch Creek rockin' restroom is truly an architectural gem-an aesthetically appealing building in a beautiful part of Forest Park. I only wished that I had the chance to experience it the way it was meant to be--but alas when it comes to places to pee, Urine some, You lose some!