Great Places to Pee in a Pandemic

I’ve been joking that I’m going to write a book about great places to pee on highway 169.

I’m becoming an expert.

The title should really be, Great Places to Pee in a Pandemic, since otherwise we’d be stopping at all the usual places- rest areas and gas stations and fast food joints.

In Spring of 2020, amid lockdown, Minnesotans, many working remotely, migrated to their northern accommodations. In MN it is pretty common to have a place “up north”. A family cabin, a slice of woods.

Small town hospitals were overwhelmed. The health department asked people not to go north.

So, we didn’t. Not until much later in the year and ever since, we try to avoid going anywhere there are people.

It’s a long drive, four hours with stops.

We started paying attention to water access signs. There are a lot of lakes and rivers and a good public boat landing will have a toilet, but either way it’s a mostly private space with a beautiful view.

If you’re horrified about the idea of a lack of a toilet, which Gram probably would be, I should tell you that I pee all over the place. We hike, and ATV and kayak and boat, and rarely do any of those things come with an actual bathroom. If you know people who do these things, then you can just assume that at some point, the world is their toilet.

(I can now see my mom, pinching the bridge of her nose and shaking her head at my lack of lady-like-ness)

Peeing outside is not just for people with penises!

There are so many water accesses we’ve never been to. We’ve seen surprise beautiful waterfalls, hiked down through gorgeous scenery to canoe accesses and captured some awesome sunsets over new lakes.

And peed, of course.

As a bonus, it’s sort of a fun game. Spot the next water access, which is usually a small brown sign. Head down a dirt road. Visit a new place, see new things.

I realized too late that I should have been keeping a journal of all the very best places, but who knows, maybe they’re yet to come!

We make the best of it, like we’ve all been doing, and even enjoy ourselves along the way.

Here’s hoping you find somewhere new and pretty. (Peeing is optional)


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