i held my breath, believing the smell would be rancid in there. you see, i have this technique of sparingly breathing with my mouth in any non-flushing toilet scenario. or, in a dire situation when i'm feeling desperate, i allow one deep (nose-)breath in through some article of clothing to help diffuse the stench.
like most normal people, i'm not a fan of the the stank of our collective shit. but it all changed after i experienced the composting toilets at havasupai. seriously. as magnificent as the waterfalls were, i can honestly say that i was nearly equally impressed by the toilets.
prior to the trip, i was reminded of the composting toilets in the grand canyon during the peak of summer when....am i grossing you out yet?....well, when the human waste was baking in the high desert heat. i remember feeling like even breathing through my mouth would be a violation to my human dignity. after that single use, the smell latched on to the fibers of my clothes so that i couldn't even run away from it. it.was.disgusting.
here's what made havasupai's composting toilets so fantastic:
one) it was in a clean space.
two) our duty was to drop one scoop of sawdust into the toilet.
three) it didn't smell. at all!!!
four) i felt like a lil hamster after every use.