Davidson Flats, Deschutes River, Oregon

Flowing north to the Columbia River in deep canyons through central Oregon’s sun-baked, black basaltic plateau, the fast and frothy Deschutes is a favorite with white water aficionadoes. Some of the campgrounds along the river also were exciting, but not in a pleasant way thanks to malodorous vault toilets that made answering nature’s call an olfactory ordeal. That changed during the spring of 2002 when these odorless Phoenix-equipped buildings were installed after being transported to the site by railway.

Like the Smith Rock State Park building that survived a wildfire, these buildings feature fire resistant cement siding. Photovoltaic panels under polycarbonate glazing charge batteries that power the fans, pumps, and long lasting, low wattage, LED lights. Rainwater flowing off the roof is caught and diverted to a cistern in the basement. A system of hoses and pumps deliver pressurized water to the toilet rooms for efficient cleaning