Self Reliance


Alaskan Sky JuiceWater comes from heaven. This fact is often obliterated by the convenience of tap water. When we were staying on Ambergris Caye in Belize 9 years ago, many of the restaurants proudly advertised “sky juice” or rainwater on the menu. They all had zinc roofs with gutters that emptied into rain barrels.

Today, I discovered the joys of Alaskan sky juice.

Our friend, Pamela invited us to stay with her for a month in her home outside Gustavus. When we arrived, the water pump was cracked and Pam was hauling household water from the stream in two 5-gallon buckets. It took about 4 buckets a day to handle the three of us.

We didn’t mind. Trips to the stream were a good excuse to go for a little walk past the red squirrel burrows and look for moose prints and cowslips. At the house, we used the water straight to pour down the toilet, or boiled it and filtered it for drinking and cooking.

Then it started raining. Water began spilling from the roof gutters into the rain barrel. Water so clean it only needed to be boiled and not filtered, too! It was amazing how convenient this felt! With a silent thank you aimed at the heavens, I plunged into a myriad of projects requiring water.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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