Friday, September 1, 2006

Houseboating on Lake Shasta

This was the summer bash to end all summer bashes. I remembered Shasta as the town we went through to get to the Northwest from San Diego as a kid. We would stop at Redding and have breakfast as Mom and Dad would drive straight through. At one point I remember them taking us through the caverns. We would measure the rainfall of the year based on how high the water was or wasn't along the banks. Nothing prepared me for how wonderful it would be to actually spend a week on a houseboat. There were many preparations, since each member was responsible to prepare dinner at least once, so we packed up a cartload of sodas, two chicken enchiladas (one hot, one mild--Scotty is like me and David--give us the spicy foods!!!) and some taco pie along with various and sundry jolly, jolly treats.

This trip was also a wonderful break from the craziness of the summer. I misread my transcript, which meant I had to cram 70 clock hours of learning into about four weeks in order to have sufficient time for my teaching certificate to be in order. It was a nail biter. I got it just in the nick of time. . .so then it was a matter of ESD and Olympia to go through the required approval.

There was general fun and merriment all the way around. Dayne had some friends who were competitive wakeboarders, so the "kids" had plenty of time to refine their skills on the wakeboard. Young David (seen at the front of the boat) was of the opinion that the skill must be as easy at it appeared. Not so much, alas. He was unable to achieve upright status on the wakeboard. He came close but, in spite of enthusiastic coaching and a few wagers, he was unable to make it happen. I was pretty content to hold the waterskiing flag. . .which I did enthusiastically while absorbing all the vitamin D the sun was willing to provide.

There could be nothing better than turning 40 on Shasta Lake--especially when it is at a party hosted by none other than Barbara Miller. As you can see from the shindig, there were a total of four "big" adults (Barb, Scott, Me, and Russ), three semi-big adults, seven teenagers, and 1.3 babies (Christina was 3 months pregnant at the time) on a fifty-one foot houseboat. I figured if we could survive those small quarters without killing one another, we were meant to be family. The boat was decorated in preparation for the luau that was to be, and I opened 40 cute gifts and danced with Russ on top of the boat. It was wonderful. As if that weren't enough, we were treated to a small family of otters playing in the water near the end of the evening. They slipped underneath the boat and continued along their merry way. The wildlife was one of the highlights of the entire experience.

Our final days were spent waterskiing--which I finally tried. I had about as much success with the waterskiing that David had with wakeboarding. Barb, on the other hand, was a complete STUDETTE. . .as was Russ. He is amazing at pretty much any athletic endeavor. David did eventually master the Jetskis and was zipping around quite a bit on those.

Scott was no slouch, either. This picture really shows the houseboat--which we moved to a different location nightly. You can see the tent on top. The teenage boys were able to sleep under the stars.
As an experience, I would do it again in a heartbeat. The car ride back was relaxing and beautiful. Of course, I started school the next day--or at least preparing for school (it was the day before students arrived). It was amazing, though, that all the excitement didn't matter. It was a fun, relaxing time to be with people who would become family in just a little over a year and a half. Lucky me!!