Now that summer is officially kicking off for most people in America, thoughts turn to sunshine and days spent outside. I especially love being active and outdoors. One of my major passions for the past several years has been wakeboarding. In late 2004 I first learned to ride at the (already old, but very excited) age of 16. I bought my first board before the following season which I still use; a 2005 CWB Sol 135.
Although I’ll admit to not being able to get my board more than a foot or two above the water, part of my amateur status is a result of only getting to ride a few sessions each year. For many summers my family would camp at the extremely popular Lake Billy Chinook in central Oregon. We would pack our boats (one owned by may parents, the other by my uncle) and drive the 3 hours from Portland to the lake. For miles you appear to be in the middle of nowhere, until you suddenly get the first look as you begin your decent down a steep road which zigzags around canyon walls.
Each and every time I am in awe of the sight, and get excited for my multiple night stay. We usually camp a full week. Last summer we decided to rent a houseboat for our time there. It was a completely new experience and definitely enjoyable because you never had to call it a day until the sun went down. In years past, 4pm was as late as you could stay out because you had the hassle of getting your boat back onto the trailer and towing it the mile back to camp so you could make dinner before nightfall. Then you’d wake up early to launch it again the next morning. With a houseboat you simply tie your ski/wake boat to the houseboat and rest easy. People have plenty of room to relax and enjoy their time on the water and its easy to take a lunch break in the middle of the day. I even had the advantage of taking a few sunset cruises!
In addition to incredible sunsets and stargazing, sleeping on the water delivers the bonus of being the first to hit perfect glassy water at 8am. Last summer was especially exciting because my beautiful girlfriend got to stay with my family and I at the lake to experience what it was all about for the first time. Although I couldn’t get her on a board this time, perhaps someday in the future I can be more persuasive. Until then, I will continue to love each summer day I have the opportunity to wakeboard and spend time on the water.