Every other year, my friends rent a huge houseboat on Lake Shasta for five days. This year was the fifth anniversary of the trip. I had a blast the last time we did this and oddly enough, we ended up with the same exact boat that we’d rented in 2010. Unfortunately, my work schedule this summer has been hectic x a gazillion so while I really desperately wanted to bail on the trip entirely, I made a concession and went for two days and two nights only. I’m glad I went but it wasn’t without it’s own amount of stress.
Loading up the boat at MSS Hellraiser V!
Basically, 20-25 of my friends and I get together on a houseboat. You each bring a handle of liquor, there’s five kegs, one hot tub, seven highly sought after cabins to sleep in, a third story deck to huck off, two grills, loud music and a lot of fun. As my friend Josh said on the first night, “Houseboat is just a series of naps:” there’s always someone up partying, playing music, dancing, raging, jumping into the water, laughing. You sort of zen out at night and then, at 4:30ish AM when the speakers finally go quiet and every one settles down there is a moment of peace in your heart where you know for a fact that you will have uninterrupted silence for at least 5 hours.
The liquor, day 1.
My favorite time at houseboat is the early morning. I like the quiet. I like cleaning the mess in the kitchen and wondering what the hell happened when I was asleep: making coffee and starting breakfast and waiting for the hungover troops to rise. All is calm.
Trout, fishing for trout.
We made the mistake on the second day, thanks to a bit of alcohol probably, of thinking that we could motor over near the Shasta Dam and climb the scaffolding and jump off it. I like jumping off things into water. I jumped the Shasta Bridge with the boys in 2010 and to this day it is one of the most daring and fun moments of my life. I’m usually the voice of reason on the boat. Reno calls me “Boat Mama.” Why it didn’t occur to me that the dam that keeps water from flooding the majority of the central valley of CA would have security on it is beyond me now, but hindsight is 20-20. Long story short, they didn’t like us parked near the dam. And then, they didn’t like the fact that the boat wouldn’t start.. And then my drunk friends started to fight over what to do and sheriffs were called and well, the boys got in the water and tried to swim our houseboat. Whatever you are imagining as the outcome of this process: yes, and that too happened.
Swimming the MSS Hellraiser V.
When the Sheriff came he told us everyone on the damn clearly thought we were “domestic terrorists” and then was like, “what the hell are you doing by a damn on 9/11?” We had no idea. Seriously. We were drunk! On a boat!
Our starter was flooded. The Sheriff pulled us away from the dam. The boat company came and fixed it. I got sick with a head cold. There was lots more dancing, drinking and partying. There was lots of hucking. Overall, successful few days on Shasta, though I wish I’d been able to stay the whole week.
Night on the boat, Lake Shasta, CA.
These are the rest of my favorites from the trip, but you can see them all here.