Question: Dear Luise: I belong to a small group of close friends who like to vacation together at times. Next summer we all want to do a houseboat excursion. Any ideas of where we should go? We are a wild, fun bunch, (on a quiet scale), and think this would be a great adventure! Wish you could join us! Dixie
Answer: Dear Dixie: I have to say I am curious how you define your motley group. For me, that would mean that you have a great time without being too noisy and bothering other people.
Yes, I have done the houseboat excursion thing and would be glad to share it with you. We looked into the rentals on Lake Powell and on Lake Shasta and chose Lake Shasta due to it’s being closer to home.
You want a large lake so you can do a lot of exploring and have all the privacy you might want, and both of those lakes are behind huge dams. You can make the trip in your RVs, saving a lot along the way.
It’s important to know the current water level because that radically affects the shoreline every year, the fishing,(if it’s legal and you’re so inclined), and the other wildlife of a non-human nature. If you are going to be out over any major holidays, you might need to get on reservations right now for a year from this summer.
Food planning is very important because there is little or no opportunity to shop, once you’re on the lake. Preparing stuff ahead and packing it into ice chests can be very helpful. The boat we rented had a Bar-B-Q on the deck. We wished we had brought a portable, back-packing toilet, so we could have lessened the number of trips we had to make into the main dock to have our holding tank pumped.
Lots of sunscreen, of course, and a few first aid supplies for stomach upsets, cuts and bruises, etc. A good water filter pump can keep you from trying to store gallons of bottled water. Get as much data as you can from the rental agents and anyone you know who has gone before you. For instance, is there poison oak in the area and does anyone is you group get it easily? Takes meds. along, if that’s the case.
Best to ask about pets and better yet to leave them at home. Rent a boat that is too big, not one that is barely adequate. They seem to get smaller every day. Take clothes you can rinse out and wear again and again. Plan carefully and you will still be smiling over your pictures when you are my age! I still smile over mine! Blessings, Luise