Sunday, July 06, 2014


My dad used to regale us with tales about zany waterskiing antics on the reservoir (and even along the canals) near his home in Idaho. When I was about 10, my dad arranged to borrow an old boat from a friend for the summer and we all learned to waterski at Chestermere Lake. Eventually, we took that boat off-roading near Baab, Montana and we got our own boat. By then we 3 boys were old enough to take the boat out on our own. Cam would drive the van and back it down the ramp while I would drive the boat off the trailer and Tay would help tie us up at the dock (and supply a steady supply of sarcasm and other abuse). When my parents moved away to Denver, they sold the boat and we have been landlubbbers ever since.

R's family went out every summer to a family cabin on Windermere, skiing and tubing and canoeing from the time they were tiny. Her dad was an epic slalom skier and was also famous for his ability to barefoot well into his 40s. Unfortunately, the cabins were eventually sold and her family hung onto their aging boat as a last vestige of their seafaring life.

In recent years we have spent at least one week every summer at a rented cabin with family on either side, sometimes renting a boat, sometimes relying on the generosity of my brother and his family to tow us around the lake. This summer we had another cabin trip lined up, but the cost of a boat rental for such an extended period seemed astronomical.

So we did what anyone would do in this circumstance: We bought a boat.

We gave my brother-in-law Luke the green light to acquire a boat and within what seemed like just a few hours he had a boat, had compiled an array of gear and had ordered me a hitch to tow it to Montana.

A few days later we found ourselves at Ghost Lake for some Canada Day water sports aboard our new vessel. The kids loved tubing and probably could have stayed all night if the gas had held out. Right at the end of the outing I decided to put on one of the combo skis for a quick turn. I recently acquired a wetsuit, but it was left hanging in the closet at home. I steeled myself and took the plunge into the icy depths with nothing but my shorts and a simple yellow life jacket. As soon as I got my breath back I told Luke to go, go, go. Once I was up it was okay and I had such a fabulous time skiing behind the boat -- OUR BOAT. Yes!

And then I finally lost grip on the rope and sank ... slowly ... back ... into ... the ... void.

Still, it was amazing and I am glad to be a mariner again.

R in the Boat


Kids up front

Older 3 Tubing


Grandma & E

Jenny & the little girls

Grandpa Driving

Getting Ready for the Plunge

I Love Skiing

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