Day Four: Lake Oroville, CA

Oroville, CA to Oroville Lake State Park, CA

We woke up around 7:30 this morning to the sound of Harley-Davidsons starting up in the driveway. Both Amber’s parents are long-time riders. Rhonda was on her way to work, at the local hospital, and Mark was on his way to the gym. We ate some breakfast and watched a little T.V. before we got ourselves all packed up. We hadn’t brought much inside the house, so packing was finished quickly and all that remained was to lower Scrap from his blocks and take him for a test drive.

We all went outside and took Scrap off the blocks. He and I went for quick drive to bed the new brakes pads and rotors, and then we were off to town as well. We visited Amber’s sisters, got more gas, shopped for groceries, and then followed Amber’s sister Chelsea out to the lake. I tried to get the lady at the gatehouse to accept my National Parks annual pass, but she was too quick for my tricks. We drove down a long boat ramp to the water’s edge and unloaded everything we were planning to take out on the lake with us. We are staying on Amber’s aunt Christie’s houseboat so we took everything but the camping equipment.

Christie arrived shortly after I parked Scrap at the top of that long ramp, he wanted to go out on the lake too, until I reminded him that he doesn’t like getting in the water deeper than the bottom of his fog lights. We talked it over and he decided to stay, keeping an eye out for seagulls. The lake is a hydroelectric reservoir, and you could tell it was dammed at one end because the red earth that surrounds the lake was stepped. This is a result of the water level being lowered and then held as it runs through the dam. The water level was going down overall, as towards the end of the evening we had to slack the mooring lines (tied to stakes driven into the dirt on shore), and push the boat out a few feet.

As soon as we got on the houseboat we got in the water. It was the perfect temperature. Amber’s niece of two loves to jump off the back of the boat into her mother’s/Amber’s arms. We ate a delicious lunch of BBQed fresh jalapeños, pineapple sausages, salads, and a couple other delicious items. After lunch there was more swimming, and Amber’s dad, Marc, showed up with his boat which he moored along side Christie’s. We all spent a great day relaxing. I alternated between swimming, reading my new Nook, and eating. Perfect! I also spent a fair amount of time petting Phoebe, the boat-dog. As the sun started to get low in the sky, Amber’s brother Miles (and his friend, Danny) showed up with his new wakeboard.

Phoebe the boat-dog!

Phoebe the Friendly Boat-Dog. Do you see that smile on her face? She is laughing at my sun-burn.

Eager to try it out we headed out onto the lake in Christie’s ski boat. Miles had a great first run, wakeboarding underneath a large suspension bridge. Amber took pictures of the wakeboarders while Ashley deliberated making her first foray into the sport. Eventually, Amber, Ashley and I all got a ride. Amber got up immediately, Ashley got up in her first few tries, and I got in one incredibly lucky ride. With the sun setting we headed back to the houseboat for dinner; tri-tip cooked for us by Mark and Rhonda.

After dinner we settled in on the very top deck of the houseboat in sleeping bags for some well deserved sleep.

See you tomorrow!