The family and I just got back from my all time favorite vacation, super relaxing, great food, perfect weather, the company of awesome friends with lots of time for making crafty stuff… on a houseboat.
When our original vacation plans fell through in late May, we scrambled for a quick, affordable and nearby plan “B”. After checking into rates, I figured out that 3 days (2 nights) for two families to rent a houseboat on Lake Shasta was pretty darn affordable. Our economy boat slept eight comfortably, had bathroom, shower, almost full sized fridge, stove, microwave and most importantly a grill and blender.
Our travel companions were a delight, my girlfriend Kristina is a fellow crafter and her 1st question during our pre-trip planning session was, “What are we going to make”? Turns out we made a lot and packed even more, “just in case”
Happily for Kristina our route from Portland to Shasta CA drove us through Eugene Oregon where we had a few hours to spend at the Black Sheep Wool Gathering an annual fiber arts covergence of tactile wonders. There were dozens of booths featuring knitting, felting and spinning supplies and gorgeous balls of natural dyed wool begging for a project.
Black Sheep is more than a retail show though, it’s also a place where animals are brought to be judged with arena pens filled with sheep and goats. It was a great feeling to get my wool not just directly from the ranchers, but actually see some of the animals who’s winter coats were soon to be a part of my next pair of socks. Kristina and I could have spent the whole day there, or even two, some folks bring tents and camp out, but the kids and our men folk were itching to get to the lake and unpack our gear.
We’d reserved our boat for three days and two nights and the travel agent I spoke with on the phone said for an extra fee we’d be able to board the boat the evening before our trip, unpack, and spend the night in the marina before
our morning orientation session. It sounded like a great arrangement, but they neglected to tell us though that we needed to call ahead 1st. We rolled into Lake Shasta around 7pm planning to unpack and cook dinner on the lake, but found out our boat wouldn’t actually be ready until the next morning. After seven hours of driving, this was a big bummer especially since we were hungry and the kids needed some run around time. Fortunately the marina had a cute hotel with pool and they discounted our rooms a bit to make up for the inconvenience. We all have our own coping mechanisms, the kids of course immediately jumped in the water, I opened a beer and Kristina busted out her new Navajo spindle and gorgeous wool roving. I foraged through our coolers and managed to throw together an awesome meal which we enjoyed alfresco by the pool, managing to have a delightful time despite our setback.