[not so] Clear Lake

The trip began Friday, August 11, with dropping Justin off at the airport, for a cruise from Bergen to Murmansk and back.  We proceeded to the annual two-week party at Indian Beach Resort at Clear Lake, getting up there around 3pm.  There were probably a dozen or so people up there, including Juliette, who is almost four months old.  We went out on the motorboat “Brown Squall”, from which her dad Skot wavesurfed:  he got up on his surfboard, threw the rope back to the boat, and followed it closely by surfing on its wake.

I’m tired just from watching Skot wake surf.  What is it about these guys?  They don’t mind that they are wet.  They don’t mind that it hurts.  They don’t mind that it’s exertion.  They seek out all those feelings.  What in the world is that like?

The boat conked out in mid surf while Alex was trying to duplicate Skot’s feat.  Adam took some time getting it started again.  Sounded like the carburetor was flooded but that wouldn’t explain the original problem.

Saturday and Sunday were more of the same.  The lake had so much algae this year that there was no oxygen left for the fish, and several of them floated dead on the water:  Jenny directed us on a Dead Fish Cruise down near the town of Clearlake, where the largest and most bloated specimens could be appreciated.  Afterwards, we went someplace far away and swam a bit.  There were many rides on boats each day.

The drug of choice for most of the party people is Coors Lite or Bud Lite, since it’s so darned hot there, like 100 degrees during the day.  Our friend Tollef brought a bunch of beer from his brewery (Temescal, in Oakland), which had actual flavor.  And there was wine, and our friend Alex made punch, which he says is from the Bengali word for five, as in Panch Phoron.  Wikipedia backs him up on this.  And, for the very first time, I saw just a bit of cocaine served on an iPhone, which I suppose makes sense.

Sadie [Adam and Jenny’s dog] seems even older.  She had to be separated from a larger black even friendlier and fluffier dog, in the water, because she is just not up to play any more, and she doesn’t know it.

For some reason the dinner conversation got to the subject of female stand up urination, and Alex said that when he was eleven years old and coming from a family backpacking expedition on the Wyoming Montana border, he was in a bar in their unisex bathroom with a row of tall urinals and a person came in and unzipped and he realized she was a woman, and she pissed anyway, as a man does.  I said, you should testify to the Texas Legislature how this traumatized you, and he said, that’s why I got so into wearing women’s dresses.  These extended jokes, building Bulwer-Lytton-wise on each other, are responsible for a lot of creation myths among dull psychologists.

Saturday night had a game of Pictionary, featuring totally made-up words, like “Clampari” (there was a Campari umbrella nearby).  I couldn’t figure anything out.

Everyone left on Sunday, except us and Adam. 

Monday, August 14, we packed up, stopped at the Redbud Trailhead on highway 20 nearby, and walked 2.5 miles to Cache Creek and back.  It was a very pretty walk, starting out in a bunch of trees which were burned in the Rocky fire two years earlier.  From there, we had lunch with an Opcode coworker Kim in Redding, and stopped at the AAA where we got some paper maps, and asked if they could help with my drivers license which expires just before we get back in November.  They couldn’t, but they did point out that the DMV in Mt. Shasta never has a line.  We got there a minute late so it didn’t matter.  We drove on to Ashland and met our friends for creekside dining at a Japanese restaurant.