Since the 4th of July fell on a Thursday this year, no one had any real plans to do much of anything. It was going to be hot (shocker, I know) and seeing fireworks meant having to put up with massive crowds at the Civic Center.
Boyfriend and I invited my parents to go out on the lake instead, where we could jump in to avoid the heat. Also, play on the tube that Boyfriend bought to tow behind the boat. He and I discovered, that while it's tons of fun once you're on it, getting on it is mostly a lot of aggravation. Which only made Boyfriend want the more expensive two-seater tube even more.
So, Mom and I made sandwiches and loaded up the ice chest with sodas, water, and food. Boyfriend got the boat hitched to the truck and ready to go. We loaded everything up, and headed for a gas station. We decided on Safeway as they sell both gas and diesel (and Boyfriend needed both, diesel for his truck and gas for the boat) and Mom and I wanted to get more sunscreen and bought a few candy bars on a whim. She and I decided to try the spray on Banana Boat. Don't waste your $8. Seriously. Don't. Do. It. The spray was $8, which was the same price as the cream/lotion. Turns out, she and I were the only ones who used the nasty stuff and we used up most of it in one sitting. It didn't smell all that great, it made us feel all nasty sticky, and it got all over the windshield of the boat, which didn't make Boyfriend overly happy. The only good thing about it was that it was cool on your skin when you sprayed it on, considering it was 100* (F) by noon. Just stick with the lotion version, because you're $8 will last you so much longer.
Boyfriend decided we'd launch at Whiskeytown Lake instead of Lake Shasta, where we normally go because he bought a season pass for an arm and a leg. Lake Shasta is way bigger then Whiskeytown so the water is typically more calm even if the lake is busy. Whiskeytown is mostly a resevoir for drinking water and some local ag water. Shasta Lake is water that will be used to fill the Sacramento River and also to send water to So Cal (you guys are welcome, by the way). Shasta Lake can get scary low for the latter reason, which it already is. Even a month ago boat launches were closing because there was no water in that arm. Each time we go out (which is pretty much every week) there are new islands popping up.
We decided that the launch at Whiskeytown was absolutely awesome because the boat ramp was not steep (nor a 20 mile hike on a 20% grade), you had three "lanes" in which to launch your boat (meaning it's not as crowded), and the day use fee was only $5 (versus $10/day at Lake Shasta). However, Whiskeytown Lake is much smaller and water quite choppy and much cooler, and it's also quite windy. Six of one, half dozen of the other, really.
My Dad hurt his ribs trying to get on the tube. He has very bad ribs and the slightest pressure or oddest movement seems to "pop" them out of place, which of course, is very painful. So he never got to ride the tube, and even if he had gotten on it without hurting himself, he would have been hurt just from getting bumped around on the tube. Mom got on it however, and enjoyed herself on it. We found the easiest way to get on the damn thing was to find a bit of shore (not easy) and the tube rider would swim to shore with the tube and the boat would tow you off the shoreline. Much easier and less aggravating.
We found a little cove to swim in to be relatively undisturbed by other boaters. We enjoyed our lazy afternoon cruising around the lake, snacking away on the food, and taking turns on the tube.
We ended our lazy 4th of July by grabbing Burger King on the way home and spending the evening at home.