Saturday, July 22, 2017

Billy Chinook Wakeboarding

Emily put together the best birthday for me that I’ve had in a decade and it involved a sport that I hadn’t done for nearly just as long!  This year our friends Eric, Athena, Jen, Jason, Ian, and Colleen joined Emily and I on Lake Billy Chinook for an absolutely amazing day wake-boarding!  Eric found us a great spot in the Cove Palisades Deschutes Campground where we had two fun nights - one drinking and one recovering… read on…

Eric and Athena beat us to the campground Friday night because the rest of us had to finish up a work day.  They secured the sites for us and we showed up around 8:30 to start drinking.  I had promised myself not to drink too much the first night as I didn’t want it to affect my wake-boarding the next day and thankfully I stuck to that rule, although I did eat a ton of lemon cupcakes with blueberry frosting that Jen had made for me.. she’s the best!

On Saturday morning we headed down to the marina to pick up our boat at 10:30am but unfortunately, the starter to our brand new ski boat was broken and had to be replaced which set us back nearly an hour.  This was mostly unfortunate for the employees of the marina because I don’t think they realized we were going to hold the boat down to the last minute of the hour extension they gave us for the delay!

Having grown up on a lake waterskiing Eric became the boat captain and drove us all around the lake.  We headed to the farthest reaches right away to avoid the crowds and of course I was designated the first person to strap in and go for it being my birthday and all… Man, what fun!  It was like riding a bicycle, I was up on the first try and having a blast crossing the wake and then eventually working up the courage to try jumping it again.  I failed many times throughout the day but did clear it once or twice I think.  

Ian was up next and being owner of the wakeboard we were using I could tell he had experience and looked a lot more comfortable out there and smooth on it than I did I bet after all these years!  Eric tried slalom skiing with one ski but with 7 people in the boat it was hard to get the power to get him up on such little surface area.  It worked… but barely and we had the newest, most powerful boat of the marina!  He later tried wake-boarding and got up just fine with that too.  Jason, as well was able to get up the first try head to both sides of the wake.

I think the highlight boarder of the day was Emily who was simply in her element the entire afternoon and always wanting to go for another round.  She constantly had a smile on her face on her face.  Seriously… even while catching the lip of her board and face planting I consistently got rapid fire shots of her in a big smile landing face-first in the water at nearly 30mph… Wake-boarding is truly one of her favorite activities!

Today was the first try for Jen and Athena who took a little bit more time to get up but did eventually.  I think both of them were feeding off each other’s determination which was great to see.  Once Jen got up Athena pretty said, “I’m getting in!” and also got up.  But, there were a heck of a lot of hilarious crashes in all the attempts which I can’t wait to thrown down a music track to!  

With Eagles and Ospreys around us we spent the afternoon alternating between wake boarding and lounging in bays snacking and drinking from the multiple coolers we brought on the boat.  I’m sure we exceeded the boat’s weight capacity!  Everyone took turns holding up the skier flag for other boats to know someone was in the water and we only got talked to once by a cop the came by to check on us…

Highlights of the day include everyone successfully getting up, me puking in the lake and then somehow us swinging back around with the boat to mistakenly swim through it… hehe.., as well as flying the drone at the end of the day at max speed down the lake chasing the boat at over 47mph from above it!  We made it back to the marina with just minutes to spare and after dumping our horde of empty cans we made it back to the campsite to hang out.

That night as we cooked and finished off a lot of the beer and whiskey we had left we had no idea the pain that we would all be in the following week realizing that half of us had whiplash from our crashes and old age!  It took me nearly a full week to be able to fully turn my head 90 degrees to each side!

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