Wednesday, September 16, 2009
labour day holiday
We wanted to do more camping (after our Big Sur adventure.. post will be forthcoming...) before school started again but we didn't plan early enough to get a camping spot at one of the many local campgrounds/state parks/forestry campsites for labour day weekend. We wanted to camp with our neighbours Betsy and Eddie and their daughter Ruby but they were hesitant to make the adventure too big as Ruby had never been camping before and has always slept in her own room etc etc. In the end we decided to have a Labour Day family adventure at one of the many parks here in the East Bay. Eddie discovered that we could rent a boat on 4 of the water reserves around here. We chose the closest one (Lake Chabot) which is just east of Oakland (about 20 minute drive from here). We decided to invite Katie and Mary Anne along to make it more fun! There was no way to reserve a boat so we set out nice and early to snag ourselves a "patio boat"! (sorry I didn't manage to take a picture of it...) When we arrived it seemed as though there were lots of people already enjoying the outdoors but we were lucky to get one of the last boats available. The website had said that these boats could take 8 people or 1200 lbs so we thought we would be amply safe with 9 people -3 under 40 lbs! Unfortunately they insisted on the 8 people rule so we were forced to rent a canoe as well. In the end this was a GREAT fortune! Once we got out on the water we just hitched the canoe to the PBoat and carried on with all of us enjoying the cushions! Besides the canoe just being really fun to go in, it was rather essential for our 4 hour cruise up and down the reservoir. It meant that we could go ashore as the water level was too low to dock the patio boat!
The reservoir was lovely and quiet as all the boats run on electricity or muscle power. Really a wonderfully calm day.
Another happy piece of luck was that it was "free fishing" day! We had intended to fish and pay for the privilege but we didn't need too!! We rented 2 fishing poles which was enough for everyone who wanted to get their fill of casting and reeling. No wildlife was harmed or even tempted by our lures. . .
We all brought ample food for the day so we had a big feast on board. Eddie was a little disappointed not to go real camping as he was unable to use his fold-out camping KITCHEN! I am disappointed too because i didn't get to SEE Eddie's fold-out camping KITCHEN!! Maybe at another time. . .
By the end of our time on the boat we were ready to do other things or have naps etc so it was quite overwhelming when we got back to the dock to experience the numbers and the sound of the masses of people who came to Lake Chabot while we were busy cruising its waters! We decided to find a nice spot to hang out some more in our courtyard back home!!