Does an annual vacation still count as adventure? I think so, especially if it involves nature – both human and earthly. I say human nature because of the social-experimentation feel this trip sometimes takes on. Cue movie trailer voice-over: “What happens when you isolate 14 people in floating living quarters for a weekend excursion? Houseboat. 2013.” As this is our fifth year of the adventure, we have had a few long-term participants, and add/subtracted as the years have gone by. It’s always interesting to see what the dynamic is going to be. As a bona-fide introvert, it is a special challenge for me to be around that many people for that long. The nice part is that we have really cute cabins to retreat to. (The boat is in fact 6 bedroom, 1.5 bath, with full kitchen. Hot tub, double water slide, wet bar, central air. It’s a little crazy, really.) This year I finally realized that I was free to participate or not participate in any of the socializing I felt like – which met for a good balance. Why this took five years I’m not sure, probably something about getting older.
Every June a large group of us rent a houseboat in Lake Cumberland, Kentucky. It’s hard to tell from these pictures in particular, but there is an unofficial theme of “America” – that’s pronounced “Ammrrca.” This state park, not far from the Tennessee border, is absolutely beautiful. Once again, it is a place I wish I knew the history of better. Already planning for next year, I would like to go a few days early and stay in the park, as there is so much to do. Just looking at the lake on a map is mind-boggling.
Above is a picture of the entire lake, which is hard to grasp without any reference. But, look at the map below, which is JUST of a few coves on the lake, where the marina for the state park is. Just in that tiny outcropping there is an entire resort and marina.
The Lake Cumberland State Dock is where we rent from every year. They have their act together, and it’s a pretty well oiled machine. The marina also has privately-owned houseboats, which are amazing to see. In going there every year, I can definitely understand why someone would invest in a houseboat and use it year-round instead of a cabin.
Ah, morning coffee. Remember what I said about getting 14 people in floating living quarters? That involves improvising when someone accidentally brings whole bean coffee to the middle of nowhere. We tried out a variety of mortar-and-pestle-like tactics throughout the three mornings in order to have our java. It felt very primal. (And a little addict-y.)
<Three days of kayaking, swimming, drinking, eating, swimming, sunning, floating, and napping. All in a beautiful setting miles and miles from civilization. Not too shabby. But now I need a rest from my vacation.