The UX of my Lake Tahoe Trip

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The last 5 days I have been on a family trip to Lake Tahoe.  We stayed in a cabin with about 15 other people.  Some of them were family, some of them were friends of family.

When going on a trip, what you are really buying are interesting memories.  You want to remember specific things and have great stories to tell.  Without great stories, trips are useless. (To me anyway)

The River Rafting Story
We rented a few rafts to go down the Truckee river.  It’s the only river that flows out of Lake Tahoe.  Ethan, Jared, Matthew and I were in one raft together.  Just me and the boys.  I taught the boys how to paddle and all was going well, when a band of teenagers approached from the rear.  They wanted to go past us and they were rowdy with water guns.  I saw an opportunity for a memory.

I blocked their way and started taunting them.  Within 30 seconds, one of the gangly youths had enough and start soaking us with his weapons of mass saturation.  I retaliated with the oar splashing the whole party.  The boys erupted into gleeful taunting of the teenagers.  They were in full blown ninja raft war mode.

One of the teenagers was literally within 3 feet, point blank range and emptied and entire super soaker right into Matthew’s face (He is 5 years old).  I started to get nervous.  How would Matthew react?  Would he cry.  The water gun emptied, he brushed his face, pointed to his hair and screamed at the top of his lungs with a beaming smile:

Thanks for that!!!  You washed my hair for me!!!

For 2 pregnant seconds, everything was quiet while our collective jaws dropped.  Then one of the other teenagers exclaimed, “You just got PUNKED by a little kid!”  The entire party exploded in laughter.   The teen dropped his head and started to paddle away as the rest of his party congratulated Matthew and laughed at their own friend.  I was so proud Matthew.  He was extraordinary.  He showed bravery, guts and quick thinking.  He made a joke!  I have never been so proud of him than in that moment.

We paddled the rest of the river and switched boats a few times.  At the end, there was this bend where you were supposed to paddle to the side to get out.  There were some rapids, so this was difficult.  We were on the wrong side of the river.  The boys arms were tired, so they weren’t paddling so well.  A guy who worked for raft company yelled to me.  “Catch this!” and he hurled a life vest attached to a rope high in the air.  I leaned back to catch it.  Almost….almost…

Falling into the River

Well, needless to say, I fell head over heels into the rapids. (Funny note: Here is the original image.  Great timing of the shot, isn’t it?)

I swam as hard as I could while dragging the boat behind me.  I couldn’t believe how hard it was to swim to the dock.  When I finally arrived, exhausted, I looked up the guy and said, “Nice throw.”  He looked really sorry and said sheepishly, “Sorry, that usually works.”

Well, I had my story.

On another day, we rented a motor boat and took it out onto the lake.  The water was so clear it felt like a swimming pool.  It was cold at first, but then felt fine afterwards.  I swam with all the boys.  I sat them in a tube and pulled it behind me.  We used this great GPS device on the boat to explore.  It was magical.

This picture says it all for me.  The boys are literally glowing with happiness.

Great Smiles from the Boys

Matthew was so excited, he fell asleep on the boat with his hair flying back with the wind.  All the boys got to steer the boat for a while.  We tried water skiing, but even I couldn’t get up on my feet.

We rented kayaks on the beech.  We did some Geo-Caching and found our first cache.

It was a great time, with lots of good stories to tell.

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