Wild Rides on the Rift-Raft

Reminisce - - Our Lives - MARLA WAL­TERS • HILO, HI

Weary of tent camp­ing, my par­ents, along with an­other cou­ple, built a house­boat on Trin­ity Lake, Cal­i­for­nia. We launched the Rift-Raft, a float­ing red­wood box sit­ting on Sty­ro­foam, in the sum­mer of 1968.

In the be­gin­ning, a used Ev­in­rude en­gine pow­ered the raft. Steer­ing was a com­pli­cated sys­tem of lines and pul­leys. Even­tu­ally both the en­gine and the steer­ing sys­tem failed, and ski boats were tied to the sides of the house­boat. Un­for­tu­nately, keep­ing them at the same speed proved tricky. Some­times we’d go in cir­cles or made drunken S shapes on our way across the lake. Both moth­ers looked for­ward to cock­tail hour at 5, and now I un­der­stand why.

I met my hus­band on that lake at the Estre­lita Ma­rina. His fam­ily also had a house­boat, and our fa­vorite mem­o­ries are Rift-Raft.• of time spent there. We had a great time on the

MARLA AND FRIENDSBill and Scott Barnes fished, swam, skied, learned to play poker, and slept in bunk beds or in sleep­ing bags un­der the stars.

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