Wild Rides on the Rift-Raft
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.