It was an unseasonably warm fall in Oregon. I arrived on the first day of October, and while it’s often still nice at that time, a week or two into the month is when the rains and cold weather come. But not this year. We enjoyed sunny, warm days all through October. It sure made for nice harvesting weather, as often we are battling rain and/or freezing temperatures during the harvest. This year’s harvest was a dream, at least as far as weather went. Not so good as far as yields went, with the long fire season and months of hazy, smoky days certainly affecting the plants during their flowering cycle. But we certainly didn't have any problems with mold.
I was in Oregon only to work the harvest season, and I was working pretty much non-stop. I did take a few breaks though, the first of which was a day on the lake with Reid and Gabe. It’s unheard of to go wakeboarding in late October in Oregon, but I figured we could at least enjoy cruising around in the boat. Whether or not anyone would actually brave the water, we would see.
It was such a beautiful day, and the water was like glass. The main function of Emigrant Lake is to store water for irrigation, and with the long dry summers of Southern Oregon, it’s usually almost completely empty by late fall. We were lucky that we had a wet year, and the water, though certainly low, was still at a level that made for good boating.
After we took a few laps around the lake (which is fairly small) the question went out: who’s going first? Nobody was eager to get in that cold water, and though I hadn’t planned to, I said I’d go for it. I grew up water skiing, but I’ve only been on a wakeboard a couple of times, and I’m certainly not great at it. But the water was so smooth and I figured why not?
So in I plunged, and man, it was cold. The air was nice and warm, but not the water. I hoped I’d get up on my first attempt, because I knew I wouldn’t last long in that water. I did make it up without trouble, and I had nice ride, though uneventful. I’m just not steady enough on the board to attempt jumps, though I did manage a 180 switch. I lost my balance at one point and wiped out, but I decided to go for another run, this time trying to cross the wake with a little more speed. I bit it, and hard. Nick captured my wipeout on video, and though I could have sworn he sent it to me, I can’t find it now. Probably just as well. I face planted, and it was not pretty. I lost my sunglasses too.
Next up was Gabe, the owner of the boat. He wasn't so keen on jumping into the cold water, so he opted for a land start. We pulled up to the steep bank and he climbed out with the board. After getting strapped in at the water’s edge, we tossed him the rope and slowly let out slack.
He made it up just fine, though his plan to stay dry was foiled on his first wake jump, where he went down. But he did a few more rounds, nailing the rest of his jumps, clear across both wakes. Another one of the guys with us also went, and though he didn’t manage the land start, he too pulled off some amazing jumps, turning a 180 in the air on a few of them.
Nobody else got in the water, and we didn’t stay out too long. It was a great day, and I was super pleased to take a break from working. I’ll probably wait until I’m back in Texas before I try to get better at wakeboarding though…