Houseboating in Lake Cumberland | My Family Travels

Every year since I was 14 my family has traveled down to Russell Springs, KY with our close family friends, one of which grew up there. The intent of the trip is to visit her family who still reside down there. Everything is so vast and open in Russell Springs and everyone lives in small houses on large plots of land, plots that could fit 2-3 large houses from where I live.

It’s beautiful and I anticipate that trip every summer. Our vacation always includes meals at the Dairy Dee and a couple of trips to the massive Lake Cumberland where we tube, water ski, ride waverunners, and sunbathe on pontoons. Last year’s trip to Kentucky was by far my favorite and most memorable.

It was one in which my family, the family we go down with, and another family who lives down there put together our money and rented a house boat for five days and four nights. The boat was huge with two bathrooms and five bedrooms that could sleep all 13 of us comfortably with no one having to sleep on the couch! We docked the boat in a cozy, uninhabited cove where it stayed for the next five days. Our days consisted of tubing/water skiing behind the two speed boats, lounging in the warm lake water, thinking of different ways to go down the water slide on the top deck, blasting the music loud, grilling our meals, and watching 80’s horror flicks at night.

Occasionally, we’d have visitors come spend the day with us, and one night we set off fireworks from the shore. That fireworks display drew at least five boats into our cove to watch the show. My brother and dad would go off early in the morning and fish, and be back before anyone was awake.

We also had a dog with us who had eaten a whole pack of Reese’s right before we’d gotten on the boat and expelled wrappers on the shore the whole week. Among all the activities, no one bothered to shower because we’d just get dirty again the next day! We caught baby turtles and frogs, and swam with the fish. We watched scary movies each night and one night some of the girls we were with claimed I screamed ‘NO PLEASE! HELP ME!’ in my sleep – something I have no recollection of.

The day before we went back to the dock everyone decided to bathe, but we didn’t use the facilities on the boat. We would soap up and shampoo our hair on the back deck, then jump in the lake to rinse off. Even though that isn’t the most sanitary way to bathe, we felt super clean and refreshed.

We brought the boat back on Friday afternoon, but weren’t quite ready to leave the lake. We rented a pontoon because not everyone could fit in the small speed boats and we wanted some place for everyone who wasn’t tubing to stay while those who were were on the lake. We had planned on going to the State Park for a nice dinner that night, but we weren’t quite clean enough to go.

We ended up taking the boats to the Jamestown dock and ate our meal there. Eventually we had to return the pontoon and get back to those who chose not to go houseboating with us. No one wanted to go back because it was just ridiculous fun! It was so beautiful spending five days on the lake and I would gladly pass up a chance at a cruise if I could go houseboating again.

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