Two months ago, I uprooted my wife and kids and moved them out of Southern California to Dallas Texas. People told me I was crazy to move if I didn't have to leave, and they all wanted to know what would convince me to move away from the best weather in the world? On the drive out I was questioning this decision myself. I was leaving friends and family behind while not really knowing anyone in this new home town. I began to reflect on almost 40 years of living in Southern California's sun, and temperate climate. I had about 24 hours to think about what I was doing as my wife and kids slept and watched movies in the truck and ignored me on the drive. I was also thinking about a 5000 lb. boat I was dragging to Texas at $2.80/gallon. I then reminisced about how the boat had finally been attached to my truck, and why it was I was driving away from the only home I had ever known.
I reviewed in my mind why I was leaving Tige' Watersports. These are the people who convinced me in 1992 to order an open bow ski boat that had not yet been made. I bought it from a dealer (Chris Ainsworth) who worked out of a garage and was hoping to open a shop soon for this new company. That boat was guaranteed by Charlie Pigeon to be what I wanted, or I didn't have to take it home with me. I owned that boat for 11 years of trouble free enjoyment. The service by Greg and Oscar's guys was the best in the world. TWS also has a great group of sales and pro-shop people who are more of a family than most families I have met. After a very long time of wishing for a new boat, I upgraded to my 2nd Tige' in 2003 with my wife's permission. I believe I have at least 8 more years left with this new boat. I have always loved my time on the water, and the people at Tige' Watersports always kept my boat running flawlessly. The only problem was finding some water on which to enjoy my boat. There are more boats than water in Southern California. We decided to move so we would have an opportunity to go to a lake without strict safety limits on how many boats are allowed on the lake. With a finite amount of room, there is a mandatory limit on the amount of boats allowed on the lake. Usually all of those spots are full by 7:30 AM, or you need reservations to launch your boat!
We have now been in Texas for 10 weeks, and we have been to 4 different lakes the locals have told us are too crowded. Either I am used to the worst conditions in the world or the people complaining about these lakes are CRAZY! Now, we get to a lake on a Saturday or Sunday after 8:00 which is not even possible in California. We can now find a place to wakeboard with flat water for hours on end. The lakes here are huge compared to the mud puddles we had back home. In Texas there are fewer boats with three times the amounts of good launch facilities.
The clincher was on Labor Day itself - we left our house at 9:30 AM, and drove what we were told was a "long way" to a lake 25 minutes north of Dallas's suburbs. When we launched, there were only 2 other wakeboat trailers in the parking lot. We boarded, swam, anchored and had lunch. We then boarded some more, and used up a full (and expensive) tank of fuel exploring another great Texas lake. I cannot go back to Southern California, after seeing what the rest of the world has for waterways, and places to enjoy my boat. I would never even think of taking my boat out for the day during Labor Day weekend when we were in Southern California.
Texas is beautiful!
I need recommendations for a place to ride and stay for a weekend in Austin. My family now wants to visit all of the Texas riding spots, and keep exploring new areas. They are intrigued by how much more fun boating can be, when there isn't a million others trying to all ride on the same 1 mile square mud puddle.
(for the California natives - wait until you see how low the real estate costs are! Your shack is worth the same as a mansion here.)