by Carol Dunn
OUT OF HUERFANO— For anyone who has not spent time on a houseboat, I highly recommend it. However, you have to get out of Huerfano to do it.
First of all, you need water. Obviously we don’t have much of that around here. If you tried to put a houseboat on the lake at Lathrop State Park, it would bottom out because the lake is like a foot deep or something. Of course, if you decide to go for it anyway, you might still have a little fun while grounded on the bottom of the lake. You could still fish. You could float around on an inflatable raft. And you could wave to the people on shore, or even throw water balloons at them. But don’t go skinny dipping or moon anyone or else everyone in Walsenburg will hear about it, and someone will probably take pictures. Then you’ll be in the newspaper and your mom will find out.
The next thing you need is lots of that deodorizer they put in the toilet tank on a houseboat. This isn’t the same as the deodorizer they put in an RV tank. That stuff is just a liquid or powder that sits in the tank trying its best to make the contents smell not as bad. No, the stuff you put down the houseboat toilet for some unknown reason explodes when it contacts water – or whatever it contacts down there that is wet. I can find no explanation for this odd feature, but it sure can get messy if you don’t close the flusher thing quick enough after dropping the smell-better thing into the tank. You’d think they would make that stuff colorless if it’s going to explode. But NO. It’s an unnatural color of vivid blue. I suppose that is so the stuff in the waste tank looks nicer. As if. Plus, it is a color that does not match any piece of clothing anyone on earth owns – and same with the color of the stuff in the tank, even with blue added, so why bother? But I digress. The reason you will need the deodorizer is that, unlike a houseboat trip to, say, Lake Powell, you cannot urinate off the side of the houseboat while you are bottomed out in the lake at Lathrop. See the end of the previous paragraph. So you will have more “stuff” in the waste tank while staying at Lathrop, thus needing more smell-better explosive.
Another thing that would be handy would be big tires on your houseboat. If you choose not to put in at Lathrop, you’ll have to ride the wild rivers we have around here. Of course, there’s no water in them for about six months of the year, and they’re about five inches deep the rest of the time. So those tires will come in handy for “rolling on the river.”