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Life is but a dream in a rowboat

Small lake, slow boat and poetry could be recipe for romance

Fishing is only the most obvious reason to rent a rowboat with a companion. And it’s not necessarily the best.

In a canoe, everyone faces forward. The stern paddler stares at the back of the bowman’s head, saying “what?” whenever a word is spoken.

In a paddle boat, the partners sit side-by-side and pedal, which is companionable, but not exactly intimate. And just try having a conversation in a powerboat.

In a rowboat, two people face each other. One does the rowing, and the other can hold a sandwich, parasol or book of poetry.

One adult and one kid can have a great rowboat conversation, particularly if the grownup stays quiet long enough to listen.

Two adults? Consider this: The distance between oarsman and passenger in a small rowboat is perfect for a smooch.

Perry Como sang of “row, row romance.” Lance Armstrong proposed to Sheryl Crow in a rowboat, and they’d still be together if they hadn’t come to shore.

The key is to pick a lake that doesn’t attract waterskiers or personal watercraft. Around here, that’s most reliably found on the small lakes west of Spokane.

Look for a calm day and take a can of WD-40 to silence oarlock squeaks.

Here’s where to start your rowboat romance:

• Bunkers Resort on Williams Lake (235-2815) – $20/day.

• Chapman Lake Resort (523-2221) – $10/day (life jackets are $5 extra).

• Dan’s Landing at Clear Lake (299-3717) – $4/hour; $20/six hours; $40/day.

• Downs Lake Resort (235-2314) – $15/day.

• Fishtrap Lake Resort (235-2284) – $20/half day; $40/day.

• Klinks-Williams Lake Resort (235-2391) – $16.50/day; $11/half day.

• Mallard Bay Resort on Clear Lake (299-3830) – $9.95/four hours; $12.95/all day (closed Wednesdays and Thursdays).

• West Medical Lake Resort (299-3921) – $16.29/day.