My parents rented a houseboat a couple of summers when the grandkids were little. IT was a joint all three family vacation (4 families including mom and dad). These vacations were in the time of film cameras, which meant there were not as many pictures. But you get the idea of the houseboat and Lake Patoka. Lake Patoka is near a small town in Indiana called French Lick. If you look at the map of Indiana and draw a line across Indianapolis to split the state into two, Lake Patoka is in the middle of the bottom half. It is a US Army Corp of Engineers water management project. The Lake was produced by creating a dam at one end of the area and allowing water to backfill the lake.
The project like many in the Ohio River Basin, was to reduce flooding overall. We would drive the 2 hours (less than an hour as the crow flies, but roads and crows often go different ways). There were lots of turns and slowdowns going from Bloomington to Lake Patoka. For my wife and I, we were living in Cincinnati Ohio, at that time. We would drive the two and a ½ hours from Cincinnati over to Lake Patoka. At the time, my wife was working as a video producer and wasn’t able to join us for the full week. She dropped the kids and I off (before the twins joined the family) and then drove back to Cincinnati. We would come back to pick her up later in the week.
There was lots of fun wildlife, and you can see one picture of a bird fishing. I believe it is a Heron. We would routinely see water snakes swimming across the water. There were deer onshore. Much of the lake was a state park, but there was a beach and a few homes in parts of the lake area. We wandered away from the marina, where we picked up the houseboat and then anchored. The houseboat had a slide on the roof, and you can see that in the first picture! The family was in the water the entire time. When we weren’t swimming, we were reading. The only time we were all inside and that we were uncomfortable was during the two thunderstorms that joined us for vacation!