Whitewater Tubing

It was a wonderful summer school at a beautiful city with mountains with snow hats in view. We were walking down town to grab some food, and people in tubes in a creek on the way caught my eyes. That looked really a lot of fun that I could not miss out. So the next weekend, we gathered a group of eight, chatting and jogging to the store, each grabbed a giant green tube. The manager strongly recommended us each get a life jacket and helmet and told us the water rose a bit and ran a bit faster than average because a recent fill up from the raining days. I was twitching my mouth and disapproving: renting a tube for almost exactly the price of a new one in the supermarket is already outraging, and now on top of us we had to get extra accessories? Of course, they turned out to be pretty good investment. We were advised to walk a few streets before we hopped into the creek, but two of us were impatient to walk any longer, and hopped in the instant we saw the waterfront. With people’s help holding the tube, and a few flipping outs, those two are gone, quickly, as soon as we loosed the grasp on the tube, they swirled 1080 degrees right in front of us and were already 20 meters away and followed the creek down. That shocked the rest of us, and we decided to walk another 10 blocks to start in some quieter water.

I recalled some orientation about holding the handle and take control of my tube, but the tube quickly controlled me, I was spinning in the water constantly until I knocked onto one of the banks or some branches sticking out from the bank, then I got the chance to kick the obstacle and got myself going again, but that was as long as my control was for, then I was spinning again… It was thrilling fun, until there was a forking, and I did not know which way to take, the right one had a log floating on it, so I took the left one, but that was treacherous, there was a log on the left side as well, except it was almost entirely under the water, so me and my tube hit the log as a whole, but separated afterwards. I was never so gratitude about the branches all along the shore, they finally trapped my tube, and I got back in again.. the whole trip was all that exciting, and peaked when I encountered a part particularly deep, and then a harsh water lever drop, I felt some flipping, and something falling off me.. I reached for my glasses, of course they were not there any more, (“The Others took them”, I cursed), I remembered the other time I lost glasses was also in water, on some side of pacific ocean, I thought it would be fun to harvest some weeds from the ocean, and the ocean thought it was fair play to take my glasses as a trade. Anyway I continued my much blurred journey for a while, since nobody ever told me when I should turn back, eventually I was scared in fast rolling water, taking me just down the creek, to the end of the world, so I turned back, met up with my husband who came down looking for me. He was wearing only one of his own shoes and one some random flipflop.

“where did that come from?”

“I dont know, I lost my shoe in the water, but luckily I found someone else’s.”

After we went back, we found among 8 of us, we lost 5 shoes,a pair of glasses, almost a swimming suit(…), we gained one shoe of other kind, and one more tube… and lost one member. we began to be super scared, wondering where he could go without his tube, but we knew he would not be with his cell phone, none of us had, which is wise. Two of the braver souls of us went down for a second run, and much later, our last member showed up, with his tube, he was just like me, did not know where to get out of the water and came out much much later than me. But whose tube did we have?

On the way back, two of us were having fun walking barefoot, with my husband waddling in his unmatched shoes, and then we heard the story somebody lost his tube in the creek and was sent to the hospital.

The next day, the tubing business closed temporarily.

Tips for people who are interested in exotic sports:

1) Think about if the weather change will affect the condition of performing such sports. For example, think twice to go skiing if the temperature had been about 0 degree or under -20 degrees.

2) Always wear safety equipment! One of my friends said he could have been severely injured if he had not rented the helmet.

3) It is a good idea to go with friends. It is more fun and safer.

3) Do not take personal belongings that can easily fall lose, like my glasses, my friend’s shoes.