Don’t go tubing from the dam. Brrrrr….
Saturday we went tubing on the Guadeloupe River. I have tubed that river for the last 9 years. It’s nothing new to me, but still always a great time. Saturday though, we put our tubes in at the top of the river where the Dam releases water from Canyon Lake into the river. That means the water was icy cold because the water is pulled from the bottom of the lake. If the water reached 60 degrees, it was warm. The frigid water would have been ok with the sun shining and a lot of beer, but just thirty minutes into the tubing trip, the sun disappeared behind ominous black and white clouds. The bright white puffs were sitting in front of the charcoal sheets almost glowing in the contrast, and we knew we were in trouble. A few minutes later we saw the first few drops ping off the water, and for the next 3 hours, we floated the river in the rain and freezing water. We hoped it would stop any minute so we didn’t dare get out of water. Eventually, all 11 of us were visibly shivering, the girls were all certain from the looks of things, that they hadn’t shaved their legs in days, and the men, well, let’s just say they had some shrinkage. Lips were even starting to turn blue.
When we finally decided we should get out of the water, we walked through some private property toward what looked like a park. It was a park but it was a private park. So now, eleven drunk, frigid, dirty, and minimally dressed people were standing on private property with 11 large rubber tubes, two coolers full of beer, and a third retrofitted to hold a waterproof radio, unsure of what to do. We were discussing walking the shoreline when two residents came out and asked us what we were doing on their property. We explained, and eventually they believed that we were really just stuck and very cold, and very kindly offered to drive a couple of people back to our cars. So off they went, and we waited, trying to remind ourselves to be quiet so that we didn’t alert other neighbors. Just before they pulled back up about 15 minutes later (because although we had floated for about 3.5 hours, we had only traveled about mile) the sun broke through the clouds, and it was a suddenly a beautiful day for tubing. We had had enough though, and called it quits anyway.
It was definitely a tubing trip I will never forget. Thank goodness we had that radio! We sang our way down the river, using the singing to keep us warm. It’s quite amazing really, how well that worked. Well, that, and surprising fact that not one of us had to get out of the water to pee in the three and half hours after drinking two coolers of beer…