Jesse Gall

5 Things They Don’t Tell You Before Tubing In Gatlinburg

In Humor, The Mountains on June 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm

1. You will be thirsty. If you are planning on drinking anything on the river, you will be sorely disappointed. Not a Sprite or a spirit will be allowed on the river! In fact, if you think you’ll rent a tube for your cooler of brewskies, tying it next to you like a friend that just keeps giving, then you better be prepared to leave that friend in the trunk while you float alone, parched enough to consider drinking the murky river water countless others have urinated in. Bleech.

Tip: Pack a small bag you can hide in your tube that will hold a couple of bottles of water.

2. Check the rainfall. I’m sure the river would have been even more fun if someone had just checked the rainfall over the last few weeks, perhaps we would have noticed the drought we’d gone through recently. The river was incredibly low and, at times, so slow it appeared we weren’t moving.  Tubing is ideal when the river is a little on the high side, but our hour and a half long route lasted three because of the low levels, so perhaps every low river has a silver bed…or something like that.

3. Leave Your Friends Behind. Well, hardly behind. They’ll stay next you anyway. Rivers tend to float the same way after all. If you are feeling the urge to take some ties and bind your tube to your six tube-mates, resist with all vigor. One tube floats down a river slowly enough, there is no need to add the weight and misdirection of six other flopping humans to the mess. You’ll all end up in the same place and every time the river deepens to slow, everyone will catch up. Stay strapped to only one other tube if you have to. 

4. You’ll get injured. You will slip on a rock, hit your butt on the riverbed, get sunburnt, or get bug bites. Your body will leave worse for wear. Go ahead and pack some Tylenol or something. A day in nature will leave its scratches and nicks.

5. You will get paranoid about being lost. Perhaps it was the lack of signs or the multitude of trees that led so strongly to my fear that we had missed our dropout. We were told by a 17 year old girl – the cashier – to get out by the bridge on the left. Wait, is the bridge on the left or do we get out on the left? This is why grammar is helpful. But if you start to feel like you’ve gone too far, that you’ve slipped past the exit into some tubing version of Deliverance, never fear. Get that  banjo music out of your ears! The river is just longer than everyone thinks.

Until the end, the Mended Blend.


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