Friday, July 10, 2015

Tubing the river

A couple of days ago, Sarah and I took a float down the Spokane River in tubes. This is something, for whatever reason, I never contemplated doing until this summer.

Back on the fourth, my crew was called to go check on a supposed campfire. The couple who called 9-1-1 met us at the Sandifur Bridge and directed us to the "confluence of the Spokane River and Latah Creek, about an eighth of a mile - that way." We parked the engine at the gate and hiked in about a half a mile carrying shovels and a pumpcan. The fire turned out to be a propane stove. Perfectly OK. On the very hot hike back, numerous tubers passed by in the river. We stopped and talked to people who were getting ready to enter the water at Sandifur, and it looked like a blast.

Sarah and I bought a couple of tubes at the General Store. We decided on the ones with cup holders.

We put in at Peaceful Valley. Near a garbage can were the deflated remains of a tube of the same make and manufacture of the ones we had purchased. Not a good sign.

ROW was at the site with their bus. Folks were getting in rafts and inflatable kayaks to go on their professional adventure. We probably didn't help ROW out by launching next to them in our half-assed flotilla adquately stocked for the three-hour tour, the three-hour tour.

The water was cold. And as the river picked up steam, I was glad to be wearing the mandated life jacket. You have to pick your line pretty well to get through the rapids without scraping your ass, the river is so low.

I've been on a lot of rafting trips, and although the water was fairly tame, being in tubes made the river pretty exciting, at times. It's amazing how small a riffle looks from the bank, but when you are in it, it seems huge.

We floated under the old bridge at San Succi. We bobbed past many places where I've helped pull people out of the water, put out fires, stumbled upon little meth labs, etc. From the middle of the river, I couldn't even imagine any of that ever happening. The banks were devoid of litter. No shopping carts jutted out of the current. No flotsam or jetsam. Nothing creepy or gross peered up at me from Davy Jone's locker. It was cold, beautiful and fun.

We took out just past the TJ Meenach Bridge, apologizing to fly fishermen and transients for the disturbance.



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