On Friday, I had a day off. The plan was for me, and my daughter and her friend to go tubing on the French Broad River (yes, that’s it’s actual name). We started off around 1 PM, parked our car, signed up at Zen Tubing and paid our fees — 3 rented tubes and another one to carry our small cooler. We also purchased a waterproof box to carry our cell phones. Then a bunch of us boarded a jitney bus that took us about 3 miles to where we picked up our tubes and headed off.
It’s a good thing I decided to buy some cheap water shoes with treads because the rocks as you’re getting in the tubes are very slippery!
Soon we were on the water. There were straps where you could attach the tubes so they wouldn’t separate, but at first they kept getting tangled and it seemed like we weren’t moving at all. But we actually were moving, because when I looked back behind us, the boarding point was very far away.
Soon we were in the groove and rolling down the river. The trip is about 3 miles (back to the rental and sign-up place) and takes about 2 – 2 1/2 hours. It’s incredibly relaxing and the tubes are comfortable. Soon I was leaning back in my tube and just taking in the gorgeous scenery all around.
The cold water felt good on my feet as I spashed them in the water. Blue dragonflies were everywhere, landing on our tubes, on our cooler, on my body! A lot of them were mating in mid-air (which I wrote about in my last post). I should have taken a photo of them but they’d always move before I had the chance. They did become slightly annoying in some areas, because there were so many. But other than that, the trip was perfect, and so relaxing.
In some areas the slowly moving water became more like rapids, and going over those was a lot of fun. At one point we got caught on some rocks and my daughter’s friend had to get out of his tube to get us free (the water in the river is surprisingly shallow, and we were told never gets over about 5 feet, even in the middle).
In some areas there were rocks you could sit on, and at one point we did. We got out of our tubes and climbed up on the rocks (again, they were so slippery I had to put my shoes back on) and took some pictures. We looked over at the side of the river and saw some kids swinging from a rope into the river and swimming in it (you can see that in the below picture):
The French Broad isn’t really great to swim in. I’d heard it’s infected with e-coli, so you definitely don’t want to drink it. But for tubing or kayaking it’s perfect.
Finally, we reached our destination, and we were all sunburned but I felt so relaxed. Afterwards, we stopped for ice cream and headed home. I’ll definitely go tubing again soon.