Monday, May 3, 2010

Tubing with the Ghosts

One of our Arizona traditions is to go tubing down the Salt River. You usually go with several friends and family and head down to the Lower Salt River. The first thing you do is to park at the place where you rent tubes and then grab a bus to take you upstream to the higher elevation to get started. There is usually a crowd of various types of people of all ages and sometimes they bring their pets. I don’t recommend that because those poor animals are terrified of being on the river. I also don’t recommend stringing tubes together. That will just get you into all kinds of trouble on the rapids especially when there is a fork in the river. More times than none, the entire group will hit the bank and fall off their tubes. We usually attached with our feet so when the rapids move faster, we could unhook and go solo. We would have one person attached to the cooler which had its own tube and another person would be attached to the plastic container which usually carried the dry foods, suntan lotion and other items. There are several clever people that will attach a stereo to a tube providing music so we can jam down the river. We usually will stop mid-way at the bridge to take a break from tubing. We use this time to eat and reapply our suntan lotion.

It is fun but not without problems. You are basically floating on top of a tube for at least four hours, baking in the harsh sun. You must have plenty of lotion, a tee shirt to cover your shoulders later on, a towel to cover your legs later on, a hat and sunglasses. You should have plenty of water to stay hydrated along with other beverages. We usually bring beer but drink responsibly. The problem is, not everyone will. Not only do they fight with others but they do stupid things and don’t watch the ever changing current of the river. Here lies the place where the ghosts come in. I can’t tell you how many people have drowned because they were too drunk handle the dangerous situations they get into. They lose all cognitive thinking. Some are not adults but children that were not being properly watched. Then there are the ones that are drunk, strip off their swim suits or clothes, and jump off very high cliffs not knowing what lies below. This decision has been fatal for some. There have been reports from those who have been at the river in the dark of night of seeing ghosts and hearing unusual noises. I’m sure there are many lost souls hanging around at the river that have died from a tragic accident.

Spending the day tubing can be a fun day for all but you need to do it responsibly. These days, I don’t go tubing anymore because being in the sun too long just makes me feel ill. I have my memories and they are good ones. Here is a video I found that will give you an idea of what it is like:


  1. That sounds like too much fun. Floating on a tube and drinking beer for four hours is probably somewhere in my version of heaven.

  2. It was fun...we got pretty silly, singing showtunes down the river. Our kids went with us a couple of times. A good time was had by all except for the sunburns in the places we forgot to cover with a towel or lotion. Our friend Sandy even tubed with her top off for part of the way...she was an exhibitionist.

  3. I've been white watering in Colorado and that was a blast, but it could be very physically demanding.
    Floating in a tube sounds fun and RELAXING!

  4. My husband is DESPERATE for us to go back and tube the Salt again. We'd do it every year when we lived there. He was hoping to do it this May, but I haven't been good about planning a trip back for us. I love how you got pics of it. Oh man, your pics really are so nice. I miss it there so much and getting to see it this way is awesome. (Not just the Salt River but all the AZ pics you post!)