They have a place where you can park, rent tubes, and ride the shuttle bus to the starting point. Then about four hours later, you catch a shuttle bus at the end point, and they take you right back to your car. I think for $15, that's really the way to go.
This is Danni holding onto my foot while I take her picture, so she doesn't float away from me. I had the tube with the cooler tied to me, but we didn't tie ourselves together. Yet.
The water is pretty cold when you first get in, but you get used to it rather quickly. Here's a picture of Danni, and our lovely cooler.
Shannon seems to be getting the hang of this relaxing thing, even though she was convinced the entire time that a piranha was going to get her. Even though they're indigenous to like, South America, not so much a river in Arizona.
I'm going to pause here to tell a story. We went tubing on Monday after the 4th of July weekend, hoping it would be not crowded at all. It wasn't. However, over the weekend, on Sunday, a 20 year-old tuber had gone missing. It was very crowded Sunday. This guy had fallen out of his tube, and then a large group of people all tied together went over him. He never came back up. (News story here)
This kind of stuff happens every year. This is the first time I have taken my girls to do this, and they don't "get" why it's so dangerous if you're not careful. So I'm all, "Um, yeah, someone DIED here yesterday."
People actually die doing this every year. Drunk dumbfucks fall out of their tubes and drown. However in this case, they said that no one in this guy's group was drinking.
So, the point of this story is that I heard about it on the news Sunday night, about the missing tuber. I wondered if the tube-rental place and shuttle buses would even be open on Monday, but they were. In fact, once we got on the shuttle bus, a girl on the bus with us told us that she had asked at the tube-rental place, and the tube-rental people told her that they had found the guy's body that morning. Which we later found out wasn't true. I was watching the local morning news on Tuesday morning, when they had a "breaking story" that they had just found the body of the missing tuber. Which means that when we were there on Monday, they were still looking for the guy!
I guess that would explain the divers with masks and snorkels and fins that we saw every so often, and the sheriff's helicopter flying around overhead. I thought they were just looking for ... I don't know, forensic evidence or something. No, turns out they were still looking for the guy's body. Yeah, that wasn't too weird. I'm glad we didn't know that on Monday.
ANYWAY...on with the trip...
Danni, having no clue that there may have been a body in the water somewhere underneath her, was doing a great job relaxing and getting some sun. In case you are wondering, we used the ol' SPF 30. And that's a can of Sprite in her hand. Don't even ask about the Yankees cap. Every time someone gave her a hard time about it, I had to pretend I didn't know her.
I put this picture in just because I thought it was pretty. See, it's not just all tumbleweeds and Saguaro cacti here.
Here's another group of tubers. If you look very carefully on the opposite shore over there, there are three wild horses hanging out. Pretty.
Along the route, we found a small ledge that the girls wanted to jump from. After making sure the water underneath them was sufficiently deep, I let them. It was probably about six feet up. Where I'm standing with the tubes over on the bank is the only place I could actually put my feet on the bottom to take pictures.
There she goes!
There she goes!
Shannon: "Hey, this is fun!" Girl caught some serious air on this jump.
It was really fun to do something with just the older girls and me. We had a great time, and now I'm not so worried to let them go with someone else's family, now that they know the ropes, so to speak. Shannon is supposed to be going again on Friday with her friend Sidney and Sidney's parents. Hopefully the river will be corpse-free this time.