Experiences, anecdotes, tips, how-tos, hiking, nature, motherhood, memories.

Adventures in Camping with Kids

Camping with kids is like pitching a tent upside down. Both are bound to fill with laughter and raindrops.

--Victoria Marie

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tubing Down the Rapids, Part 3

The rapids can be dangerous. You need full attention of where you are on the stream and what is coming up ahead. A death grip on the ropes around the inner tube doesn't hurt either.

Our second time traversing the stream, I was leading the family parade. I took a momentary glance back at my beloved family and hit rapid that dropped in level. It turned me completely upside down. I tumbled out of my tube which continued downstream without me. I was in the middle of the thickest part of the rapids, and they continued to drag me downstream. You must wear water shoes or sneakers when tubing to protect your feet if you should hit a rock or tumble out of your tube.

I desperately tried to right myself and stop tumbling. Fear penetrated my mind as the icy water blanketed my skin. When I finally gripped a rock at a more shallow section, I looked like a sheet hung outside on a blustery day. I fought to gain supremacy, to wrench my legs free from the whitewater's grip. I wanted to brace my feet on downstream rocks. But the powerful whitewater knocked me loose. I tried again to gain control of my position in midstream to be able to look around. When I could finally crouch in the knee-deep whitewater, clinging to a rock, I noticed that I was alone. The once crowded stream had been vacated just for me. All the tubers had climbed to the banks, including my family. They watched in terror, the twins tugging at my husband's suit and pointing at me.

I was smack dab in the middle of the stream, in the middle of the whitewater. My legs trembled uncontrollably as I tried to maintain my position.  My heart was pounding louder than the rapids. No tube. No way to cross the stream to the bank. Rocks everywhere. I had no choice. I had to seek calmer water downstream. I sat in the water, feet downstream as instructed in our introduction to tubing talk on the bus ride to the stream and released my grip on the rock.

I shot downstream, bouncing rump and hands off rock and rapids. The stream planed out a little and I attempted to reach the quieter bank but became trapped in an eddy. A kind tuber perched on a boulder out over the stream reached out a hand and pulled me to the bank. God bless him. He had my tube.

And God blessed us. We continued to trudge up that path to the stream head about eight times. Most times my husband struggled with three tubes as our son and the twins could only manage to lug that blasted tube up the path once. But we ALL maintained death grips on the ropes around the inner tubes once we were on the water to be sure we kept the tube rims up and us on.

11 comments:

  1. God bless you Victoria. I would have been a basket case losing my tube in those rapids. Please tell me you were wearing lifevests,even though I don't think they help much, when you're riding the rapids.

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  2. Unfortunately, Marie, there are no life vests for tubing down rapids. It's the force of the water that is most dangerous. You get tumbled around and must be wary of bumping your head on the rocks.

    Thank you so much for reading my blog post. Please stop by again. ~Victoria Marie

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  3. I agree with Marie. I would have been so scared. I'll have to try this sometime. Hopefully, I will stay in my tube.

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  5. Keep your hands tucked under the ropes and tip the front of the tube up when dropping into a rapid. Oh...and pray! I always did.

    Thanks so much, Michelle, for reading my blog post. Please stop by again.
    ~Victoria Marie

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  6. That must have been a very frightening experience. One of my biggest fears is drowning. I would not want to do that again if that happened to me. It is good you are all alright and intact. It is is also a good thing you listened to the instructions given to you. Your post will be helpful to those who are planning to go on a Rainy Lake fishing or camping trip. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Dianne, I'm a little behind in looking through my Camping with Kids blog posts and comments. Forgive me. I just linked up with the Rainy Lake Fishing site. WOW! The size of those huge fish. I don't know if I'd be able to pull them out of the water. My son's a fisherman, though. Thanks for sharing this link on Camping with Kids.

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  7. Thank you for stopping by my Camping with Kids blog, Dianne. I am terrified of drowning, too. And I was horrified that my children might see it happen!

    I truly hope that I offer sound advice to families attempting the camping and nature scene. Even with all the tribulations, camping with the family is well worth it.

    Please stop by again. ~Victoria Marie

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    1. I like this post same as the post page of
      sebago lakes campgrounds, keep on posting!

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  8. Thank you so much, Milliscent, for visiting my Camping with Kids blog. And thank you for your kind comment about my Tubing Down the Rapids blog post. It is greatly appreciated. I'll check out the Sebago Lakes Campground. Please stop by Camping with Kids again.

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  9. Milliscent, I just visited the Sebago Lakes Campground website and liked your facebook page. Looks like a wonderful place to camp in a beautiful section of Maine. Thanks for sharing the link here at Camping with Kids blog.

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