Thursday, August 6, 2009

tubing down the river is fun, except when...

A couple days before my friend Sara left to go back to California we decided we would go tubing down the Provo river. Brad and I have done this every summer since we met, and we always have so much fun!
The first time we went we took 2 of my roommates who didn't really know how to swim. Needless to say, it was a disaster. After only about 5 minutes of the 2 hour journey they both fell off their tubes and started freaking out (if I hadn't known how to swim and was getting swept away by a river rapid I would have freaked out too), but luckily Brad saved them. But now we only had 2 tubes for 4 people. Brad and I gave up our tubes to my roommates since we knew how to swim (but honestly the river isn't really that deep and we just ended up walking anyways). About half an hour later we saw some people who had fished one of our lost tubes out of the river. It took a while, but Brad finally convinced them to hand it over. I let him have that tube since he had worked so hard to get it back, plus I was enjoying just hanging onto someone else's tube and floating along. About halfway through the river it got really shallow really suddenly. I ended up hitting my foot on a rock, since I didn't have a tube or any shoes, and breaking my toe. But the water was so cold and my feet were already numb and my broken toe didn't swell hardly at all. When we finally got to the end we still hadn't found our lost tube, but a couple days later the company who rented us the tubes called Brad and said they had found it at the end of the river caught in some debris. This was good news, because we didn't end up having to pay for the lost tube.
The second time we went tubing down the Provo river we went with Brad's cousin Blake. Without the craziness of two non-swimmers to keep us busy, we had a delightful and relaxing time soaking up the sun while floating down.
The third time was just last week with Sara, Steve, my sister Brittney, Steve's sister Jessica, Brad, and me. Every year the tube-renting company ups their prices, and this year it was $10 per person. We all thought that was a little much to rent a tube for 2 hours, so Sara, Steve, and Jessica borrowed tubes from their neighbor. We started out at the top of the river so excited to tube down!
Brad and I usually go tubing at the end of August, and the water is always cold but we manage and get use to it after a while. I doubt we'll be in Provo next summer, but if we are we are definitely not going to be tubing down the river in July! The water was FREEZING! I have never been in water so cold, and I never got use to it. In fact, the longer we were in there the more my teeth chattered, the bigger my goosebumps got, and the more I shivered uncontrollably. After about an hour and a half I was ready to climb out of the river and walk the rest of the way back to the car, but Brad convinced me that we were really close and I should hang in there a little longer. To make matters worse, the river rapids were incredibly fast since the water was so high (not the usual occurrence at the end of the summer). We went under a bridge which me and my tube got pushed into, I fell off, got dunked, and was now colder than ever. I also hit my knee on a huge rock underneath the bridge (I tried to take a picture of the resulting bruise, but it never turned out well). Finally, we made it to the end. We climbed out of the river and could hardly walk because our legs were so cold. After reaching the parking lot and rejoicing in the fact that we were done, we were confronted by a police officer who told us we needed to follow him. Incredibly confused, we obeyed. After reaching his patrol car we were informed that it was against the law to tube down the Provo river without a life jacket on. (Refer to the above picture to see our lackage of life jackets.) Sara pleaded our case by telling him there weren't any signs posted and how were we suppossed to know? He then not so politely let us know that it was like driving a car. If you have a driver's liscense it's your responsiblily to know the rules of the road. We were not too happy about this. We asked if we could just receive warnings, but NO! We all got citations!
We were so mad! As one cop was finishing up with the last of our group the other cop caught some more kids coming out of the river. A boy who was in that group called the cop a not-so-nice word and received a second ticket for disorderly conduct. At least we weren't him! The older policeman told us that "you wouldn't believe how many dead bodies I've pulled out of this river." We wanted to ask him to verify that number, but decided against it. And since when do policemen pull dead bodies out of rivers? Isn't that a firefighter's or search and rescue job? After writing us all tickets, they kindly informed us that this wasn't about money and city revenue, it was about the citizens' safety. Then why couldn't we just get warnings instead of citations?! Brad told them that if they really cared so much they'd be at the top of river stopping people from getting in rather than at the bottom giving tickets. "Unfortunately", said one officer, the top of the river is in a different county and, therefore, not in their jurisdiction.
I called this afternoon to inquire about the price of unknowingly breaking the law. Our tickets will be $115 per person!!

Here's us girls feeling sorry for ourselves.

Here's me and Brad, still in shock that we got cited for not wearing life jackets. (P.S. every other time we've tubed down the river no one has worn life jackets, and no one has ever gotten in trouble.)

At least some one had fun...


  1. Wow $115 sounds a bit steep...$10.00 from the tubing company is sounding better and better! :?)

    Momma Susie

  2. Steve and Sara are almost proud of their ticket it seems, while Brad and Courtney are more visually upset and disappointed, ha ha!