Tubing

Aerial View of the Potomac
Tubing is like swimming, except it requires no energy and you have a free hand for beer. You can also do it over rapids. Shallow water's not a problem either. You don't even have to get wet. You can even carry on conversations with people. Ok, it's really nothing like swimming.

But it is a great way to spend a Saturday. In what might have to become a more frequent summer occurrence, we went tubing at Harper's Ferry through Harper's Ferry Adventure Center (formerly known as "Butt's Tubes." I like "Butt's Tubes" better). As an aside, we went tubing with River Riders last year. I recommend River Riders of HFAC, since their trips start farther upstream.

Here's the scoop. For $36 (read the small print, it's not the advertised $32), you get transit to/from the river, a tube rental, and a sun burn you'll feel for the next week.

It's pretty much like a mellower, lazier, warmer, but much longer (in both distance and duration) version of tubing on Boulder Creek. It's mellower because there are no drops. It's lazier because a bus drops you off at top and picks you up to the bottom. It's warmer because Boulder Creek is fed by mountain snowmelt; the Potomac is fed by urine.

The one thing the river is missing, however, is adventure. On Boulder Creek, you never know what you're going to get. In May, you're probably going to die because the water level is too high. In August, you're probably going to die because the water level is too low. If you're blonde, female, enjoy rope swings, and have no sense of timing, you're probably going to let go of the rope swing too late and land on the rocks next to the shore on your way back in. You won't die though.

Unfortunately, there are no rope swings on the Potomac. The water isn't deeper than 3' anywhere, and the rapids are quite mellow. If tubing in Boulder creek is a nine, tubing in the Potomac is an eight--which is still pretty awesome.

If you're ever bored on a Saturday, I recommend tubing. And if you're ever bored on a Saturday this summer in DC, I recommend calling me so that we can go tubing together.

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