Tubing the Guadalupe River

Around the bend area, tubing the Guadalupe River.
Around the bend area, tubing the Guadalupe River.

It’s the hottest summer I can recall in  central Texas, and in spite of the lack of rainfall there’s little choice but to visit the surviving swimming holes in hopes of a refreshing dip.  Unless you want to stay in the house all day, or someone else’s air conditioned hang out, the only way to roll outside is within reach of fresh water.  An old time favorite is tubing some of the river areas around New Braunfels and San Marcos.  It’s a time honored tradition in these parts, and there’s plenty of services for tube rentals and return shuttles.

I called ahead to the Tube Haus to ask about some details.  She said the loop at the Horseshoe was flowing at an hour and half.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been there, but I’m pretty sure it should be around 45 minutes.  But when we got there, she said it was taking 2.5 hours.  Wow, I know there’s a drought but it’s apparently getting worse by the minute!  We better jump in and start off with some paddling to speed it up.

The start of the horseshoe is the slowest part of the tube ride.
The start of the horseshoe is the slowest part of the tube ride.

After scratching through the weekend crowd, most of the pile up is at the start, the view is much better and the flow is just a tad bit better.  There are lots of private lawns leading right up to the river’s edge, and homeowner’s dot the shoreline along the way, also part of the weekend crowd.  And just when you thought you might get a moments privacy, there’s a county sheriff checking everyone out with binoculars and another standing on the other side under a shade tent.  I guess they are enforcing bottles and beer limits, but they are also conveniently situated downwind of the approaching and unsuspecting tubers.

Speaking of, don’t forget to lay down on your belly at times, and even out the scorching mid day sunburn your in the middle of getting.  As slow as this river is going, if you don’t flip at least once, you gonna be belly fried!

Just before the bend, the river is lined with cypress trees and the current carries Kate a little faster.
The river is lined with cypress trees and the current carries Kate a little faster.

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