Splashing away summer’s brutal heat wavesPublished 10:02am Thursday, June 16, 2011
If you have been in the south very long you probably know what tubing is, if you are new to the area you may not.
Tubing is nothing more than taking an old inner tube from a car tire and floating down a river while sitting on it. I’m not sure who the visionary was that first came up with the idea of tubing, but it’s a blast. Tubing is as southern as it gets.
Depending on the river and water flow, you can enjoy a slow, relaxing float, taking in the sights and sounds, or you can bounce your way down the many rapid filled rivers in our area.
Some folks take an extra tube to carry a cooler on, but remember there is no alcohol allowed within 50 feet of the Green River.
Tubing is a big attraction these days. Thousands of folks travel down our very own Green River each year. The nice thing nowadays is that it is much more convenient.
You can also find out the Tuxedo Hydro Station release schedule upstream of the Green River Cove by calling 1-800-829-5253.
Places such as the Silver Creek Campground do everything from renting tubes (which are much nicer these days), to running shuttle buses for pick-ups and drop-offs, and keeping up with the water release schedules.
No more do you need to buy a pricey innertube to use once or twice, or take two vehicles to leave at the start and end points – now you just rent the tube for the trip and ride the shuttle bus.
Silver Creek Campground runs six days a week and Wednesday by appointment. They run 2½, 3½ and 4½ hour trips. They can be reached at 828-894-2331.
My idea of rafting differs from some folks. The ideal rafting trip to me involves overcoming fear and risking injury. I love the feeling right above a rapid when you think to yourself, “Uh oh, is this a good idea?”
No matter if you like a bouncy ride down the river or a risky one, WNC has lots of options to choose from.
The Nantahala, French Broad and Nolichucky rivers are some top names in our area.
The Nantahala is probably the most popular, with many outfitters running trips on the river. It offers rapids up to a class III and very cold water. The water coming from the bottom of Nantahala Lake upstream comes out of the discharge at a toasty 49 degrees year round! The river has a lot of rapids, but is a little tamer than I prefer. It is an excellent choice for first timers or family trips.
The Nolichucky, which is the favorite of my wife and me, offers some very good rapids up to class IV. It is a natural flowing river that is greatly influenced by rainfall. The outfitters there can tell you the best (cfm or cubic feet per minute) flow for the best ride. Falling out of the boat is a real possibility. Guides in every boat help to ensure you run the right lines for the best ride.
You can also kayak down the Green River by visiting Green River Adventures in Saluda. This company provides professional kayaking instruction and guided inflatable kayak trips.
Green River Adventures offers two options including the Lower Green River Adventure, suitable for kids and those seeking a slower-paced ride, while the Upper Green River Rush involves a half-day of action on class III and class IV rapids.
These river and nature guides also offer waterfall adventures around our area. Their website is www.greenriveradventures.com.
Rob McComas is a licensed North Carolina fishing guide on Lake Lure and Lake Jocassee in S.C. He has been a guide for 11 years and fishing for more than 30. McComas lives with his wife, Amanda, in Sunny View and runs Robs Guide Service. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.