When a lazy float becomes a wicked white-water journey.
It's a sunny Saturday morning in the dead of summer. You're in dire need of cooling off. The city streets are practically sizzling. Plan of escape: Cache la Poudre, just over an hour's drive north to Fort Collins. No, not for fishing, nor for swimming—although that is a likely, if unintended, possibility. We're talking tubing, in a good old-fashioned black rubber inner tube.
So you pack a beverage, find a tube, head for Poudre Canyon, wade into the river, and settle in for a lazy ride with some tasty cold ones and pretty scenery. Easy, and gloriously relaxing.
Or so you were expecting. When the first rapid launches you from the donut and lands you upside down in an ice-cold eddy, you realize something's a little bit off. Maybe, just maybe, you started too high in the canyon—that part where the frothy rapids live. Ten minutes later, when you've been pummeled by a poorly positioned boulder, lost a shoe, and are hanging onto your bathing suit for dear life, you're pretty positive that your tranquil float isn't happening—and that this trip is way better. Provided you don't mind a little river carnage here and there.
The thing is, there's no official rulebook or outfitter to plan your day o' white-water tubing. So we've compiled these handy tips to help you out.