Rogue River, OR

My First Time River Tubing - Rogue River Country

Anne Bonfert

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Living for years in a country famous for its desert and vast landscapes I didn’t know how much fun you can have in its waters too. There’s obviously the ocean to swim and surf in.

But here is also one specific river in the south. A river that never runs dry. A river that forms the border between two countries. And a river that is free from predators.

The Orange River isn’t just feeding many people in the south. It’s watering an immense amount of vineyards and countless farms. The soil next to the river is incredibly fertile.

Water is life. Not only in Africa. This counts everywhere. But in a place where there’s no shortage of sunny days you have the perfect conditions for growing vegetables and fruits. Because of the easy access to water.

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But I’m not here for that. I’m here as a traveler. As an adventure enthusiast. I’m looking for some adrenaline. I’m looking for activities in the water. And I will not be disappointed.

I’ve spoken already about the kayaking or canoeing experience I had here. Today I will write about my first-time river-tubing. I’ve done various activities in rivers before. Like canyoning. Which were heaps of fun.

But I never went down a river sitting on a car tube. Just before we left on the river I was running through town looking for some inflatables. You know these typical beach toys. But I didn’t find any of them.

Until my partner decided he’ll stop at a tire repair place. And ask them for a tube. A car tube? “Don’t worry” he said. It’s exactly what you want. We bought two 17 inch tubes and off we went.

Just after setting up our camp on the river the first afternoon, we got the tubes out. Pumped them up with our compressor and jumped in the water. Yes, he was right. This is exactly what I wanted.

We went back out of the water and walked as far upriver as we could go inside the campsite. To go back in the water. And drift with the current. While sitting in the tube.

What a simple activity. Yet so much fun. I can’t believe it. I guess I didn’t grow up really. I still enjoy playing in the water as most kids do. But this brings me so much joy.

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Within the next few days staying at different camps on the river I went tubing every single day. Several times a day. At different locations. And different daytimes.

Early mornings and late afternoons just before sunset were my favorite ones. Drifting past the reeds while watching birds take off. Cooling down in the cold of this river was probably the best part of it.

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On our last day leaving the river we drove for 80 kilometers next to it. On a winding road in between cliffs and mountains. We had to stop along the way. Somewhere. So I could jump in here one more time.

And we did. We stopped at a wide plain. Flooded during the last rain a few puddles were left behind. Walking with my tube in the hand as far upriver as possible.

Reaching a clearing in the reeds eventually. A spot to enter the river. The current is quite strong over here. But I know I’ll be fine. I can swim. If I need to. But I don’t.

I just go where the current takes me. Laughing and giggling like a toddler that plays in the water for the first time. Because this is what life is about. Enjoying the small joys in life.

Living the moment.

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And this is what I did. I loved every moment spent on and in the river. I loved splashing each other and drifting next to each other downriver. This one ended up a ride taking several minutes to get back to our spot.

A fantastic ride. Including some rapids and challenging parts. Watching monkeys in the trees and birds drying their wings in the midday sun.

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I am so thankful for the experience I got. It will definitely not be my last time sitting on a car tube. It won’t be my last time river tubing either. It was too much fun not to repeat it.

“If happiness is the goal — and it should be, then adventures should be a priority.” Richard Branson.

Have you ever been river tubing? Can you go river tubing in the Rogue River? Or somewhere else close to McLeod?

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I am a traveler. Photographer. Writer. Teacher. Skydiving instructor. Adventure enthusiast. Nature lover. And fell in love with the African continent. My stories go around travel, nature and all kinds of adventurous activities.

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