TOOBING in Texas

Yes, I know it looks retarded. I would never write the word toob if it wasn’t all over the place, and plus I like it because it looks like boob. I have deduced that people in Texas can’t pronounce most things correctly- case in point, they drop the ‘e’ from Guadalupe, they say LAN-NO for Llano (yan-no). I think they just refuse to do anything in any way other than the Texan way. So, yay for toob. At least it can’t be pronounced “Tewb.”

Now being an Arizonan, at least a lot of the time, I’m used to tubing on the Salt up near Phoenix. Surrounded by desert, 100+ degrees, nice cold water and lots of drunks.

Tubing in Texas is great, because there are so many options. Even in a drought, we’ve got several rivers to pick from in an hour radius from Austin. For July 4, we tried to float the Guadalup-AY, had campground reservations in Spring Branch, Texas, the whole thing. I’d heard this part of the river is much less crowded with fewer frat boys puking in the water. We showed up with our 3 carloads of people, set up camp, only to be informed that “Oh, wait, we forgot to tell you, we aren’t running the tube tours because the river is too low.” This is DIRECTLY AFTER the guy told us that the first bus had just left with the first load of tubers. And also AFTER we had unloaded all our camp gear. What a douche. Being the resourceful people we are, we weren’t about to let that asshat get in the way of a good drunk time.

So we packed up and headed for the Comal in New Braunfels. Talk about a cluster-f. First, there are a few big tube rental places. We picked one at random, paid $10 to park, and took our big man-size cooler over to wait in line for our tubes. We paid something like $15 each, only to be told we could only have this little wussy-size cooler that might hold 8 beers with no ice. What the hell is that good for? And oh, it also cost $10 or something. SO, once again resourceful, we used the mesh trash bags that are for “Keeping our river clean” to stuff with beer, white-trash style, and tie to the tube. The river’s cold enough! We cram onto the smelly bus and get dumped off with an entire battalion of other partiers. Normally they say the Comal takes an hour at max. I think it took us 2 and a half. The Comal is pretty, and cold- but imagine one tiny little man-made loop of river winding through town with approximately 2,323 people per square foot. This led to people being scraped along the (concrete) sides of the river as the masses behind them shoved through the little chutes they built to cross the dammed areas, of which there are 3-4 before you get to the area where the bus picks up. I’m not exactly sure how many there were, but I AM sure that we lost an entire bag of beer as we were squeezed through one chute and shot out like a slippery sex-toy on the other end.


You can't even see any river

You can't even see any river

This is how small the 'legal' coolers are. I can maybe fit 2 hours worth of beer in there.

This is how small the 'legal' coolers are. I can maybe fit 2 hours worth of beer in there.

We dove for beer and came back with a few, which turned out to be plenty. We also hopped back on the bus and did it all again, since we were here to party. Back at the camp we got to sweat it out in the tents and listen to some real cool guys attempt to play beer pong all night.

Now, in complete contrast. This weekend, we went looking for Don’s Fish Camp, a legendary spot on the San Marcos with an old man who lets the drunks use his land as a river party spot. True to form, I was a little too fly-by-my-pants and didn’t print out directions, figuring we’d just see the place. No dice. After getting lost and yelling at Nathan for a while, we just went back into town and did the little 1.25 hour float from the Lion’s Club tube rental in San Marcos. Guess what- no stuid cooler restrictions out here!

No pictures, but imagine the same kind of river with way fewer people and a much calmer vibe. Much better.  We saw some rednecks on lawn chairs in the water, eating a box of fried chicken. Even the tattooed Mexicans floating next to us said… “Damn, that’s ghetto.” Much more my style. We did see some local cops hassling the hippies, searching through their coolers for their stash. Profiling! Asses.

Next time, we’ll definitely go to Don’s Fish Camp. 3.5 hours, no cops, and now I know where it is.


Oh yeah. And here’s one more picture for your viewing pleasure. She managed to hang on to that beer for half an hour somehow.



4 responses to “TOOBING in Texas

  1. I’m from Utah and every time I tube …. there is a point where I always hit my ass HARD on a rock. I just associate tubing with pain. If I ever do it again ……. the river needs to run super slow. ~Amanda

  2. To stay drunk on the river the whole time ….. pre-mix whiskey and cokes beforehand. Just throw the coke bottles into a cooler and it looks like you just have coke.

    • Great plan! I would probably do vodka though…whiskey and I have a sordid, unhealthy relationship. 😉 Next time I’ll pack better!

  3. Yes … I have picked up great “survival skills” from living in Utah !

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