Toobin'? Anyone? Anyhoodle.
So our friend Stephanie wanted to go have an outdoor adventure of multi-day camping and such, but between everyone's schedules she just couldn't make it happen, so it got whittled down to a day of river-drifting-in-intertubes. And even still with schedules and threats of inclement weather, the guest list narrowed itself down to Stephanie, Noah, Amanda, Erica and me. Which turned out to be perfect, because we all fit in one car and so shared the same terrible jokes all day.
We drove up to Albany, Wisconsin and rented some inner tubes and cooler-tubes (the same size tubes as for people, but with a plywood bottom) from our new friends at S&B Tubing and Canoeing. The day was pretty foggy and then overcast until just when we arrived in Albany when it opened up into a gorgeous day.
It's about a 2 1/2 hour float from Albany to the pick-up point at the Sweet Minihaha Campground in Brodhead (about 8 miles by car).
The river was quite full of other canoers and tubers—we were rarely out of sight of another group or two. And despite several warning signs in the S&B shop that all land along the river was private property and that we should always stay in the river, we passed plenty of groups parked on various beaches along the way, some even with campfires. Erica points out that we don't know that it wasn't their land. True enough.
But even with all the traffic, our little clump of tubes was mostly to ourselves and we had plenty of time to drift, watch the sky, eat snacks out of our cooler and drink a couple-three beers.
(I've got this terrible little camera I picked up a few years ago, a Che-ez! Foxz2—the pictures are usually blown out, and the drivers are Windows XP-only, which is annoying in my Mac/Windows 7 setup—but it has a waterproof case, so I brought it along on the ride and snapped a few photos.) And Stephanie bought a disposable waterproof (film!) camera and took a roll.