2011 Poudre River
After my first year at Colorado State University I started exploring outdoor spaces near Fort Collins more frequently. Namely because I had a vehicle again after spending a year without one, but also by bike. Fort Collins has a ton of great parks and often hosts events, festivals and fun activities.
Living in FoCo, as the locals call it, has many perks when it comes to activities from breweries and dining to tubing the Poudre river. Probably a right of passage to Fort Collins similar to the notion you need to hike a 14er or ski/snowboard if you live in Colorado.
I didn’t have access to tubes while attending college, but after I graduated I snagged some and made a quest back for a first experience. Each year the spring runoff poses challenges when it comes to tubing creeks or rivers. If there is a ton of snow melt the rapids can quickly complicate things and the rapids are too dangerous to tube. Unfortunately it seems each year someone is seriously injured or worse during our early season melt.
Being new to the rapids I studied online beta for the entry and exit points, when to shift across the stream and rapids to avoid. I tubed the Snake River in my younger years which is illegal, but we were rebellious youngsters. The current was super strong and the current nearly carried a few friends downstream. The Poudre is no Snake River, but it still has potential to be lethal.
Some of my partner's family members joined in the endeavor and we made a river day out of it inclusive of food and bevies. Some of the participants weren’t strong swimmers, some not even really knowing how to swim, so we kept a close eye on the group. Bring river shoes unless you want your flip flops floating downstream ahead of you (an unfortunate casualty for one in the group).
You can always leash a cooler with some drinks, just practice Leave No Trace (LNT) etiquette! A great day tubing the Poudre!