Today we took Amber and Abby over to Bryson City so we could tube down Deep Creek. After a scenic drive along the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway we arrived at the tube rental office around 11:30 and piled four inflated tubes in various sizes and colors on top of the car and tied them down.
We stopped at the picnic area for a wonderful lunch that Cindy had made and then Cindy, Amber and Abby went upcreek a bit to tube down while I waited on the bank to grab some photos and a video.
After that we all trekked even further upcreek so we could all tube down together. Amber made this video as we were starting out.
Shortly after the video ended, we hit some fast-flowing water over some large rocks. I fell out first when I hit a rock that flipped my tube. As I was trying to get back in/on my tube, Amber fell out of hers and in the process her tube got away from her and was floating down the creek. The worst part was that Abby’s tube was tied to Amber’s and so now she is flowing away from us!
I jumped out of my tube and began wading through the knee-high water, but kept either slipping on or falling over the rocks below the surface. Thankfully, Abby’s tube floated into a quiet little alcove of above-water rocks and trees. Her mom and I reached her about the same time and all was well, but it was a little hair-raising there for a few moments.
Then Amber discovered that in the confusion she had dropped her phone into the water. She only brought it with her because she has a watertight case, so that wasn’t a worry and fortunately the water was shallow enough at that point in the creek that she could easily see the purple case after a few more moments of searching.
We did OK for a while and then as we got close to the end we hit another patch of rapidly rushing (for us, anyway, lol) water and rocks. Cindy flipped out of her tube and came dangerously close to hitting her face on a rock, stopping herself at the last minute. I was out of my tube again as fast as I could but stepped into a hole and went down as I was trying to get to her. I caught myself, held onto my tube and grabbed hers as the water tried to pull us away. It took her a minute to get herself to move and get back into her tube, even with Amber bringing her tube alongside to try and help her mom. We all got back into our tubes and then I hit another rock and my tube flipped and went over my head and started flowing down the creek ahead of me. Cindy and Amber stopped it by the bank, but the water flow was even faster there and in the course of getting everyone situated Abby fell out of her tube and was in the water about 2 seconds before her mom and I grabbed her. She was wearing a life vest and never even had her head under water, but it frightened her, especially after seeing her grandma fall out of her tube so we found the next place we could get out of the water and called it a day at Deep Creek.
The three adults were banged up, bruised and scraped, but all in all we had a lot of fun and will probably find another creek to tube down soon, just maybe one that is a little more…slow, lol.
After turning in the tubes we rented the girls all had some ice cream and that seemed to make everyone feel better. By the time we got back to Wolf’s Haven it was a little after 4pm and we all were so tired that we took a 2 hour nap to let our wounds and tired muscles rest and heal.
Yikes, sounds scary! Glad nothing worse happened.