Sunday, May 09, 2010

Salt River tubing

No, not me. I can think of no reason I would ever want to do that again. I did want to get some videos of the drunks on the river, but they wouldn't behave badly when I had the camera pointed at them.

This area is normally a large expanse of bare dirt.

But first, the hike to the river. And first, a little background about that. For several years, when going through Bulldog Canyon OHV area, I had noticed large numbers of hoof prints crossing the area. It was in the spring that I saw them, and they seemed to be going north (towards the Salt River). I had always thought that it was deer going to the river for water. Then a year or two ago I read in the paper about some ranchers that would drive herds of sheep through there on their way to summer feeding grounds. Mystery solved. I've wanted to see the sheep making the trip, but it isn't announced beforehand. They crossed through Bulldog Canyon a week or two ago this year.

The winter rains had this area covered with plants, which had dried out and were then trampled by the sheep.

On to the hike. As I walked toward the Salt River, I could see where the sheep had been. I thought I might follow their path and see where they crossed the river. The river is a little higher than I'm used to seeing it, though, and a side channel that is normally dry blocked my path.

Side channel of the Salt River. The white stuff on the water is from some trees along the river. It coated everything.

The side channel at another spot.

I didn't have to walk down river very far to get to the main channel. I got three kinds of reactions when I pointed my camera at the people in the river. By far the most common was waves and smiles. I ruined most of my videos of those people by shaking the camera when I waved back. Next was complete indifference. Last was belligerence. I thought those people were just mean drunks looking for a fight, but when I got home and was looking at the videos, Lindsey looked over my shoulder and said, "Dad, you were taking pictures of people on the river? That's creepy!" So it seems that there is some sort of social taboo about taking pictures of people in a river. Or maybe it's about taking pictures of people I don't know. Or maybe it's about taking pictures of people in swim suits. Maybe it's because I was on the bank and not in the river. Or maybe it's all of those things and something else. Anyway, it's too complicated for me, so I think I'll stick to landscapes in the future.

Here's a short video illustrating the noise on the river. Bad music and helicopters. Sheriff Joe's boys fly up and down the river all day.

I looked at a few other videos of peoples Salt River tubing experiences. They often add a music sound track so you can't tell what it sounds like on the river. There were not many people on the river yesterday, though (it's early in the season), so I didn't capture the ruckus that I wanted. I wanted to do that so people planning a family tubing trip would have a better idea of what they are getting into. If I had captured what I wanted, though, the videos would probably have been flagged as inappropriate.

A typical reaction to the camera; smiles and waves.

More happy tubers.

This is a video of some minnows in the river. I included it for the background noises. Screams and a red-winged blackbird.

A "fast" part of the river.

The last video is of a guy that was yelling, "Take a picture of me!" He asked if it was going to be on the web and I told him what I tell everybody that asks that: Google Art's desert exploration blog. He looked at his companions and said something like, "Gog. Google ... desert. What? Exorcism? Oh, I'll never remember that." He was plastered. I don't know if he'll even remember being on the river. Maybe one of his fellow tubers will remember and help him find this.

"Take a picture of me!"

I took some pictures of other stuff, too. There were some nice prickly pear flowers.

It was only about 97 while I was out there, and I wasn't moving around a lot, but I got there at 3 to get the tubers. After more than an hour in the sun, I was getting uncomfortable. I had the AC blowing full blast for the 30 minute drive home, but the cameras were still hot to the touch by the time I got around to downloading pictures. Click below to see all of the pictures.



julia said...

Looks like such a pretty river to tube. Too bad there's too much obnoxiousness.

Art said...

Did you notice all the trash floating down the river with the tubers? Not a lot this day, though. I decided not to take pictures of all the shoes, shirts, bottles and cans scattered up to 100 feet from the river. Didn't want to use up all that storage space on trash.