Flood washes inner tubes down San Marcos River

Flood washes inner tubes down San Marcos River

Inner tubes swept away in flood waters are caught in trees along the San Marcos River. Pam LeBlanc photo

It gets hot in Texas, and one way Texans cope with the heat is by floating down rivers perched on inner tubes.

Venture down the San Marcos River on a hot summer afternoon and you’ll find a flotilla of people bobbing along, enjoying the cool water.  Lately, though, my paddling partners and I have been spotting deflated tubes dangling from tree branches and wrapped around logs and rocks.

Heavy rains in the last month have apparently swept many of the tubes, rented by outfits in and around San Marcos, away. Yesterday, my three-woman canoe racing team ran a 30-mile stretch between Staples Dam and Luling. We counted 15 escaped tubes in that stretch alone. The mesh bags given to tubers to hold their empty cans are also trashing the waterway.

Sheila Reiter approaches an inner tube caught in branches along the San Marcos River on May 19. Pam LeBlanc photo

My paddle partners and I have made it a mission to pick up balls (and shoes and other smallish items) that we find floating in the river, but the tubes are too big and heavy to pick up on our runs.

It really ticks me off. Shouldn’t the tube rental companies pick up their tubes, which apparently weren’t properly secured before the floodwaters took them away?