Tubing the Chippewa River a summer must for local residents
Summertime in Mount Pleasant goes hand in hand with riding down the calming Chippewa River year after year.
One of the city’s most visited attractions, the 91.8-mile river gives locals a relaxing getaway during the season’s hottest days.
Alpena senior Geoff Kowalski has been a regular tuber for the past three summers.
“Tubing is always a blast, and I have yet to see someone on the Chip River who wasn’t smiling and having a great time,” Kowalski said. “The woods and nature scenery makes it much more fun than being in a pool.”
Free-floating tubing is the act of being carried down a body of water by the current, usually on an inflatable tube. Groups of tubers will often pull a “beer raft,” designed to hold a cooler during the float down the river.
Chipp-A-Waters and Island Park are two of Mount Pleasant’s five parks along the river commonly used as entrance and exit points for tubers. The trip’s scenery might also include the city’s three other parks, as well as Isabella County’s three parks.
Williamston senior Jacob Maran an avid tuber in his second summer in Mount Pleasant.
“Tubing is a Mount Pleasant must,” Maran said. “My favorite tubing memory was being flashed by three girls during one trip this year. Never has it happened before, and I have gone more than I should.”
Redondo Beach, Calif, senior Allison Devilling-Miller said her first tubing experience was memorable, though not in an expected fashion.
“Where I’m from, we have the ocean, which you stand and splash around at most if you’re not a surfer,” she said. “So, especially in my hometown, there were no nice, quiet rivers that you could just float down.”
Devilling-Miller ripped her tube on a low-hanging branch minutes into her maiden voyage and was forced to share a tube for the remaining of the afternoon.
“I invited one of my neighbors, but I really didn’t know him yet,” she said. “He had to come rescue me, as I was sinking pretty quickly.”
Despite her tubing mishap, Devilling-Miller said she hasn’t been completely turned off from the local pastime.
“I would probably go back and tube again, but this time I’d get a more substantial tube,” she said. “Or some duct tape.”
Aside from being the main source of water for Mount Pleasant, the Chippewa River takes on the responsibility of entertaining the city’s inhabitants during the sweltering days of summer.
“Tubing is always a blast and I have yet to see someone on the Chip River who wasn’t smiling and having a great time,” Kowalski said.
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