With the summer heat arriving, the Alouette River is bound to be jammed with tubers once again.
If this is an activity you enjoy, or plan to enjoy, please keep some things in mind-and yes, all these have happened regularly through the warmer months:
1. How would you feel if you came out to your backyard to find my friends and I enjoying a picnic and drinks on your lawn? Most river banks are private property, not picnic grounds-please abide by signage.
2. Let’s imagine I brought a lawn chair with my buddy and we set them up on the sidewalk in front of your house (but technically not on your property). You may or may not be out front with your kids, while I, on my lawn chair, proceed to open a beer, smoke a joint, and choose every second word to be a profanity. I’m only there for 15 minutes, but I leave my garbage on your lawn for you.
3. We are so fortunate to live in a place with a gem like the Alouette. I have been tubing this river since I was 10, which was 30 years ago. Please do not pollute it with your ripped up vinyl floaties and beverage garbage.
Some residents leave a bucket out for disposing of cans along the way. At the end of the season it is donated to ARMS (Alouette River Management Society).
4. Whenever possible, stay off the banks. Too much foot traffic erodes soil from the river’s edge. Only leave the river to walk on the bank if it’s really necessary.
5. This one is big. Would I go into your open garage and take your bike because mine got a flat tire? Seriously people. A dollar store floatie will not cut it on this river. Just because yours popped doesn’t mean it’s ok to ‘borrow’ ours!
6. Come prepared. Bring a patch kit and a phone. A ziploc is not a wetbag. Have a proper wetbag for your essentials. We literally can sit in the backyard and watch people flip out of their tubes every five minutes on a hot day, so don’t assume ‘it’ll be fine’. Someone in your group needs a phone.
7. This trip is not for toddlers and preschoolers. People get flipped and pulled into/under rocks, branches and fallen debris. If you want to take little ones, know the river and avoid the hairier sections – and please put them in a life jacket.
8. Timeline. Allow about two hours from Allco Park to Maple Ridge Park.
This about sums up my guide to tubing the Alouette. Please be safe, and be respectful of the river, it’s nature residents, and the human residents who are so fortunate to call it their backyard.
Carla Allen, Maple Ridge
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