It was my third year at Penn State, and a new crop of freshmen arrived at Mifflin Hall, one of whom was Carl Gruber.

Carl was from New Cumberland, just across the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg, and he often used to talk about how much fun he had going tubing down the river.

So when spring term arrived, one weekend he took a few guys from our floor to show them how it was done. I drove, as I was the only one who had a car. I’m no longer sure of the names of all the guys who went along; there were probably three besides Carl and me, and one of them was probably Carl’s roommate. I can picture the others but I’m at a loss to remember most of their names after all this time.

I believe Carl supplied the inner tubes and when we got near the river, we found a filling station where we could inflate the tubes. Then on to the river, where I dropped them off.

And that’s where I realized I had made a big mistake.

Tubing looked like a lot of fun! And I wished that I was floating down the river on one of those inner tubes with them. Of course, if I were, then who would have driven to the destination to pick us all up? Oh, well.

Anyway, it was a beautiful spring day, the other guys had a relaxing time floating down the river, I drove the car and stopped periodically to monitor their progress and envy the great time they were having. I finally reached the destination and picked them up, where they deflated the inner tubes, and I drove them back to the dorm.

Where I did realize one advantage of not joining them in the river. I was the only one without a bad sun burn.

Example of tubing


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