Adventure stories: Lessons learned while tubing

Steve Levenberg and Rhea Cravens

Editor’s note: We recently asked Xpress readers and writers to share their own true tales of adventure for possible publication in our special Adventure issue. Here is one of those stories.

My wife, Rhea, and I have been Tar Heels since 1982 when we came to Fayetteville from Atlanta. Oddly, those living out here in WNC rarely if ever use that term, which is more for Easterners (there is a Tar Heel, N.C., and a Tarboro, N.C., in the east, and of course the UNC Tar Heels).

We never cared for this nickname, nor for the brutal Sandhills climate of Eastern North Carolina. In 2005, we finally retired to Asheville and have not one regret — except for the dearth of breweries (ha).

The grandkids from Alabama came every summer. We found the Green River tubing past Flat Rock to be fun, inexpensive and family-oriented. Fifteen dollars each for a 2- to 3-mile gentle run and a free bus ride back at the end.

Ella at 7 loved the gentle rapids but yearned to be released from our “stay in the inner tube” rule. She finally wore us out about it, so we gave permission. She jumped out and began playing in the rapids only to lose her tube and was unable to reach it. The water was maybe a foot deep but fast.

We got the tube for her and waited while she caught up to us, tearful. She then blurted out angrily at us, “Why did you let me get out of the tube?”

This is the origin of the homily, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

— Steve Levenberg


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