By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
One of the most popular things to do here in Bend during the summer is floating the river.
But visitors last summer were out of luck if they arrived at the river without their own tubes.
Now Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe, which partners with Bend Park and Rec says the rentals will return this year.
“The last time a tube was rented was the first week of September in 2019 and after that we had shut it down, closed up shop, then the world changed,” said Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe River Ambassador Clayton Kellogg.
The business is in the Old Mill right on the banks of the Deschutes River.
“A couple years ago we were putting upwards of 30,000 people on the river in a year,” Kellogg said.
In fact, about 240,000 people floated, kayaked or paddled the river in 2019.
But big crowds were a no-no last summer and pulling the air out of the tubing rentals helped limit the number of people on the river.
“Whereas people were floating the river, we didn’t want to put another couple hundred out there a day and add to that,” Kellogg added.
Kellogg says they are back in the floating business once again.
“We are really excited to get back out there and have our place back up in our community and renting tubes again,” he said.
Shuttle rides for river floaters will also be available again.
“I believe that the bus system will be at about half capacity per shuttle system,” said Kellogg. “CET (Cascades East Transit) shuttles will be running as well as our own private Tumalo Creek buses and vans.”
He expects this summer to be busy.
“Everybody is trying to get out there and have some fun, but by doing so you will encounter some crowds and some wait times,” added Kellogg. “So, hang in there with us and we will do the best we can to get you out there safely and responsibly.”
Tube rentals will return in June.