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Inner Tubing in Alabama

In a small corner of southern Alabama, the 35-mile Styx River cuts through forests and winds around coastal sandbars before it finally joins the Perdido River and empties into the bay. Contrary to the images that its name might conjure, this body of water doesn't lead to the ominous underworld of Greek mythology.

In fact, for the self-proclaimed "King of Tubing" Reggie Smith, the Styx River is the perfect place for inner tubing. Smith, who manages a data and voice network by day, has spent the last 23 years perfecting the art of floating down a river on an inner tube. On any given summer weekend, Smith and his cadre of fellow "tubers" can be found gliding down the Styx armed with coolers, floating grills and radios for communication and music. Even Smith's dog comes along for the ride.

Reporter Melanie Peeples recently joined Smith and his friends on the Styx, where she learned some of the finer points of tubing from the expert.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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