Apparently, tanking in Nebraska does not mean driving a tank through a cornfield.
Instead, it’s one of the most interesting experiences you can have in Nebraska. Here’s the situation, you and six-to-eight of your closest friends, get real comfortable together in a cattle water tank, and float down your favorite Nebraska river.
If you’re a beer drinker, the tank is a great spot to sit back and relax with a cold one, and just take in the scenery. Plus, a big cooler doubles as a footrest or an extra seat if it’s needed. Depending on which river you’re on, you’ll probably stop at a sandbank or two to stretch your legs or swim. If you’re on a faster river, you’ll need to practice your power stance so you don’t get swept away in the current.
Last month, our office went tanking on the North Platte River. Usually, the river is dangerously low, but we were able to get in at the right time because of the abnormal amount of rain we got this summer. The current was faster than we would have liked, which led to a couple of sticky situations (like getting hung up in a tree). But, overall it was a great time. Nobody got sunburned, that was impressive considering how pale we all are.
Most of us had never been tanking before, so it was a great time for us to finally understand one of Nebraska’s favorite past times. Sure you can float down the river in an inter tube or a kayak, but tanking is probably the easiest way to do it, especially if you’re having a few beverages. There were some shallow spots on our journey down the river, so we took turns getting out and pushing. The fun part was not knowing how deep the water got with every step, that made things difficult at times. The challenge is getting back in the tank when your feet can’t touch the bottom of the river. The trick is to have one of those plastic lawn chairs, and turn it toward you, and use your upper body strength to bring you back in to the tank and sit on the chair. Sometimes that was easier said than done.
Tanking promotes bonding, whether it’s a company, family, group of friends, whatever. There will be parts of your journey where teamwork is required. In our case it was trying to get our tank unstuck from a big tree while trying to go against the current. Needless to say, a few beers were cracked after that adventure.
The trip overall was a blast. It’s fun to do activities like this out of the office. If you’re not having fun at what you’re doing, what’s the point?