A little mud on the tires (and a lot on us)
Despite my love for purses, cute clothes and painted toenails, I’ve never been what you’d call a girly-girl. Bugs, frogs and lizards have never sent me squealing in fear. And I’m not scared to get a little muddy. Or – as was the case Labor Day weekend – a LOT muddy.
There’s an 850 acre ATV park not far from the house where country boys like Derek put their four wheelers, jeeps and trucks to the test. Last weekend, we loaded his beast of a four wheeler (Grizzly 700 Special Edition with 31” tires) on the trailer and went to join the fun.
He warned me ahead of time that he planned on getting dirty and going through spots that other people were too afraid to try. As much as I assured him that I’d be okay, I really think he expected me to freak out when it came down to it. I don’t think he anticipated me being the type of girl that, instead of being scared, would get excited and tell him to go for mud holes that even he was leery of. I told him he’d be hard-pressed to scare me.
Most of the weekend, we followed friends on trail rides and slung a little mud, but generally kept it pretty tame. I was getting a little disappointed, since he hyped it up so much beforehand. Where were the massive mud holes? When was I going to get covered, head-to-toe? I was ready. Finally, late Saturday night, he delivered on his promise.
After most people quit riding, we decided to hit one last trail with a guy we’d just met. Before long, we were sitting at the edge of… well, I guess it was a pond. It was too big to be considered a mud hole. Before I knew it, we were tearing through it, spitting muck and dirty water in our wake. All of which showered down on me in a thick brown sludge. About halfway across, Derek realized that the hole was deeper than he judged and the four wheeler was nearly underwater. He said we’d have to get off. I jumped off the back, only to find myself shoulder deep in slippery, slimy, muddy water. I waded to the edge and literally wrung out my shorts and t-shirt, which were sopping wet and clinging to my stained brown body. Derek managed to get the four wheeler out, and before I had time to dry off, we were creeping further down the trail and closer to the spot we saw everyone else get stuck in earlier in the day.
In all honesty, I thought we had it. I thought those massive tires would get us through. I was wrong. The four wheeler rolled right, I slid off into more muck, and Derek fought in vain to pull the bike from the slick hole. I was nearly chin deep this time, and my shoes were long gone – floating somewhere into the darkness – probably with the snakes and other creatures that the night was graciously hiding from me. After a long battle, Derek finally winched the bike out and we called it a night before we pushed our luck too far.
I’ve never been so dirty in my life. My hair was a dried, crunchy mess of caked mud. My face was covered, with only my eyeballs and my teeth still shining white. I ruined a washcloth just scrubbing the mud off my legs. I had bruises and briar cuts. And you know what? I loved every minute of it.
The four wheeler was (understandably) acting up a little Sunday. Derek spent the morning working on it, and we took it back to Boggs for a short ride that afternoon. We slung some mud, but decided not to push it too hard until he had a chance to get it serviced and snorkeled. I’m already looking forward to going back and seeing what we can find to play in.
I wish I had more pictures to show you… but I figured with my luck, it was best to leave the camera in the case and not chance ruining it for a few pictures of the mud. Maybe next time I’ll take a cheap, waterproof disposable camera so we can have evidence of our adventure :)