12 07 2008

A funny thing happens to dirt when it rains.

It was about 9:30pm. We turned from the paved Bread Springs Road onto the unpaved Pine Haven Road. The road did not seem to be staying in one place. I tried to relax and focus. Taking it slow, we made our way through the mud all the way to our turnoff.

Now we had to contend with the smaller, muddier Pine Haven Drive. I knew it had to get pretty bad in the rain. Before tonight, we hadn’t ventured out into the mud, but there have been some deep tire trenches from electric company vehicles on the road leading up to the ranch.

At the first downhill portion, I sensed we might be in for trouble. I’m used to driving in snow, and figured that driving in mud must be a bit like driving in icy slush. Sure enough, the van turned a little bit sideways and slid slowly, carefully down the muddy slope. We straightened out just fine at the bottom, rounded the corner, and made it without incident along the straight part of the road.

Just inside the gate to the ranch, there’s a steep hump to get up and over. And that was the part where the minivan met its match. We went up, almost cleared it, and got stuck. I reversed to give it another try and got more stuck. Unable to go forward, unable to back up. Certifiably stuck.

So we got out, closed up the van, and walked in the mud the rest of the way to the Straw Bale House.

There were a couple of near-wipeouts, but nobody fell headlong into the mud as I feared. Liesl laughed pretty hard for a while, which made me laugh, which made balancing more difficult, but we made it. I carried Kaylynn while holding Aidan’s hand, and Liesl guided Ryan. Sticking to the weedy center of the road gave a little more traction. We arrived at the Straw Bale House about ten minutes later with nothing worse than muddy feet and shoes.

Here are some new lessons recently learned: The van doesn’t handle mud well. It’s nice looking, but not a very good all-terrain vehicle. There needs to be a flashlight in the van. We also need to have some boots and jackets with us if there’s the chance it will be muddy when we get back.

Hopefully the rain will let up and I’ll be able to move the van tomorrow.




6 responses

13 07 2008

Mud is a funny thing – remember the mud in “My Cousin Vinny”? That was the first thing that came to mind!

13 07 2008
Aunty Penn

Did you ever wonder how rez cars get mud on the roof? Or why car washes are SO popular in Gallup, NM? Just a cult thing, ya think?

13 07 2008

That’s why a brand new pick-up truck can look trashed pretty quickly, or why they get replaced…or not; I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of those too. Ah well, it’s just mud!

13 07 2008
Emily S

Sounds like a fun adventure! Love you guys!

14 07 2008
Terri Spratte

REminds of the time I got my first car stuck in the mud at my grandparents ranch in Evergreen because of the down pouring rain and had to walk a mile back to where their motorhome was in order to get help to get my car out and in process was soaked and muddy.

Glad you are having fun adventures like this and yet laughing about it. Miss you guys.

25 07 2008

Man, I miss that place. What fun there is to have there.

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