Remember when you were a little kid and you played in the mud? Think way back, back before you knew rubber boots were uncool to wear to school! Back when rubber boots were actually synonomous, (hey, I dont' spell well on the best of days and I am on summer vacation, so I refuse a dictionary, if you can't figure out what I am trying to say, just sound it out, that's what I did,) with FUN!!! I remember spending hours playing at the creek in the horse pasture where we grew up. We'd slip on the rubber boots and head out in search of beaver dams! Dad had us on a mission to destroy them all...by hand! We'd follow him in his hip waders to the "big crick," (my parents are american, they call it a crick, weird eh?) where we'd all grab sticks and stand at the edge poking at the beaver dam. Dad, he was right in the water as deep as his fancy hip waders would allow him to go, slinging mud like a pro. It wouldn't be long before one of us kids would take one step too close to the edge and our boot would fill with cold, dirty, leech infested crick water! We were not the kind of girls who got grossed out by this however, instead we considered this the "gateway to fun!" Once our boots were flooded, there was no point in trying to stay out of the water, we'd jump right in and start pulling that dam apart with our hands! Everyone has had a boot stuck sooo deep in the mud that when you took a step, your boot would stay in the slop and your foot, covered by once clean, white socks, would step down in the mud! Remember the process of trying to pry that boot out of the sinking mud? Makes me smile just thinking about those muddy faces and hands and the plastic Safeway bags mom would put in our boots the next day so that they would protect our socks...at least for a while! Kind of sad that somewhere along the line, those carefree mud loving days were replaced by stylish shoe wearing, hair protecting, pantleg rolling, mud avoiding days! Let me tell you how this long weekend, Nic, Marty and I were reminded about the almost forgotten mud loving days! We were invited out to McClean Creek (one of three, officially designated off-road sites in Canada,) for the weekend. Nic came down to Calgary where we loaded Marty's land cruiser and my jetta with as much camping stuff as they could possibly hold and headed out! Though we left the city with visions of getting the Land Cruiser dirty for the first time in a long time, we had no idea what was in store for us!!!!!
We got to the camp site, efficiently set up our tent, built a sandwhich and turned to the experienced "off-roaders" we were sharing camp with for further instructions. First we had to put on "rain gear." It wasn't raining, but even we knew that we would be creating some kind of storm! Everyone in camp pulled on rubber boots, yellow rain pants and coats, (except me, I had blue pants, no one told me that yellow rubber is way cuter...who knew??) By the way, everyone, I mean everyone, of every size, looks ADORABLE in rain gear!! We jumped in the cruiser, Marty and I in the front, Nic in the back and joined the other 3 cruisers in the "road train." We drove down twisty, bumpy dirt roads until we found "the mud." "The mud" it turns is basically a giant mud hole filled with water and ruts! The idea is to see if your vehicle can make it through the mud hole without getting stuck, but just like filling your boots with water, getting stuck, is the fun part! This is when you get to spin your wheels and kick up huge sprays of mud which cover not only your truck, but all passengers (hence the rain gear) and stander-bys! We soon learned that everyone gets stuck at one point or another and when you get stuck, there are always a bunch of people ready to hook up toe ropes and haul you out of the mud. It is a real "team sport" that way, which made it really fun! I usually associate "getting stuck" with lots of snow and cursing and being alone, stuck! This, "the mud" was way more fun!
We had a blast getting the cruiser dirty, watching Marty drive his machine like he was a professional! We learned a lot about the culture of those who live to "4-wheel," think beer bongs (mom, I will explain what that is, just call me,) chain smoking, beer drinking, loud laughing, great story telling, tight friendship, incredible vehicle knowledge, amazing mechanical skill and a bravery that is beyond anything I think I possess! These are the kind of people who would never leave anyone stranded no matter how wedged between two trees thier trucks were, the kind of people who would set up a "snatch block" (yep, I actually know what that is now,) to keep ya from rolling all the way over in the hole, the kind of people who will go miles back down a horrific trail ready to toe you all the way home and the kind of people who will build a gigantic fire and sit around it all night talking about how much fun they all had together that day! Thank you to all the 4 wheelers who took us under thier wings this weekend and showed us what a great, extreme sport 4X4ing can be!!! Enjoy the photos!