From the Passenger Seat...
After an amazing time at ZookiMelt 2002, word got around that the Bedford Boys were hosting what was to be the first annual "Mud Mash" at Haspen Acres (Laurel, Indiana) the weekend of August 23-25. Immediately, Murph said, "No." Too long of a drive for too short of a trip, plus the Tonka Toy needed some repairs. I wasn't satisfied. "Murphy, we HAVE to go." I convinced Billy Bob to bring his extra stocker truck for Murph to borrow, and 5:30 Friday night, Murph and I loaded up the Camry and set off for Haspen Acres.
When we arrived, we were greeted by Nick, Brent, and Bob, followed by Billy Bob in FUBAR. It was very much like a reunion!!! Apparently we had just missed a rainstorm and now had some nice mud to contend with -- at least the event was true to its name! After proving that even a Camry can handle some mild muddin, we spent the remainder of Friday night around the campfire telling stories.
Saturday morning, we woke to the sweet sound of Billy Bob starting breakfast. Mmmm. Bacon and eggs...fried taters.; What more can I say? With full bellies and adrenalin pumping, we set off for the trails!! (indecently, camping and trail riding are all "in house" at Haspen Acres) The atmosphere on the ride was very relaxed and laid back compared to the (albeit necessary) organization of the 'Melt. Haspen Acres offers a little bit of everything, and if you look hard enough you'll find what you like -- Beautiful wooded areas, streams to splash in, and plenty of mud to play with, on, and in!!!Our first obstacle was a sandy washout. A sandy washout that caused FUBAR to make a horrible noise and we only had 2 wheel drive from then out. Along with losing the 4 wheel drive, we also bent a tie rod and couldn't get the wheels turned straight, so one of the guys suggested if we got the front wheels off the ground, we could push them back into place. That was the first time I have ever seen anyone try to deliberately turn a Zuk on it's side! After playing there for a while, several of our companions fared the sand with ease. Murphy showed us all up in Billy Bob's stocker "Tin Top Betty." What was said couldn't be done, Murph proved us wrong as be piloted what he called "The Bluesmobile" though some pretty grim obstacles that stopped some more grown rigs literally in their tracks. After the sand lot, there were hills and valleys galore, followed by The Mud. I love the mud. We found a strip of mud holes that beckoned to every driver. Zuk after Zuk attempted to cross what appeared to be the Queen Mother of All Mud Holes. Zuk after Zuk had to be towed out. Murph even jumped in the murky depths to help Brent out and enjoyed mud coming up past his knee caps!!! He explained that he is now a bona fide member of Balls Deep Offroad Club. (The gentlemen of BDOC say otherwise.) Figgy had shown us how it was done, but the mud put up a fair fight and held tightly to all who attempted. We finished out the trail ride with one last hill climb. Even in two wheel drive and no ability to turn right, FUBAR just didn't want to quit. We all met at the top and told stories that will become the tall tales we tell our grandchildren. At one point the sun was blazing, so Nick made his own shade underneath his truck as Murph limped up the hills in his Bluesmobile dragging a few parts behind after a brief episode of overheating and exhaust system relocation. A good time was had by all, and now it was time to head back to camp to wash up for dinner. Haspen Acres has a newly built club house equipped with clean showers and restrooms. The owners were very hospitable, and the park was immaculate. Mud Mash is a definite keeper. Thanks to Nick and the rest of the Bedford Boys for taking their dream and making it a reality. We look forward to Mud Mash 2003 and would love to see some new faces on the trail.