The Superior Express -

By Bill Blauvelt
The Superior Express 

Editor's Notebook

Mudders Risk Arrest

 

January 10, 2019



The social media warning posted by a law enforcement officer originated in Republic County but it could probably come out any of the counties served by this newspaper.

The notice I read earlier this week said, “Please stop mudding on county roads or private property! You may be having fun but are causing thousands of dollars of damage to farmers’ fields and county roads for no reason! You can be charged with a crime, including a felony which is any damage of more than $1,500.”

I understand both sides of the question.

As a youngster I enjoyed riding my horse down a muddy road. I didn’t ask the horse what he thought. I tried to do the same with a bicycle but found it was not nearly so much fun when the tires packed mud under the fenders and I had to get off the bike, carry it to drier ground and then find a stick to dig the mud out enough the wheels would turn.

Another time I was riding one of those trail bikes that were advertised as “go anywhere machines.” I was going where I shouldn’t have been going when the front wheel began to slide. Just like the day on the bicycle, I had gotten so much mud packed around the wheel that it didn’t turn. Only difference was this time it was impossible to carry the bike to dry ground. I had to stop right there and free up the wheel.

When I was in high school, I drove my car through a deep mud hole while scouting for the perfect picture location. My self-assigned assignment was to take a picture of high school seniors in a rustic location. Every two weeks I had to produce a picture for the school newspaper’s senior feature and I looked for unusual locations or situations. I got through the mud hole without getting stuck but I learned to regret my action.

I let the caked mud dry underneath the automobile. I had to wash and chip it out before I could drive the vehicle again. My father didn’t say much when I arrived home after school with a mud encrusted vehicle.

When he asked what I had been doing, my answer of “Looking for a photo location” seemed to satisfy him. He didn’t offer any advice on avoiding mud holes when looking for the “perfect rustic location.” I suspect he knew what would happen when the mud dried and concluded cleaning out the underside of my automobile would be a more effective teacher than anything he could say.

Years later I remembered than lesson when a young, nicely dressed woman stopped at the car wash. The way she was dressed, I was surprised to see her get down on the concert wash pad and spray water under her automobile.

Aware I was watching, she felt compelled to explain her action. Seems she was a teacher in a nearby community and she had made the mistake of trying to deliver something to one her students who lived in the country. She had gotten her automobile soundly stuck and had to have a tractor pull it out. She was more experienced than I had been as a high school student and knew she didn’t want the mud to dry. So she drove to Superior and was giving her car a bath.

Another day at the car wash, some young women stopped after a mudding adventure with a boy friend’s vehicle. I watched them wash both the vehicle and themselves and inquire as to where they had been. They explained they had been out mudding and one of their goals was to get the vehicle stuck. They had succeeded but didn’t understand why the farmer they asked to tow them out was so mad at them.

They didn’t understand, that farmer would probably have to drive that road after it dried out, and the deep ruts they had plowed would not improve the road.

 

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