Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When Marty Went Mudding

Back in the day (by which I mean in my pre-Mommy years), I had a few exceptionally memorable incidents.

See, the storage pods in the Target parking lot story wasn't the first time I've managed to do something incredibly stupid that, somehow, didn't seem all that bad when I was getting myself into the messy muck.

[See also: my entire life]

And the time I'm going to tell you about right now actually involved MUCK, and a lot of it at that!

It was my Junior year. I was living in the dorms, while constantly traveling the 40 minute drive between the college in Mount Vernon and the Jade Tiger Dojo in North Liberty to do all the training and social functions down there.

And one day, after a morning of special Aikido camp, I had the inspiration to take a short cut home.

The route between the college and the dojo required me to go across and then up, or up and then across. And I wanted to cut through the middle on a diagonal to save time.

I had noticed that there was a dirt road at the bottom end of the across in the first route and at the top end of the up in the other. So it sure appeared that the road would just make that lovely diagonal line I wanted.

Now being from Colorado, I was quite accustomed to driving on dirt roads and didn't see them as threatening in the slightest.

That was a mistake.

You see, Iowa has something that Colorado doesn't.

Class B roads.

And rain.

Which results in mud.

This sign I didn't pay any attention to going in, assuming it just meant that it was a dirt road.

Turns out it means it's really not much of a road at all, and they're totally not kidding about the "Enter at your own risk" part.

Especially not if there has been recent rain turning everything to mud.....

So, believe it or not, I got stuck a few miles in.

Really stuck.

I was TRYING to drive around the large puddle in the middle of the "road". Which worked fine. Until the car got stuck on the undercarriage because the ruts were too deep for it.

Go figure, right? 

What makes this story even better is I wasn't even driving my car that day. I was driving Peter's car, while he was off doing something for the Marines (training? Iraq?? I'd really have to do some digging with dates to find out exactly what, beyond the general "not in the same state as me" right then).

And Peter's parents were stopping by for a visit. In two days. And had every intention of using this very car during their short stay in Iowa.

So the car being both very stuck and very muddy wasn't exactly a good situation to be in.

I did make a valiant attempt to get the car unstuck by putting old cornstalks under the tires to get grip, and then to dig out the part of mud that the bottom was stuck on once I realized it wasn't the tires lack of gripping causing the mobility problem.

And only managed to get myself (and subsequently the inside of the car) covered in mud for all my futile effort.

It was at that point I started to get really stressed out about the whole thing, but did manage to get the most badass picture of me ever as a result of said stress.

(Thank you, handy fence post that served to hold the camera on auto-timer, you would have been my Wilson had I spent another year or two out there in amongst the sea of cornfields.) 

I don't even remember where the cigarettes were from or why I had them, only that I was seriously pissed that I didn't have any chocolate and had to make do with crappy nicotine instead.

(But damn, I looked badass right then! Also, I was a little proud of my getting mud all over the roof of the car. That took some talent.)

My cellphone didn't get reception where I was with the car, but I did manage to walk back down the "road" far enough to where I could get a call to go out to AAA.

Except that I didn't know EXACTLY where I was. Because I was an idiot taking a shortcut, and hadn't paid overly good attention to road signs and sucked at giving directions to where I was.

So the tow truck guy promised to do his best to try to find me. And I waited. And the tornado sirens went off. And it started to hail. And then lightening. And then downpour.

And then that puddle on the driver's side of the car rose until it was over the bottom of the door, so I had to do more climbing across the car (and coating everything in mud) just to get out again. 

And then, finally, as I was starting to see my life being made into one of those cheesy movies of unexplained disappearances, the tow truck found me and dragged the car out of the mud and back to the regular road.

And I managed to drive the rest of the way home a mere 6 hours later than expected.

The next morning I got the VERY muddy car into the local autoshop to get the mud cleaned off (and paid more for the inside and out cleaning than I had to pay for the tow truck), but two hours later had a sparkling clean car to present to Peter's parents when they arrived.

But then, there was a problem.... after I passed off the car, the engine was making lots of axillary noise, and they (by chance) brought the car back to that very same autoshop. Where they found a few more pounds of mud caked up above the engine block that needed to be knocked out.

And then they were nice enough not to charge his parents after explaining that the car had been in yesterday to be cleaned.


So much for my keeping the unintentional mudding incident under wraps with my future in-laws.

But hey, it sure makes for some great blogging material 6 years later!!


  1. This post made me laugh out loud. Until tears rolled down my cheeks. Is it okay that I'm laughing? Because if you're offended by my laughter I'll stop because -- based upon that photo -- I do not want to piss you off. You're kinda scary/intense looking when you're all muddy.

    1. Oh believe me, even I find this story MUCH funnier now!

  2. Found your blog post when I was looking for a picture of a car stuck on a dirt road. I thought this was hilarious, though I know you didn't think so at the time. Thanks for chroniciling it! I cited your blog on my Facebook page--City Life to Farm Life and Wife, if you want to take a look at what I wrote.

  3. Great story was this the first time you've gotten stuck in the mud. Glad you can look back and laugh about it.and glad everything worked out for you.

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