Happy Mudders Day!
Living in North Idaho comes with many perks, we have rolling mountains and sprawling wilderness areas that will keep even the most intrepid outdoorsmen sated when it comes to an appetite for adventure. World class fishing in our lakes, rivers, and streams attract traveler from around the world – and a relatively low populations density can make it feel like you’ve got a piece of paradise carved out all for yourself.
The rest of the country doesn’t seem to get that impression of North Idaho though, our state’s wildly successful marketing of potato crops creating mental imagery of rolling farmland from border to border. Then there are those that seem to think we’re a bit “country” or a little bit “redneck”…well this weekend in Moyie Springs, we certainly lived up to that label a bit, if only for a few days.
For years my friends have been attending the Moyie Springs Mud Bogs, and for years I’ve been unable to go due to working out of the country, out of the state, or just out of the area. I almost went once, a few years ago, and then a last minute ferry to move a helicopter over to Seattle came up and I had to cancel at the last minute. I almost missed it this year, now that I’m flying a GOM rotation – my “on hitch” dates just barely managed to get me home the day before everyone loaded up in their trucks, and jeeps, and drove North to Moyie Springs. A large area in the woods was carved out as a campground for the hundreds of attendees, located immediately across from a massive mud pit, some smaller mud tracks, and a rocky, boulder covered hillside.
A few of our group had gone up the night prior to everything kicking off to stake a claim on a very lucrative and conveniently located piece of land where we set up our camp. A half dozen tents, an RV, a fire pit, a mobile kitchen built onto a flatbed trailer, and space for a dozen coolers created our own mountain resort area. Much like you would see a wagon train circle the wagons to create a protective barrier to outside elements, we’d effectively created an enclosed camp space using our trucks, cars, tents, and trailers.
The attraction of this event was, aside from being a weekend of camping with your friends, cooking out and enjoying a drink or two (or more), the custom built (or sometimes totally stock) trucks, vans, and cars that were making runs through the mud pit. The pit itself was long, and narrow, and kept drenched by massive tankards of water located just up the hillside from where the run was. Firehoses ran from the tanks to the mud pit and kept the viscosity a consistently sloppy goop. The tempo of vehicles running through the pit, and the near constant flow of water created an ever changing surface, with differing depths, throughout. Truck after truck would run, sling mud, roar at the opening of the throttle, and ultimately get stuck in some strangely deep section.
Commercial grade trucks were on hand, with meaty chains on their already wide tires to crawl into the pit and pull, or push, the stuck runners out. The weekend takes place over Mothers Day Weekend, and I spoke to people that traveled from as far away as Colorado to participate. I took my drone and did a bit of flying – check out the video below.