Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The particular part of Texas that we found ourselves has an interesting type of soil to say the least. After a few weeks on the ranch, I nicknamed this glutinous substance SMUD. Somewhere between sand and mud, this stuff will suck you in, chew you up, and infiltrate every part of your vehicle and every other available pore and orifice that you can imagine.

Not long after our arrival, one of the guests managed to ignore the warnings to keep the golf carts that were available to them “on the roads at all times”. The reason for this warning is that the SMUD, quickly engulfed the poor little cart and proceeded to swallow it whole. By the time I arrived, the guest (clutching what appeared to be a cocktail) had already fled in horror, and the golf cart was quickly disappearing below the surface. No problem I thought as I headed over with my ¾ Ton Chevy pickup that in addition to pulling the Airstream is also fully capable of pulling a 100 foot tall Douglas Fir out of the ground by the roots .

As I drove ever so slightly off the road to attempt a retrieval, I suddenly felt the truck begin to sink faster than George Bush’s approval ratings. This cannot be happening I thought as I continued to sink further. In just moments, I was up to my axles in SMUD and hopelessly stuck. As the sun was already beginning to sink, much like I was, I decided to come back the next day before attempting to rescue my vehicle, hoping perhaps that tiny Texas gnomes would be kind enough to dig it out during the night. Much to my chagrin, there it was the next morning, still buried to the axles, and still going nowhere. Now I have been stuck in the mud before, but this SMUD is not like anything I have ever seen this far from the beach. I once watched a full-size pickup sink beneath the sand completely on the Oregon Coast, and for awhile, I was afraid that would be my fate as well. Pretty soon though, a few good souls but especially my friend Armando pitched in to help me out, and through a combination of manpower and horsepower, finally managed to free me from what I can only describe as quicksand.

Just a word of advice should you ever find yourself in the middle of Texas surrounded by SMUD. Stay “on the roads at all times”!

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