Note: This is not a paid advertisement for Jeep. 

Have you ever been “mudding”? If you like communing with nature, driving (or riding) over rough trails, don’t  mind getting dirty, and have a sense of adventure, I recommend “mudding” in a 4 X 4. Yes, you need that four-wheel drive to get over or through some of the terrain in the mountains. Hills work if you don’t have mountains near by.

In my younger days, I lived in Tacoma, Washington. I worked mornings, so had the afternoons to drive up into the mountains, to downtown Seattle or to the coast.  All were just an hour away, in different directions. I had a Chevy-Luv pick-up myself and loved to drive the relatively flat, but steep, logging roads near Mt. Rainier. I would find a place to get my baby truck off the road, so a logging truck could get by if necessary, then just sit on my tailgate and let the wilderness view calm my inner self. Nothing like it.

Sometimes I went with a friend that had a larger pick-up. He knew where the trails were and he would drive carefully over tree roots, across small streams, and even over boulders. It was a very bumpy, but breathtakingly beautiful ride. I didn’t treat my truck like he did his, but then, he could fix his if something happened.

A new guy started working where I did that had a Jeep 4 X 4 . I wasn’t shy then, or afraid of much. I asked him if he went “mudding” and could I go too. He gave me an odd look, as he was quite a bit younger, but said, “Yeah. When do you want to go?” I don’t remember the timing, but I sure remember the experience. We went the day after a good rain, and instead of avoiding the water filled ruts on the logging roads, he drove straight into them, as fast as he dared. Then he looked for some rougher terrain to prove his jeep could make it through the mud without getting stuck. The thought process was like a child stomping in mud puddles to see how high the water will fly. And of course, the jeep was left dirty as a sign of a successful “mud run”. I must say, it was exhilarating. I didn’t pay as much attention to the scenery, but I could describe the moment of fear when the windshield was blackened by dirty water and you couldn’t see where you were going for a second.

Currently my old back wouldn’t be able to handle the bumpiness of a good “mudding” day, but I sure have a wonderful memory of the time I got to do it. I highly recommend doing it at least once, in a Jeep 4 X 4 if possible.