Terry: Got my fill of mud bogging back in the day

I never thought I would see the day mud bog races would be on the schedule at Pioneer and Heritage Days in Clovis and Portales. I think we might be able to pull it off this year if the rain keeps up.

Karl Terry

Karl Terry

I remember years ago they would run mud bog races on ESPN. In those days the rigs were mostly rail jobs they put oversize tires from spray rigs onto, then souped up an engine and attached a snorkel to it to run.

I remember they ran head-to-head in heats of two around an oval track where mostly it was mud and a few humps until they came to what they called the sippy hole, where you could lose your rig if you hit it wrong. They looked a little like a cross between a truck and air boat since they would actually mostly float across the sippy hole.

These days you can catch YouTube video of mud boggin’ where folks run rigs more akin to monster trucks than anything else with huge tires underneath a pickup body with some of the craziest suspension set ups ever.

I never was much for mud bogging, mainly because I grew up in eastern New Mexico and if there was a mud hole to negotiate it was usually because someone’s irrigation water got out or a walking sprinkler got hung up.

I probably got more mudding experience running rural paper routes than anything else. On a motor route you knew before you got there where the mud holes were going to be.

With a two-wheel drive vehicle it was important to know just how much speed you needed to get through a particular spot and how deep it would be. Miscalculate and you would be walking to the end of the road to find a telephone or a farmer with a tractor nearby.

If you paid attention, folks would tell you what roads and fields you needed to stay out of when it was muddy.

Just such an occasion occurred one year during wheat harvest out on the Caprock near the metropolis of McAlister. My dad wound up sick or in the hospital, which didn’t stop him during wheat harvest but it just happened the farm we had just pulled onto didn’t have anything that was dry enough to cut.

We had taken some of the equipment up the night before and Farmer John had warned us that we didn’t want to leave equipment in a certain field if it looked like rain. So that’s naturally where we parked stuff.

It apparently came a pretty good rain after we left that night but dad sent a couple of us out anyway to size the situation up and move stuff if that field was too muddy.

After a morning of mud bogging on the caprock we finally managed to get the pickup back out of the field and head back home. We knew the old man wasn’t going to be happy but we also knew better than to tear something up without dad there.

But sure enough the next day he arises from a sick bed and moves every piece of equipment out of that lake bed.

Three lessons I learned that day:
• Dad woulda made a great mud bog racer.
• Take heed when a local warns of mud.
• And, finally, you can’t compete in a borrowed rig.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:
karlterry@yucca.net