Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Best Mud Driving Story Ever: Monroe Mountain

My brother, Rob, is up in the mountains in Arizona right now and it has been very rainy so I've been hearing about how difficult driving in the mud is for them at their property.  This reminded me of my best mud driving story ever.

My son Adam, the oldest by 4 minutes, was visiting me in the year 2000 when I lived in Monroe, a small town in central Utah.  He was on leave from the US Navy.  My property was right at the base of Monroe Mountain. We had been cooped up in the house for several days because of heavy rains.  Finally a blue day dawned and Adam talked me into going for a drive.

He took the wheel and was driving my 1988 Toyota Corolla, 5 speed standard transmission, front wheel drive hatchback.  I was riding shotgun.  He headed up the paved road to the mountain.  We should have been alerted or alarmed by mud washing across the pavement in places.but apparently we didn't notice.

Now - you need to realize that the Corolla, with either Adam or his twin brother Matt, driving, carried with it a subversive, secretive "Fight Club"like reputation that included phrases such as "it jumped from..." and "we four wheeled..." spoken in a whisper anytime I was around and included at a minimum, three wide eyed cousins who had seen their short preteen lives flash before their eyes when they "ran to the store" in the Corolla with their older, daring, teenage cousins, Adam and/or Matt.

So Adam heads up the mountain where the pavement soon ends.  We slogged our way through two switchbacks carved into the side of mountain.  The road surface was a 12 inch deep, soggy, slippery clay.  In an attempt to lighten the load, when it became clear that forward progress was stopped, he ordered me out of the car onto the muddy road to see if that would help.  It did not help and only succeeded in covering my then 32 hour old pair of white, leather Adidas sneakers with said mud.  I got back in the car, bringing with me 9 pounds of wet clay, and we sat there for a few minutes.  I went on and on about how we needed to get out and walk down while it was still light so we could call fro a ride and an unlikely tow.

Blah, blah, blah, BLAH is I'm sure what Adam heard - like Charlie Brown's mother's voice - yeah just like that..

Suddenly he says, "Mom!  Hold on!" which I think means he wants me to stop talking but that he means literally and he instantly starts back down the mountainside road as fast as the car will go in reverse.  I don't know what I said but I'm sure there was some kind of protest.  He reached the upper switchback and did some crazy, ass, double clutch, shifting kind of nonsense and some-freakin-how spins the car 180 degrees so we were now pointed downhill.  Then he calmly shifted into first gear and drives back down the slippery mountain road.

Back on the pavement I yelled at him the rest of the way home about how absolutely fucking, stupid and dangerous that was.  It was just a miracle that we didn't slide into or slide off the side of the mountain.  But inside I'm like "Daham! Now that's badass driving!"  He didn't stop grinning the whole rest of the visit.

Here's a picture of a 1988 Toyota Corolla.  Mine was white with "Toyota" stenciled in large, blue letters on each side.

And here is Adam driving.  He was out of the Navy when this picture was taken.  I don't think he would have been sporting those sideburns while enlisted.
Peace be with you and all that jazz.
Copyright - (c) - Chardale Irvine - 2012.  All rights reserved.  This article may not be republshed or reprinted without the express, written consent of Chardale Irvine.  Thank you.


  1. Replies
    1. Oh my gosh! Many months later I see your comment! Thanks for reading and visiting. Hope all is well.

  2. Replies
    1. Thx babe:) the phrase 'a piece of work' usually has negative connotations though;)

  3. If you're reading this story about Adam and enjoying it you may be able to help him with a fun birthday project for his daughter Cadence. Here's the link: And thx in advance!!!