A stiff, warm breeze has kicked the process of melting into high gear and mud season is upon us. Driving on an unpaved road can be an adventure this time of year, even for those who have experienced mud season before. Four wheel drive certainly helps, but so do ground clearance and a certain amount of good judgement.
We wondered all morning, Mrs. Gordon and I, if anyone would get stuck today and if so, whom. It’s early yet, so there is still time for my choices (the weekend people from New Jersey) to hit the ditch but they catch a bit of a break today by not being the first to get stuck in the mud of our road.
That honor goes to a tiny little car from Massachusetts.
I once came across a Hummer with Massachusetts plates, stuck in a ditch during mud season but did not have my camera along so I had to settle for laughing at the driver before shifting into low and leaving him behind, not even twenty yards up a hundred yard hill. It still bothers me to not have a photo of that Hummer in the ditch so when the driver of this car knocked sheepishly at the door, looking for help, I said, “Sure! Just let me grab my camera.”
Frankly, I’m surprised they made it this far up the side of Nonesuch Mountain and I’m not sure why they kept trying to go further, but they did, plowing with the skirting at the nose of the car until they were stopped dead in their tracks. I did give them credit, though, for staying out of the ditch.
Of course I’m going to take pictures.
It doesn’t look like things will be drying out any time real soon — and I certainly don’t expect people will stay off our road — so maybe we can look forward to more entertainment like this in the next couple of weeks. And if, as I’m taking pictures before pulling you out, you ask how (other than a large 4×4 truck) I avoid becoming stuck in this springtime morrass, I will tell you I just don’t go out and about. That’s not dry Yankee humor; it’s good judgement.
You don’t need clearance if you have a low front skirt to push all that mud aside.
Guess we’ll keep our Saturns out of that quagmire for a while! Say, we saw your Fish in a Barrel Pond loons down off the shore of Sachuest Point, RI last weekend. They asked us if the ice was out yet and we said “don’t think so–better stick to the salt water a mite longer”
Clif – it might also be a horsepower issue. The mud flows back in as you slow down, building up behind the skirt. That don’t sound right, does it?
Buggyd – I’d like to take your picture, too, but stay away for a while! Robins and disappointed geese this morning, along with a horde of grackles and a rough legged hawk! I expect to see a loon an hour after ice out.
No asphalt there? I suppose the ice would just push it all over when winter thawed? Forgive my ignorance on the subject….I’ve heard of “mud season” in VT and ME, but never figured out why ya’ll just don’t get a big ole dump truck and haul it over to Jersey. 😉
Owl, a lot of it comes down to money. Our village, depending on the source, only has around 500 full time residents scattered over 26 square miles. I don’t remember the figure for how many miles of road our crew maintains, but the cost of new road beds, shoulders, drainage and asphalt would be in the millions. Then, of course, there would be the costs of maintaining and repaving. Our current annual road budget, set at Town Meeting, is just under $474,000. With fewer than a dozen full timers on our three mile stretch it just doesn’t make sense to pave.
Besides, we have to have some entertainment after a long, hard winter.
On the BIG POND we have lake trout, known here as mud puppies. Seems you have the habitat but no swimmers, I would be happy to import some to VT for additional prespring fun. Enjoy your solitude, it will end too soon.
Most entertaining. I will be certain never to visit you in the spring.