Everyone has something they spend their work week looking forward to. By Friday, more of my time is spent looking at the clock than actually working. For some people - it’s football. For others - it’s hunting. For me - it’s throwing dirt as far as possible, with my windows down and my speakers blasting.
There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush you get mid-power slide as you rip tracks deep into the mud of a wide open pasture. Don’t get me wrong, I love the puzzles that come with technical off-roading - from calculating ground clearance to eliminating wheel hop. But as a Texas boy, I’ve always been partial to my muddin.’
My first car was a 1998 3rd-Gen Toyota 4-runner. My parents had no idea what they had gotten me into. That summer I went mudding for the first time and was completely hooked. Obsessed with improving “The Muddership” as I called it back then, I began studying off-road magazines and web forums for hours on end. I'd get myself in trouble at school for drawing my favorite 4x4’s climbing on the words and illustrations of my textbooks. It was all I could think about. I saved money harder than ever before, taking as many youth soccer referee spots as I could cram into a weekend. I was determined to make that 4-runner turn heads.
I couldn’t contain my excitement when that first set of 3” spacers came in the mail. Together my best friend and I spent hours installing them in the driveway of my home. What we lacked in knowledge, we made up for with enthusiasm and YouTube videos. He saved his money and bought a 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee that following year and together we worked endlessly on our mud machines. Brad has probably had his hands on every upgrade I’ve put into the Muddership, and my new Tacoma for that matter. Everything from the multiple exhaust systems I’ve experimented with to my most recent upgrade, a steel bumper and winch system.
Brad and I still go mudding or find a challenging new off-road course at least once a month. We do it for the heart race you get when you’re not sure you’ll make it. We’ve spent hours pulling our cars out of the mud and even flipping them back on their wheels. I can handle the road noise associated with mud tires and the gas mileage they snake away from my bank account. I don’t mind the drive time it takes fighting traffic to get out of the city. It all feels worth it when I’m cutting donuts and blaring high-octane Punk music through the open windows of a machine I’ve made my own.
As the sun goes down, we park our filthy vehicles around the fire pit for an ice cold beer with friends, drawing a close to the perfect weekend – all the while dreading the fact that Monday is just around the corner!