Moffat County Mud Runs return with more success | CraigDailyPress.com
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Moffat County Mud Runs return with more success

Ben Bulkeley

— There might not be a more difficult drive in Craig.

Just 100 feet in length, more than 12 feet across and six feet deep, it reduces even the sturdiest off-road vehicles into roaring masses of immobile metal.

Welcome to the Wyman Living History Museum’s mud runs.

On Saturday, the Moffat County Mud Runs returned to the Wyman Museum, 94350 E. US Highway 40, for the second time this summer.

The third mud runs will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 8.

With plenty of sun and an abundance of murky water and thick mud, drivers in six classes vied for the fastest times through the pits.

Craig resident Opie Smith was one of the drivers who made it through the bog.

“It was pretty good today,” he said. “The pits are much better. They’re not as deep today.”

At the previous mud run May 30, persistent rainfall made the pits almost impassable, Smith said.

“The pits are brand new,” he said. “The last time, they were filled with water.”

There are two different types of mud pits, Smith said.

The first, like the two found at the Wyman Museum, are filled with ground water. The second type is filled with a water hose.

“I like it more when they spray it in,” Smith said. “That way you can control how much water there is. You don’t have to pump it out.”

The only machinery Smith needed to make it through in a crisp 13 seconds was an old pick-up truck.

The truck, a two-wheel drive 1968 Ford F-100 body on a 1970 Ford frame, was the first truck he ever purchased.

It is powered by a 390 cubic inch V8.

“You just need to get an old truck or four-by-four and come out to the runs,” he said.

Smith’s venture into the pits started when he was younger, he said.

“It was one of those ‘Hold my beer and watch this’ moments,” Smith said. “Where you don’t know if you can make it through unless until you find out.”

Smith’s truck certainly has seen its share of tough runs.

The transmission and torque converter have both been sheared to bits, and after one of the runs Saturday morning, he had to trailer the truck.

After his run was finished, with globs of gray mud the size of softballs smeared across his truck, Smith said he knew one way to get the stuff off his truck.

“I’m just going to go home and stick the sprinkler under it,” he said.

The best part of the mud runs is the moment when his truck clambers over the far end of the pit.

“Just making it through,” he said.

Loren and Laura Maybury made the drive from Meeker to blast through the pits.

“It was a good drive,” Loren said about his short blast through the pit. “I made it through.”

When he was in Craig for May’s mud runs, it was a little tougher to crawl through.

“It was way better than last time,” he said. “They’re learning. This is only the second time they’ve had them here. I have to give them credit, they’ve come a long way.”

Laura was riding shotgun with Loren as they clawed over the piles of mud.

“I’ve gone with my grandson, and whoever wants to take me,” she said.

The day did get dirty, however.

“I forgot to roll up my window,” she said, pointing to a chalky gray smear on her forearm.

Loren has been navigating his truck through mud pits for 15 years.

“It’s fun,” he said. “I guess you could call it good, clean fun.”

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795, or bbulkeley@craigdailypress.com.


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