If the folks in eastern Missouri woke up one morning and found that all of the paved roads had magically turned to mud, they'd probably be ecstatic. Anyway that's our take after spending New Year's Day in Bloomsdale, Missouri, at the J&N Entertainment and 310 Off Road New Year's Day Mud Bash presented by Custom Differentials.
Commonly referred to as simply "Mud Bash," this year marked the tenth anniversary of this gooey event. It's held at the J&N Entertainment 4-Wheel Park, which is adjacent to Custom Differentials. Jeremy Naeger is the owner of Custom Differentials. If that name sounds familiar, it's because he's a former Top Truck Challenge competitor and a long-time wheeler. He and his shop are well known for everything from standard axle rebuilds all the way to some of the most rugged, incredible axles you can bolt under your rig. Naeger actually started the Mud Bash back in 1999, and over the years, it has morphed into what it is today. So, what is it today?
Well, it's a one-day event where people are invited to simply explore the Park's mud pits at their own speed. It's as simple as that. Mud Bash doesn't burden people with a structured schedule of events. An uptight schedule just won't fly on New Year's Day. The event is designed to be a stress-free day of hanging out with other wheelers in an environment that celebrates a natural phenomenon found when moisture merges with dirt. In fact, Missourians seem to be in harmony with mud. Not that mud doesn't fight back every now and then. And if these wheelers think cleaning all the mud off their rigs at the end of the day is a pain, they're not saying.
This year's Mud Bash drew around 2,000 people and about 200 four-wheel drive rigs. Free giveaways, music, and available food all combined with a bit of horsing around in the mud to create a laid back, fun day. For more info on the 2010 Mud Bash or any of the other events held throughout the year at the J&N Entertainment 4-Wheel Park, visit www.custom-differentials.com.
While wandering around we found this '89 Wrangler owned by Andy Webb of Bonne Terre, Missouri. This rig has an interesting story. Webb's buddies built it while he was serving overseas in the Air Force. Webb says, "[It] wouldn't have gotten done without them." The Jeep has a heavily modified 258ci engine, locked Ford 8.8-inch rear axle, Rough Country 4-inch suspension lift, Dick Cepek wheels and 35-inch Mickey Thompson MTZ tires. It also sports a CJ hood and grille, customized YJ fenders, CJ tailgate, custom dash and a modified Poison Spyder 'cage.
You may remember Phillip McGilton's '83 Chevy K10 pickup from Top Truck Challenge 2007. McGilton brought the truck to Mud Bash and was entertaining the crowd with some big air jumps and mud action when he augered the driver side front wheel into a dirt berm after a jump. The resulting damage ended the Chevy's day.