Bayous By The Beach
Southern Florida is a place that often conjures thoughts of golf courses, glitzy South Beach, and heavy humidity. Anyone who has ever visited the lower portion of the state, and more specifically Miami, is well aware of the vast saturation of water that lines the landscape inside and out. What this means for wheeling enthusiast in the area is that you either like to wheel in mud or you travel far to get away from it. And while tractor tires and mega mud monsters rule the roost in the panhandle, there are still plenty of everyday wheelers that like to mix it up in the murky waters.
Since we’re always up for a little mudslinging action we slid on our flip-flops, grabbed the brightest Hawaiian shirt we could find, and headed down to the sunny shores of Miami. To get a dose of some of the local wheeling action, we met up with Roco 4x4 shop owner Ricardo Olavarrieta. He and his solid-axle Xtrerra, known as the Iguana, participated in last year’s Ultimate Adventure representing the Florida-based Bubba Rope. Seeing how Florida is the home of both epic mud wheeling and the recovery rope gurus it only made sense for us to take a visit.
For our Florida wheeling adventures we hit one of the nearby private wheeling spots. While the old ratio of “one hour in the mud equals two hours in the shop” (or at the pressure washer) still rings true, it didn’t stop the locals from powering through some eerily deep pits. Most wheelers got the most out of their recovery gear on this rainy weekend, and we even had the chance to revive an engine that put too much water into its air and fuel diet. Overall we found Southern Florida to have plenty of high-end flash, but were happy to spend time on the dirtier side of the up-lit palms.