It was just plain gross. Sure, there was the awesome three-wheeling that kicked off the trail ride. Not to mention the overwhelming display of brute strength during the all-day winchathon. And we'll fondly remember the violent breakage. All of it. But every extremely cool act of gumbo heroism was followed by hard hunks and wet downpours of hurling mud. We were wearing it, tasting it, and, yes, finding it days later in the most curious places. Nope, it doesn't get much messier-or livelier-than doing the mud thang. And Oregon is where it's at.
Oregon is home to the Foster Lake Mud Races, believed by many to be the biggest mud event nationwide. But mud-running doesn't stop there. Since it's raining for what seems like 364 days of the year in Oregon, bogging is as certain as death and taxes. And to prove just how gnarly mud can be, Central Cascade 4WD Club invited us to hit the muck with them. They introduced us to a county road that most of the local 'wheelers know as Bunker Hill. But this ain't your father's county road-we're talking 44s can almost dig to the hard-pack following heavy rain. Bunker Hill is one of the hottest E-tickets in Scappoose, which runs along the Columbia River about 15 miles northwest of Portland.
The Hill is also home to the Hangover Run every New Year's Day. For 15 years, hundreds have been making a resolution to celebrate the calendar change this way-but remember that although you'll have set up your truck for deep water and mud, you'll be on a county road so it's gotta be street-legal.
For more information about the Salem-based Central Cascade 4WD Club, contact its president, Bryan Fisher, at Dept. 4WOR, 5155 Gaffin Rd., Salem, OR 97301, 503/375-7916. To sign up for the Hangover Run (hurry, though, since it's limited to about 100 vehicles next year), write to Randy Haflich or Andy Anderson, Dept. 4WOR, 474 N. Sixth St., St. Helens, OR 97051.