Playing in the mud

SCHUYLER FALLS - "It started with three trucks and look at where we are now," said Joshua Dashnaw, as he looked out at more than a dozen trucks.

What began as "a couple of buddies getting together to play in the mud," has grown to something greater - a group called the Mid-Day Mudders. The group started getting together in March with a want to "go mudding" with their trucks, ranging from stock vehicles to suped-up and lifted-up monster trucks. They just needed a place to go.

"And, you can't go on posted property. You'd get arrested," laughed Dashnaw.

That's where Dashnaw's father, Jeff, came in.

"He'd been after me to help him with a piece of land to do this, so I let them use some property I have back behind the barn," said Dashnaw's father. "I figured these kids today could be out doing other things so I'm glad they're doing this."

The area where the group runs their trucks was originally a cornfield and had recently become overgrown with grass, said Dashnaw. It took a lot of hard work to prepare the land for mudding, he said, but it was fun trying it out in the meantime.

"We were cleaning more grass out of our trucks than we were mud," said Dashnaw, with a big grin. "Now it's all mud."

Hundreds of hours of clearing the land, hauling in thousands of gallons of water and digging a trench with the help of Ormsby Trucking in Morrisonville made it happen.

"We put about 20,000 to 25,000 gallons of water in that trench the first week. We hauled some serious water," said Dashnaw. "It's a lot of work behind the scenes."

And, the work doesn't stop. Even though the land was primed for perfect mudding conditions, it still takes thousands of gallons of water each week to keep the site ready to use. The club, which consists of a core group of 15-20 volunteers, works hard on the land on an almost daily basis. Most recently, the Mid-Day Mudders got together for a Fourth of July barbecue and mudding exhibition. It wasn't an easy task, said club member Bill Lawson of Plattsburgh.

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