"So you could imagine just...
"So you could imagine just how proud I was when I realized a couple of thousand people had made the trek to the Extreme Mud Challenge..."
For those who thrive on riding quads and continually experiencing the adventure of the great outdoors much like myself, it's likely you'd agree that the dreary and frigid winter months can become a bit monotonous. In Georgia, our winters might be considered mild in comparison to other states, but riding on those colder days can prove to be quite miserable. Add in a little freezing cold rain, and it can literally shut down any fun-filled days out on the trail you might have planned. So maybe you can understand that after being cooped up in the house for several months in a row with very little ride days in between, I was literally ready to burst! That is, until I received some exciting news about a massive ATV-specific event headed to Georgia. The event that saved winter was called the Extreme Mud Challenge!
Before the sun ever peaked its radiant head above the trees, I had my camera gear packed into my truck and pulled a three-hour solo drive to Talbotton, Georgia. Nestled deep into the wooded backcountry resides the Extreme Mud Challenge's hosting ride spot, Paradise Farms ATV Park. After blasting down a couple of miles of dirt roads, I was surprised when I came upon a line of trucks and trailers waiting to get in the gates. I know what you're thinking, why surprised, isn't this pretty standard for large events? The sad reality is that Georgia struggles to pull good numbers for ATV-specific events unless it's a National race series such as the GNCC, ATVA MX or the Championship Mud Racing (CMR). Honestly, it surprises me as our trail systems are infiltrated with plenty of ATV riders on any given weekend. So you could imagine just how proud I was when I realized a couple of thousand people had made the trek to the Extreme Mud Challenge and were still pouring in.
The day had already kicked off on the right foot as I was out of the house, we had a large crowd attending the event and, to top it off, it was sunny and warm outside. Really, does life get any better than this? Once I was finally settled in, I immediately caught up with the promoters of the event: Kevin Palmer, CMR promoter, and Dewayne Hill of Submarine Snorkels. Both of these guys will be the main guys behind the 2009 CMR series and had assured me that today's events would be well worth the drive. As I strolled through vendors' row, it was cool to see companies such as Dynojet, Submarine Snorkels, Arctic Cat and many local dealers displaying their hottest new products and accessories. Being the people watcher that I am, it was great just chilling back for a little while and watching a ton of riders strolling around and checking everything out.
After a while, I began getting a little anxious to get out on the trails and explore the park and some of the events that they had planned. This place was very well organized, as all of the paths are one way with arrows leading you to various trails and mud bogs. All along the way, I would run into huge crowds of riders gathered daring and cheering on their buddies who decided to sink their quad deep into the various bogs and swamps littered throughout the park. I was even lucky enough to save the day for one young rider who had sucked water and was stranded alongside a trail. No worries, it's happened to me before and I can't even count all of the times that I've needed a tow. In order to keep good with karma, I towed this poor soul back to the parking area and immediately got back to exploring the park.
This Honda rider dove in deep...
This Honda rider dove in deep without the protection of a good snorkel kit! Hmmm!