September 22, 2010


This adventure will display roughly 120 photos for you to enjoy, so it is recommended by the administration that you grab a handful of chilled Twisted Tea from the store before viewing, and just when you get to this point press play on Depeche Mode’s ”People are People.” It’s an executive decision, and as you’ll see, you should just listen to those in a case like this.


    The set here is a promise Sammi made a few months ago. “I’ll get muddy once in September.” I could swear she said twice but..














































































































































































































































































































































































































































 

    We made this set on a Monday afternoon when we’d both called in sick to work. Sometimes you just have to do that. We’d been going back and forth for months on a number of different outfits she’d wear if we were to get muddy, but there were a lot of variables, such as What Mud? What Weather? What Mood? Things of that nature...

    So when the time came to head into the woods (we had a good three hours of freedom) Sammi declared “If we go I’m wearing leather.” I’ve learned to not argue, and this jacket in particular has been at the top of my personal list for about five years.

Getting a little Twisted

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In fact, as you can see in this mini-gallery, we’d been planning on it enough for Sammi to take a bunch of clean photos.

Click me for clean photos

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    There was some discussion about footwear, since I was aiming for something I’d seen her wear before and therefore had more of an attachment to, but to her credit Sammi said after a while “I’m making an executive decision,” and she put on her new thigh-high flat heel leather boots. When I protested “But those are new! You barely even got to wear them...” she quickly responded “Right, which is why I am wearing them now.” She made it sound like I had no clue what was going on. So I opened a beer, continued getting stuff ready, and smiled to myself in the knowledge that she’d be MUCH happier wearing what she wanted. And a Happy Sammi is a Rambunctious Sammi, and if we’ve learned anything Sammi is best in the mud when she’s tipsy and rambunctious. She was enjoying her third Twisted Tea as we head out the door into our local woods.

Here’s Sammi taking a quick rest in a grassy clearing for some more clean photos. Her jacket is a $120 leather garment that, aside from once in the shower has never been wammed and was worn regularly to work and social functions for many years. The boots cost $90 from a leather website and were always meant to be wrecked (she’s been trying for a long time but I always wanted to save them.) Her leather gloves cost $60 and are her “good pair” that fit perfect, are nice and long up the arm, and were all her idea to include. “If I’m wrecking all this nice stuff I can’t hold back,” she said. “Who knows when we’ll get to do this again? And besides, now you have something to buy me.” She also has on jeans, tall socks, and a white mock turtleneck designer sweater.

Oh yeah, the other thing in a day of cosmic perfection: While she was getting ready Sammi managed to rip the leather on this jacket by the left pocket. “See, it was meant to be. Now I have to wreck this jacket today,” she said. “Now I can never wear it out again. Huh? No, I didn’t rip it on purpose.

(rip)

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    Now, these woods were not my first choice of a place to go for this sort of thing because there isn’t great mud that’s easy to get to. But since it’s been very dry around here I knew the nearby river was low, and knew this one spot I’d found once where there’s a lake and at the top of that lake when the water is low there’s this really deep, thick black semi-organic mud. Sammi was still into it after I’d explained where we’d be going and how difficult it was to get to (we’d been near it a couple times but this time required a different route... the geography here is not rookie-hiker friendly.)

    The first half-mile is on a gentle trail with a slight incline. After that it’s about two miles of up and down climbing on unsettled, loose rocky terrain filled with small boulders that like to roll when stepped on, with nothing to guide us but my instincts. Literally. I’d never walked directly to this spot before but always came across it. Luckily my woodland instincts rock.


    Anyways, here’s Sammi after coming down one of the long steep hills (the photos don’t do it justice.) And yes... yes, she decided to make the entire hike in her thigh-high boots, even though I had spare sneakers in my backpack for her.

   And here she’s crossing one of the streams that’s usually moving pretty good. Remember, this is 45 minutes into the journey and we have no idea if there’s even mud at the end. I had already resigned myself to just getting some on-location dry photos.

   Finally, after an hour of labor (and a few Twisted Teas consumed along the way) we’d reached our destination. Sammi here takes a well-deserved break and agrees to an interview.

    “Holy shit! My legs feel like jelly! Do we have to walk back that same way? No? Is the way home easier? No?! Well, at least it’s a beautiful day. I don’t regret coming this far at all. Wait, was this part of your plan? To get me all tired so I fall over and over in the mud? It was, wasn’t it! Or was it to get me buzzed so I’d do that? Whatever. I love being buzzed.

    It was a beautiful day, too. 65 degrees, totally sunny, no bugs floating in the air anywhere, no humidity.

The area with the mud. Crickit the Dog is checking things out for us while I get out all the supplies...

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... and while Sammi takes a few self portraits.

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   As Sammi got ready I remained skeptical and went to examine the mud. You can see a couple photos of that here:  Brad

    I wasn’t convinced because there was a trace of organic odor (nothing bad, but she usually hates that) and a bunch of sticks and logs under the surface, which I did my best to get rid of. But when I came out she look at me (again) like I was clueless. “What do mean it’s no good? You’re covered everywhere it touched you. I’m totally going in... I didn’t come this far to stay clean.

    I am not making this up. She was fucking determined to get in there. First she sent me back in to, as she said, “Show me exactly what you want me to do. Don’t tell me shit. Just get in there and do it.” So I did.

    And then after a quick wash of my hands, Sammi got geared up to get muddy.

    Oh yeah, and the other thing: This mud is deep and has no easy entry point. It took about five steps for Sammi to get her boot stuck. There’d be more photos of this but I had to pull her out.

    Then she made it into the deeper stuff. (This mud goes out a ways but is more water the further out)

    Sammi is legitimately stuck here, and not exactly happy I am laughing wildly instead of helping her.

It wasn’t until her boot came halfway off that I had to put the camera down again and help her get free.

   Sammi was very impressed with this mud, and really just wanted to get to the one spot about four feet in where there was submerged tree she could stand on and then properly fall in.

   She eventually found a way to just fall in on her own, though.

    Now of course I had requests but was being reserved because this was already a lot to ask, but she just kept rolling and going under more. At some point she even asked if she should dunk her whole head under (duh) but we decided it was a safety issue (mud in the eyes with a walk home like that, fuck knows what’s living in mud like this, etc.) But she just kept pushing her head as low as she could.


Sammi: “Ew, it got in my ears... Does that happen to you?

Out in the kind-of fresh cleaner water...

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...and then right back for more.

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We both loved this (well me more than her) as her hair became one giant muddy dredlock in the back for a bit.

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And laughing her way out of the mud into the cleaner water towards a downed tree.

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She asked me to come join her for a few minutes.. the water here is about chest-deep but has a lot of submerged trees to stand on.

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...Back for more mud. The water temperature was absolutely perfect. I do believe that if we had enough drinks and no time limit, she would have stayed for a few hours, just rolling around and laughing.

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Sammi is trying to pull herself out here but the mud at the edge was heavy on the boot-suction.

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So she kind of gave up, remembered the boots, and rolled over demanding I get them on film.

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To the log and back again.

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Click me

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An almost pointlessly dark ridiculously quick clip of Sammi coming back from the log.

Please don’t post this video clip, or any clips from this page, on YouTube or anyplace else.

Thank you.

There was supposed to be something about her falling in backwards properly, which she did try, but these two are all I got of it.

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Click me

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She did continue her long mud rolling spree for me as I took a video clip on the camera, though. I wish it were well lit in HD, but it’s still fun.

Please don’t post this video clip, or any clips from this page, on YouTube or anyplace else.

Thank you.

(This clip is much longer and better lit.)

And this is the last wiggle out you get to see. The camera batteries died after the last photo you see, which sucks because there are no good after-shots, but was awesome because I was able to put down the camera and focus on just having some real fun with my incredibly awesomely wonderful dearly beloved wife. (insert wicked grin here.)



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    So that’s the end of what you get to see. After the wash off in the little lake, another rinse from a gallon of water, and a change of clothes for Sammi, it was a long slow slog uphill for a few miles across a different set of loose, rocky, slippery steep hills before a shower. Actually, it took Sammi three to get her hair clean. But through the cleaning she listened to her favorite music and drank another Tea, and we laughed and rejoiced at how lucky we are to get to share such wonderful moments together.


    We would really like to get back to this mud soon but because of the effort involved there is no telling if it will happen. Maybe if you can help me convince her? (hint hint)

We hope you enjoyed this bit of love, and would like it if you’d take the time to bradandsammi@gmail.com us to say thanks. Your support through your kind words are the only reason moments like this aren’t kept just between Sammi and myself. Think about it, and please send a word or ten.


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Thee End