Or just get stuck in it…
This past weekend I had the distinct privilege of getting acquainted with some good ‘ol Wisconsin country field road mud.
The morning started out by dragging our butts out of bed at 5:30 a.m. in anticipation of a great sunrise shoot in the Leon Valley just South of Sparta, WI. We arrived the evening before at the Justin Trails B&B and after dinner we heard the sand hill cranes across the way in the farmer’s marsh singing their songs. After speaking with Donna (innkeeper) and being informed that the neighbor didn’t mind visitors our plan was quickly formulated. The car was all set, camera gear – check; so with mugs of coffee in-hand we set off. Our destination was only two short miles or so away. Drive right to the marsh, find the cranes, catch the sunrise reflection off the water; maybe catch the cranes in the background or silhouetted - Easy-peasy right? A well hatched plan took a different course when I made a poor decision that a.m. in the early light. There are no signs that say “Puddles may be deeper than they appear” or “This mud is unbelievably squishy” because that is common sense; of which I exercised none. I knew the moment just after we entered the puddle that it was a bad idea. Hindsight is so wonderfully brilliant. It would have been a more solid plan to stick to the farmer’s driveway rather than his field road.
Stuck we were. We made an attempt at installing larger limbs in the tires path in an effort to get the tires to grab something, but the mud’s grip was too much. At one point while trying to free the car, someone might have receive a free all-natural spa treatment – sorry honey for that mud bath – from a spinning wheel
All the commotion had pretty much driven away all wildlife in our immediate area. Our sunrise options were rather limited now and the clock was ticking. We left the car behind and walked back out on that muddy field road to more solid ground. Our setup for sunrise was in a rolling pasture instead . It wasn’t quite what I had envisioned but it was a colorful vision non-the-less.
Leon Valley Sunrise
After sunrise we made our way [on foot] back to the B&B. Our shoes and pants thoroughly covered in mud. I met Donna in the lodge and confessed by poor choice of the morning whilst the aroma of bacon and freshly brewed coffee wafted about. She advised that the neighbor was an early riser and I would likely find him up around 7:30.
View on the way to the farmer’s house
I took a nice long walk back to house. The neighbor’s home is nicely situated part way up and on a carved out portion of a hillside. There is a spectacular view of Leon Valley from his doorstep. A view I took the opportunity to capture. You can get a sense for how long the driveway is from the image below.
Joe Schaitel is one of the nicest farmers you could ever hope to meet. After apologizing for my early morning intrusion I briefly explained my situation. He very kindly and generously offered to help me out without the slightest hesitation or question.
He towed me out of that mud hole and then a bit farther down that field road just to be sure. I offered up an appreciative sum to which he quickly declined. His tractor made short work of my dilemma. I can’t say enough about the kindness afforded me – the complete stranger – by this farmer – in this beautiful area of Wisconsin. It is great to meet wonderful people like Joe along your travels.
After several “thank you’s” and appreciative chat I was on my way back to the B&B to have breakfast with my sweetie. I could smell the bacon and taste the coffee. Cyndie just happened to be right there at the driveway to capture my muddy blunder. It was an eventful morning and the details of it all provided for a day’s worth of jokes. If you can’t laugh at the stupid things you do from time to time…well, laugh at the stupid things other people do. I prefer the latter.