Order Tara's Bicycle Touring Cookbook Today!

Stuck in the Mud

by Tara

We're three days late, but we've finally made it to Deanne's place. Before we motor our lumbering circus down her sloping drive and onto the large clearing she uses for parking, we hop out of the truck to scout the safest route. After a bit of deliberation, we decide to pull in at the far end and circle around, hopefully avoiding a situation where we'll need to do any serious trailer backing—an art neither of us has mastered. As we put our plan into action, the skies open up and rain begins to fall.

Strawbale Studio Road

Down by the clearing, I direct Tyler in, waving my arms like a landing signal officer. The truck churns onto the clearing, dragging the trailer along with it. Almost immediately, all progress halts as tires spin and mud flies everywhere. Even though the truck is in four wheel drive, we're not going anywhere. We are officially screwed.

Unsure what to do, Tyler decides to attempt unhooking the camper so he can maneuver the truck into a different position. He's hoping he can re-attach it at a different angle, one where at least two of the truck's tires are on the road. As he unhooks the hitch, I look on in disbelief, shaking my head at the unfolding horror...

Tyler Unhitching the Camper

We're using a wooden block to hold up the trailer jack, and it's slowly sinking into the sticky, sodden earth. In slow motion, the block slips out from under the jack, and the trailer falls with a sickening *thunk*. I can't believe this is happening. Our trailer hitch is now resting in the mud. Now we can't jack it up or down—we'd only be drilling the stand into the ground.

Meanwhile, night has fallen, as have our spirits. Tyler rummages through our truck, looking for the emergency scissor jack and a headlamp. Twenty minutes and a huge mess later, he successfully jacks up the camper, and secures the wooden block firmly underneath the stand. With the camper stabilized, we admit defeat for the time being. It's going to be a miracle if we get this thing out.

Tyler Jacking up the Camper

In order to cap the evening off with some semblance of order, we try to park our truck next to the camper. It's hopeless. The wheels start spinning, and we lose traction again. Clinging to the last vestiges of our frayed nerves, we back up, and drive instead to the tiny parking area next to Deanne's house. Tyler feels awful about the huge track marks we've left in our wake, but I'm far past the point of caring.

Truck On Muddy Road

Sitting in the passenger's seat, tears streaming down my face, my lungs are heaving and lurching in heavy sobs. I shake my head in awe at what feels like the sheer horribleness of our current drama, bewildered by just how badly this drive to Vermont is going, wondering what the hell kind of cosmic joke is being played on us.

So far, this whole experience feels more like my worst nightmare than a dream come true. I'm too distraught to think clearly, and the words spewing out of my mouth are freaked-out, hateful, unfiltered, irrational diarrhea.

How the fuck are we ever going to get out of here? We're going to be stuck here forever. I don't want to be here, I don't want to be around people right now, and I hate our fucking boat anchor of a trailer. I'm wet and cold, and I'm on my period, and my back is in excruciating pain, and we're stuck in the mud, and we're probably going to eat some fucking hippy fermented mung bean soup for dinner.

We are never ever ever going to make it to Vermont! I just want to go home. But we have no home! We've painted ourselves into this awful corner, and we're in way over our heads. If we had any sense, we'd surrender and say "Fuck it. Universe, you're right. We give up. You obviously do not want us to see this stupid fucking adventure through."

In the end, I find myself in Deanne's warm house, fingers wrapped around a mug of tea, my tangled emotions slowly smoothing out. Deanne is a calming presence as always, and we make friends with her interns, Kari and Garret. Later, we meet her spunky neighbors, who stop by to deliver farm-fresh eggs. The story they share of following their dreams to restore an old farm warms our spirits further.

Eventually, I find myself smiling, laughing, and surrendering, trusting that everything will work out in the morning. A few hours later, when we're settled in for the night, Tyler and I snuggle together and talk about the events of the day. We decide that this whole following-your-dreams business is hard. We know we're pushing our limits when we find ourselves saying things like, "I'm getting too old for this shit and I'm only 28!"

Is all of this effort really going to be worth it?

Somehow, I know that it will be.

Previous Entry
Checking In


You can do it, and it will all be worth it!! There are many of us invisible readers in the cyber world rooting for you and feeling inspired by you. Thank you!
Posted by Jessica on January 30th, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Thank you, Jessica! I appreciate your vote of confidence, and it means a lot to me to know that you're out there, cheering us on!

Thankfully, things have smoothed out, now that we're settled on our land. Only a couple more grumpy posts to write until they get good again. All of the craziness to get here was definitely worth it. :-)
Posted by Tara on January 30th, 2013 at 3:23 PM
Wow, reading all of these posts in a row... after each one I said to myself, "wow, that sucks" and the next one was just as bad... Some say that nothing worth doing is easy and that if you couldn't handle the challenge, it wouldn't happen to you - but I don't think that helps! What I do know though is that you two are amazingly strong and resilient and that in the end, everything will turn out just right. Maybe, like you said, you just need to take it slow... it will happen though, and it will be amazing!
Posted by Magalie on January 30th, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Some times life calls for pissy tantrums. I find they help me purge, wallow in my own misery for a moment (or sometimes days - yeah, it's not pretty) and then I snap out of it in an almost-defiant mood. Challenges make you stop and question yourself : Is this really what I want? Is this really where I want to put my life energy right now? Of course, you two already know all this. Thanks for sharing your story of temporary-woe.
Posted by Sheila on February 10th, 2013 at 12:15 PM
how was the hippy fermented mung bean soup BTW?
Posted by Naomi on November 9th, 2013 at 9:18 PM