Oil and water do not mix.
But soil and water do. They make a slurry that’s a magnet for dirt bikers, ATV riders and a few truck drivers.
The third annual winter Tour de Farm on Saturday brought 20 off-road competitors to the Cook Brothers Farm in Carnation.
Dan Cook organizes this word-of-mouth event. He set out a three-quarter mile course on the hay and hog farm. The first obstacle was the hardest, a dip into a mud bog. Cook said the steady rain “guaranteed it’s going to be sloppy,” and he was right.
For professional rider Kody Clark, of Duvall, “dirt-bike riding is all about keeping it fun.” He loves the allure without 40 other riders. “Supercross is way too serious.”
Clark is friends with the other two dirt bikers, Blake Trimble and Tyler Hedberg. They tested the course slowly and avoided the center of the bog, where the water was deepest and would cut a rider’s time, or worse, cause an engine to stall.
On his first run Trimble took to the right side of the pit, rose up on his bike and parted the water, sending up waves on both sides. He was in the trough and emerged remarkably clean, as did the machine.
While only the top two times were supposed to advance for the championship heat, it was decided all three will ride. This is after all an informal, grassroots affair.
Clark entered the pit on the far right side and appeared to have a disadvantage with an outside track. But his goggles have a system that allows a plastic sheet to be pulled off, keeping some clear vision as mud built up. He finished the course first, covered in mud helmet to boots. Much came from Trimble’s bike at the first obstacle.
In an odd nod to the weather, the bike riders deployed giant golf umbrellas as they rested on their machines between heats. A few dozen spectators huddled under temporary shelters.
A highly modified Jeep Cherokee SUV with no driver’s door, large knobby tires and generous clearance took to the course. The lack of a door invited mud, and the driver and his rig returned in need of a good washing.
An appreciation for this emulsion is the stuff of poetry. As E.E. Cummings said, “The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.”