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Down & Dirty
By Brian Beckley
Joe Tucker stood on the hood of his 1988 Chevy Blazer and waited to be pulled from the three feet of mud he had sunk himself in.
The water over his exhaust pipe gurgled and sputtered as the chain was attached to the front of his truck. He attached the hook stretching from Brad Ziemke's bulldozer to the front of his bumper and climbed back in through the window, Dukes of Hazard-style.
After being pulled out, Tucker just shrugged when asked why he thought his unlifted and unmodified truck could make it through the swampy mess behind Farm Fresh Produce's pumpkin patch.
“It's worth a shot,” he said with a laugh.
Tucker wasn't alone in needing to be dragged out, however. Ziemke, who owns Farm Fresh produce with his wife, Heather, estimated he has to pull out 90 percent of the drivers who try their luck at the deepest of three mud tracks that run through the back of his property.
“Last week I pulled one guy out six times,” he said.
But the Ziemkes don't mind since they charge extra for having to yank a truck out of the muck.
“It's $5 to go and $10 every time I've got to pull you out,” Heather Ziemke said.
This is the second year Farm Fresh has opened its mud bog to four-wheel drive vehicles following the Halloween season. Last year, it began with a challenge.
Brad Ziemke bet a friend $100 he couldn't make it through the farm's “tractor ride path gone bad,” as his wife called it.
“He couldn't make it through so I charged him $10 to pull him out,” Brad said.
Among those trying their luck and testing their trucks this year were A.J. Berkey of Buckley and Jon Duprie of Enumclaw. Both made it through the bog with little problem on Friday, though Duprie admitted he had already been pulled out once.
“I'll throw some more mud in it,” Brad Ziemke said. “You guys got out of that too easy.”
Brian Beckley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.