South Florida rednecks are a distinct bunch. They differ from those of other regions by their mixed breeding, the product of various diminutive sub-species such as the flighty Cuban Cowboy. These days, they mostly inhabit preserves left untouched by progress. Think Homestead and Florida City.
And on clear mornings, while the rest of the city flocks to the beach, South Florida rednecks head south in great packs of swamp buggies and four-wheelers, congregating at a track of wetlands called The Hump for a day of mudding. We went along for a ride this past weekend, and have brought back a step-by-step guideline for fitting in with the locals and maximizing your fun in the slop.
Here's video from our hump in the mud:
Note: If you're filming, you've got to go where the camera goes, which
usually means out the window while everyone else is rolling up theirs.
Expect a lot of black snot.
Step 1: Get yourself an old beater truck.
It doesn't have to look pretty; it just has to run. By 9 a.m., we were
under the frame of a Ford Explorer, raised about two feet or so, seeing
how we could help to change the steering valve. The night before had
been spent marinating 120 pounds of chicken for the smoker, and by the
time we had loaded the truck onto the trailer, 20 pounds of hotdogs we'd
taken out to thaw were sweating through the cardboard box. thus, Step
2, has as much to do with your engine's power output as with anything
else in life: There's no such thing as overkill.
The Hump is named for a hammock that's surrounded by mucky lowlands,
perforated here and there by patches of saw grass and stringy pines.
Musician and redneck extraordinaire Jonny Cobbler showcased the spot in
his viral video, Take Me on Your Buggy.
After years of being raped by mud-tires, the area's looking a little
diabetic these days. We shredded a few miles of earth until every inch
of the front wheels were stuck deep. It took about 10 minutes of sitting
before a swamp buggy came along to pull us out, which brings us to Step
3: Have plenty of beer handy.
By noon, the paths were over-run by caravans of quads and trucks on
lift-kits. We were heading toward the prairie when we came across a
pile-up surrounding a bog. John, our driver, steered up and over the
ridge, tearing through brush and pines with enough American spirit to
make the EPA proud. As would be expected, we were thrown out of our
seats a few times, and while smacking our heads against the roof, Step 4
became very clear: Only cans in the truck.
Step 5: Dress appropriately.
That doesn't just mean remember to wear your play clothes. When we
jumped out of the truck, our legs sank through the mud to our knees. It
was too hot for long-sleeves, and our sandals were completely useless.
By the time the sun was going down, we were shirtless, barefoot, and so
full of beer and chicken that climbing back up into the truck was out of
Keeping this advise in mind, you'll really be able to go out and mix it
up with some local good old boys. Your farmer's tan might even impress a
few (we know ours did). But the last step is by far the most important:
Step 6: Keep an open mind. Rednecks come in all shapes, sizes, and
While out there, we ran into a Jamaican redneck, a couple Mexican and
Cuban rednecks, Jewish rednecks, and even a Hindi redneck. That's the
beauty of being south of the Ives Dairy: we've had to put up with each
other for so long that we're all finally jaded. Sure, you might hear
some jokes and slurs thrown around, but at the end of the day, we can
all share a common strap when our trucks are stuck.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!