I will never be clean again. Or dry.

Today we hauled logs down the hill in the rain. There was an absolute downpour, but we’d already said we were hauling logs, and somebody had brought the horse to help in the steep bits, so we did it anyway.
It was a sea of mud. In places the mud was deeper than our boots, and in other places it was a slick mess that sent us sliding this way and that. The rain was so heavy I didn’t bother wearing a jacket – I knew I’d be soaked through in minutes. Sure enough, before I was halfway up the hill my boots were full of water. By the time I was at the top, I was coated from head to toe in mud and soaked to the skin.

The clearing was an absolute disaster. When I’d left on Saturday, the felled trees were cut into three-meter lengths and stacked by the trail head. By the time we got back today, various trees had been cut down willy-nilly and lay in every direction, including across the path down the mountain. The horse couldn’t climb the steepest part, so we were dragging the logs by hand from the clearing to the base of the steepest cliff.

We slipped. We slid. We fumbled. We stumbled. We dragged those darned logs through mud ten inches deep, falling up hills and tumbling down them. Eventually, we tossed them over the side of the almost impassable cliff to where the horse would take them up the steep part and leave them for us on the other side.

The team with the horse, going back for another log in the rain.

The team with the horse, going back for another log in the rain.

After we’d moved eight logs, the team working with the horse told us to stop hauling logs from the clearing and move the ones they’d dropped off halfway down the path. The trail was all downhill from that point, so we were able to take advantage of the mud rather than getting bogged down in it. One person with a rope could run down the side of the path, pulling the log through the mud behind them. My log zoomed and careened down the hill like one of those log and water rides at an amusement park.

When we had moved the logs to the bottom of the hill, we were wet, muddy, and all smiles. We didn’t even bother taking our clothes off to shower – the volunteers took turns hosing each other off with cold water, grinning all the while. It was as if we had all regressed to our two-year-old selves, splashing in mud puddles in our boots and loving it. Sometimes working in the rain isn’t that bad after all!

Got mud?

Got mud?

Don't worry, Ellen! The hot shower is coming right up!

Don’t worry, Ellen! The hot shower is coming right up!

Rinsing off the worst of the mud in the rain.

Rinsing off the worst of the mud in the rain.

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