At Trucks Gone Wild, the mud bogs attract hundreds of four-wheel-drive vehicles. / Photos and videos by J.D. Vivian

The wide swaths of muck soil in the Glades — almost 1,200 square miles’ worth, all told — are mainly famous for growing crops and raising cattle. In fact, the motto of the City of Belle Glade is “Her soil is her fortune.”

But sometimes that soil is used for another purpose: recreation. Several times a year, for example, Plant Bamboo, 27695 SW Martin Highway, Okeechobee, hosts special events. The ranch’s livestock is moved elsewhere and replaced by horsepower — lots of it — and thousands of two-legged critters.


(Editor’s note: Below are some images of the most recent event: Trucks Gone Wild. To appreciate the experience, watch videos in high-definition (HD) and turn up the audio. Sorry, smell-o-vision is not available.)

Landscape is transformed

Some pastureland becomes mud bogs; some becomes lakes; and narrow, shallow canals run willy-nilly. There is not one square foot of flat land or paved road in the place.

Four-wheel-drive vehicles in assorted sizes — small, large, huge — take control. Pungent exhaust fumes, and smoke from campfires, hang in the air. The noise level — due to loud music and un-muffled exhausts — quickly creates auditory overload.

This video proves that the man in the red T-shirt (right) truly loves his passenger. He is most chivalrous, and is so focused on the object of his affection that he doesn’t even notice King Krush closing in.

Trucks Gone Wild

On Feb. 16-18, Trucks Gone Wild (TGW) drew thousands of mudding enthusiasts who camped in tents or stayed in RVs along narrow dusty roads. The balmy weather was a plus, though staying clean and comfortable was hardly the goal of anyone there. As you can tell, TGW is not an event for the faint of heart.

As this video shows, at Trucks Gone Wild, anyone stuck in the muck is a fair, not to mention easy, target.

Only portable toilets were available, and a hot shower in a tiny stall cost $15. A variety of vendors sold food and other items. The Redneck Tacos ($10) served up two soft tortillas filled with pulled pork, coleslaw, nacho-cheese spread and barbecue sauce — they were tasty, and filling.

Food-truck menu. / J.D. Vivian

For information on future events at Plant Bamboo, visit https://www.facebook.com/Plantbamboocom-156811257337. For information on Trucks Gone Wild, visit trucksgonewild.com.