Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Part III: A muddy mutt, not of the canine variety August 8, 2016

Car show, 78 message on trail truck


Get in. Sit down. Shut up and hang on!!!


Car show, 85 The Mutt close-up


The warning seems appropriate given the vehicle upon which the words are posted. I’d hang on, too, if I was strapped inside The Mutt.


Car show, 86 Shane's trail truck back of


Splattered with dried mud and sporting heavy duty traction tires and a framework of protective bars, Shane Hirschey’s custom made trail truck commands respect.


Car show, 83 Rochester Rough Riders decal


He’s clearly proud of this multi-pieced branded vehicle that takes him through muddy terrain as a member of the Rochester Rough Riders 4×4 Club.

Shane has participated in some of the events listed on the back of his club t-shirt.

Shane has participated in some of the events listed on the back of his club t-shirt.

On a recent Saturday, though, this 20-something drove The Mutt to a more pristine landscape—the parking lot of St. John’s United Church of Christ, Wheeling Township, for a Cruise-In Car Show. There I met this off-road enthusiast and talked to him about his truck.


Car show, 81 inside trail truck


I was most intrigued by the steering wheel propped between bucket seats rather than locked in place on the steering column. Since no key is needed to start the truck, Shane simply removes the steering wheel to keep The Mutt from being stolen.

After I got over that oddity, I commented on the mud layered inside and out. Shane quickly noted that he cleaned the truck before the show. Alright then.


Car show, 87 sign for Shane's truck


While this sort of motor vehicle sport holds no appeal to me, other than the photographic aspect, I recognize there’s strong interest among a certain sector. I wonder, did these off-road enthusiasts love splashing in mud puddles as kids?


Not a mutt, but a rescue dog a woman brought to the car show.

Not a mutt, but a newly-adopted dog a woman brought to the car show.

FYI: Click here to read my first post from the St. John’s Cruise-In Car Show. And then click here to read my second post.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling