I recently spoke with Mandi Garnett who, along with her Husband, Cliff Garnett, own and operate Mel Lane Mudrun. Mel Lane Mudrun is located at the very end of Mel Lane in Steuben, Maine. It’s primarily a Deep Mud park, but just recently installed a obstacle course in a effort to expand the mud sport in Downeast Maine. Mel Lane just held a great weekend event on July 9&10th, that I will have a full feature on shortly. But for now, to Introduce you all to the park, and to the Garnett’s, I’ll let Mandi fill you in on Mel Lane Mudrun, and give you the skinny on her Husband, Cliff, in this mashed up feature I’m calling “Married to…A Mud Park”!!
WD: When did you open?
Mandi: Our first ever event was May of 2014
Mandi: The end of Mel Lane in Steuben, ME
WD: How many acres?
Mandi: There are 51 acres at our disposal but we aren’t using all of them yet. We are expanding slowly, but surely.
WD: What kind of park/events?
Mandi: We hold a mudrun and our last event also included the newly added obstacle course.
WD: Any upcoming events?
Mandi: We have an event on September 4th & October 2nd and that will be it for this year.
WD: Cost to get in?
Mandi: $10 a day for adults, $5 for ages 5-12, 4 and under are free.
WD: Is there Camping available?
WD: What, would you say, are the best features of the park?
Mandi: The atmosphere, honestly. We really just have one big mud family!
So, that’s the scoop on Mel Lane Mudrun. You all will see more about this park in the full feature on their latest weekend event coming soon!
Mandi and I then had a chat about what it’s like to be married to a track owner and helping operate it, and having the park part of their daily lives.
Wheels Deep: He proposed how?
Mandi: Well it’s a bit vulgar, but loving. In his joking way, he pulled out a ring and asked me, “Will you be my bitch forever?”
*When he asked me to be his girlfriend he had said, “Will you be my bitch?” so that’s where he got that idea.” haha
WD: When you first met your man, was he involved with mud trucks? If so, do you remember his first truck? What was it?
Mandi: Shortly after we started dating, he sprung this idea on me that he would like to add a mudrun facility in, basically, our back yard. He did not have a mud truck but we have thought about possibly building something here soon. It will have to be a surprise though 😛 I can’t tell
WD:: Where was your first date?
Mandi: In an 18 wheeler, haha. Does that count? I hopped in and didn’t get out for 3 weeks! Longest first date ever!
WD: Where did you honeymoon?
Mandi:We went fishing for our honeymoon. No, I’m not joking.
WD : How many nights out of the week does he spend working on his track?
Mandi:For this last event, it was almost 24 hours a day for 5 days straight. He went to bed after me and was out the door before I woke up.
For just a mudrun without the obstacle it still takes a solid 2-3 days to get the pit ready and all the paperwork and have everything set up and ready to go.
WD: What runs through your mind when having/running an event?
Mandi: Our biggest concern is always safety. Safety for our drivers and our spectators and of course, our employees/volunteers.
WD: What is the biggest pet peeve you have of him?
Mandi: That he likes to change plans at the last moment and not tell me until it’s time to start. haha, he’s getting better though 😛
WD: What is his favorite dinner for you to make him?
Mandi: Pork Chops fried in butter with potatoes. He’s pretty simple.
WD: Who’s your favorite driver/truck to run at your track?
Mandi: Wow, that’s a hard question to answer because I enjoy all of our driver’s and trucks. I enjoy watching the Adrenaline Junkie, driven by Jeremy Beal and Prove It! driven by Kurt Zeller or Dale Roberts Sr. but out of all the trucks and drivers, I enjoy watching Little Lukie jump in the passenger seat while John Grant drives Lukie’s Tonya Toy. The smile on that boy’s face brightens my day EVERY TIME.
WD: What is your husband’s favorite TV Show?
Mandi: Depends on the day, right now he’s enjoying watching seasons of “Grimm”
WD: Could you ever see your life without a mud track in it?
Mandi: Well, I would suddenly have some spare time but I sure wouldn’t have all the excitement. I love having it and wouldn’t want to give it up any time soon.
WD: What is a fun fact we don’t know about your man?
Mandi: Just one? You pick:
He likes to garden.
He’s a big teddy bear/push-over.
He’s always on the phone.
He’s a foot taller then me but that makes his hugs so amazing.
He loves to dance, but I don’t think what does constitutes as dancing. 😛 Some of the family calls it the “Garnett Shuffle”.
WD: What attracted you to your hubby and how did you meet?
Mandi: He was a family friend, so I met him through my mother and sister.
His butt attracted me but I stayed for the eyes. haha
As you all can see, these guys are a funny, great, fun loving couple, who are operating a awesome little down home race track.
I personally would like to thank them for all they have done to try and expand, add more events and extend the horizons for the mud sport in our little neck of the woods!! So, if you get the chance, head out to Mel Lane Mudrun and see for yourself. It’s well worth the scenic drive through beautiful Downeast Maine!!
Photo Credit: Leah Hutchinson
Photo Credit: Leah Hutchinson