Submerged four feet under slurry, muddy water, HelloSWFL’s multimedia journalist, Melanie contemplated whether she made the right decision by getting on a Swamp Buggy during the Jeep class race.
Melanie stepped onto the Naples track early Saturday morning in her taupe Timbs, a camouflage bucket hat, and her favorite white fishing chambray shirt to stay cool. She thought she would be working on a piece about the event’s food offerings, but things would not turn out the way she expected.
“I’m super excited, but my heart is in my throat,” – Melanie English
When the green flag waved, letting the drivers know it was time to jam on the gas, their buggy took off. In the first thirty seconds, Melanie had found herself in the sippy hole, a deep pothole that usually slows down drivers. As each car sputtered through the mud, Melanie’s buggy, The Heat Seeking Rican, slowly filled with water.
Her driver, Ricky, revved the engine and kept pushing. Pretty soon the two were almost hydroplaning, bumpily gliding across the mud floor.
As the buggies rolled up the dusty road after the race, Melanie sat dripping wet. The entire experience still felt surreal to her. The gritty smell of exhaust and the sharp grumping of the swamp buggy engines didn’t phase her anymore. She still couldn’t believe she had just copiloted a jeep swamp buggy during the race.
“I’m super excited, but my heart is in my throat,” she said.
But don’t take our word for it. Take a look below to experience the Swamp Buggy race along with Melanie.