My life and my schedule are highly unpredictable, as are the low tides that provide my window of opportunity for sinking. Consequently, my mudding adventures are spontaneous excursions that are seldom planned even a day in advance. It isn’t often that the weather, the tides, and my schedule cooperate to offer me an opportunity to slip out and get immersed in my favorite swamp mud.
So, on the question of visitors, the simple answer is “no”. Visitors require planning, commitments, and far more work than a solo trip. Most of the time, they cancel, or don’t bother to show up. When they do arrive, they need to be fed, they need a place to sleep, and they usually want me to take photos and shoot some video of them in the mud. That usually means I don’t even get to spend much time in the mud. Visitors always have special needs, and I’m just not the kind of person who can ignore his guests. When there is someone here, I find myself catering to them, and I really don’t have time for that.
This is not meant to insult any of my past guests. The simple fact is that not one single person has ever arrived just before the trip, and left immediately after we returned and put up the gear. In most cases, I am left with 2 muddy boats and a lot of gear to rinse, dry and stow after we’re finished. If you add to that, that I get paid $75/hour to shoot, and $160/hour for consulting services, I’m not respecting myself by taking someone into the swamp, acting as their guide, and doing a photo shoot for them at no charge. Furthermore, I really enjoy swamping alone; it is relaxing and cathartic for me. There is no incentive for me to play host to anyone, unless that person is helping me make a video that I can sell.