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26 holes... Maybe.  There’s a bunch of them.  Played on September 23, 2014.

The Lucky Mud Inn is only an inn in the loosest sense.  It is seriously out in the middle of nowhere in the very rural southwest corner of Washington.  There is nothing close to it, including the town of Skamokawa.  The road pretty much ends when you get there, and the neighbor has a sign on his fence that says, “Go away.”  Oh, I imagine you could get a room for the night, but don’t expect a mint on your pillow.  And don’t be surprised if you’re asked to help with the dishes after breakfast.  Lucky Mud began its life in the mid-seventies as a commune, and it probably still is.  After all, the place is named after a line in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel about the end of the world:  Cat’s Cradle:

“God made mud.  God got lonesome.  So God said of the mud, ‘Sit up!’  ‘See what I’ve made,’ said God, ‘the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars.’  And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.  Lucky me.  Lucky mud.  I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.  Nice going, God!”

This is truly a tale of two disc golf courses.  The first half is excellent.  It is well laid out with beautiful signs, nice tee pads, and the shots are just plain fun.  There are change of elevation, some water, and plenty of trees, but it would be really hard to lose a disc.

The second half... not so much.  As I was approaching the second half, I was stopped by two of the guys that work there, Bob and Heath, who strongly advised me not to play the second half without a local guide... namely, them.  And they weren’t kidding.  If you were to wander off the course, it is quite possible you would become one of those folks everybody is looking for on the news.  And it would be really easy to wander off the course.

The second half is a work in progress.  The tee pads aren’t  marked, there often isn’t a clear trail to the next basket, you often can’t even see the next basket, and you’re going to need help finding your disc, even on a good shot.  But then, you know where your disc is every time.  It’s under the fern by the tree.  Given all that, the second half is excellent, too... only a little bit more primitive, which includes an occasional homemade basket.

If you should want to play one of the best courses in this part of the world, you need to call first:  (800) 806-7131.  It’s mostly to tell you not to bring a dog.  They scare the deer, which are everywhere.  And they also want to make sure you don’t try to play the second half without a guide.  But the guides are pretty much always there, and they seem to welcome any excuse to play disc golf.

Directions:  From Seattle, it’s about 170 miles.  Take I-5 South to exit 40 at Kelso to Ocean Beach Highway (State Route 4 toward Longbeach).  Assuming they don’t have Highway 4 closed (which apparently isn’t something they need to announce or post alternate routes for) go about 30 miles in a westerly direction to Skamokawa. Turn right at Skamokawa Valley Road (AKA East Valley Road) and go six miles.  At that point the highway turns into what is labeled a “primitive road,” but you’re taking a left.  Look for the sign.  The Inn is the big house about a quarter of a mile down the road.  Be sure to check in.