Roses have thorns," observed Shakespeare, "and silver fountains mud." Well, in California, mud has people—sports car people who have discovered and fostered the old English pastime of sluicing through the best available mire in light machines. Though the sport is not widespread in the U.S., its practitioners are as enthusiastic about it as their brothers under the skin, the frostbite sailors, are about theirs. Here Walt Stone (driving) and Mal Miller are barreling through the slippery slop in the MG Club of America's English Trials. They, in an MG TD, and 69 other unflinching crews had a muddy good time. The locale is the Mecca Valley, and the season for true believers is from January to May.