Growing up in Florida I actually had to watch out for quicksand, and quickmud, whenever I went out for wilderness trip. The Everglades, marshes and islands were full of it. When I moved to Wyoming I was sure there would be plenty of it out here, too.

That's what told old Hollywood movies told us. How many scenes did we watch that poor unsuspecting traveler slowly sinking up to their necks while reaching for a branch.

Even old TV westerns had quick sand scenes.

The movie Blazing Saddles has a famous quick sand scene that is laughed about to this day. Since they were building the first rail road across the continent in that movie it leaves one to wonder if that was supposed to be Wyoming in that movie. Was Rock Ridge really Rock Springs?

So is this mushy wet mud like dirt really that much of a problem in Wyoming?

In most of the state, no. But we do have some.

According to the Geology of Medicine Lodge Tensleep there is a little. The Bighorn Basin, the fossil sand dunes of the Tensleep are habitat to the largest oil reservoir in the state. That is water, sand, and oil. A sticky, heavy, sinking combination.

According to The Oregon Trail - Wyoming Tales and Trails the Platte River is a dangerous river composed of quicksand which is continually changing. Many wagons were lost by emigrants crossing that this ford.

So if you are near a wide Wyoming river or an area know for water and oil, there is a chance that you might just experience that sinking feeling. But it is no where near as bad is you saw in any movie or TV show.

So lets say you step into some. Don't panic. Calm is key.

1). Forget everything you have ever seen in the movies.

2). The more you struggle the worst it gets. Do not try to swim, that makes it worse too.

3). Place your hands flat on the surface, slowly work on pulling your legs up.

4). As soon as you can put your chest on the surface and try to lay flat across the muck.

5). Work your legs the rest of the way out and crawl out all the while trying to stay flat on top.

6). Forget your shoes. They are gone.

Watch this video for help, and good luck out there.


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