Dirt to Mud: Parking at SJHHS

Once a solution to the parking problem the dirt lot has become a mud lot because of recent storms.


Dalton Flores

Because of recent rain storms conditions at the dirt lot have become increasingly worse. Students without four-wheel drive have become stuck and even some with it. The area is owned by the LDS Church and parking there is not under SJHHS’s ability to regulate, according to Darrin Jindra.

Ethan Clarke

The parking situation has continued to surprise everybody with more and more issues this year. However, in the early weeks of November the solution seemed very clear. If your car could get up a curb then you could park in the dirt lot, and not have to worry about how you were getting to school or being late.

But now another issue has arisen, and the answer to this problem is still unknown. 

With constant rain the dirt has now turned to mud, and the parking lot is being used by the few cars that could actually handle driving in the mud. It seems every day a different car gets stuck, leaving many people having to scrounge for rides everyday. So besides the Jeeps and trucks that can still park with no issue, how has it been for the other cars?

A student who had been stuck first hand, Jonny Schniepp, spoke to The Express about his experience parking in the rain. And how even his Jeep was not safe from getting stuck.

I park at the trail now and it is awful. I’m constantly almost late to school, and last week I was late three times in one week, so that was fun.”

— Jonny Schniepp

“It was around eight in the morning when I parked in the mud, and realized there was no way I was getting out,” Schniepp explained. “So a nice man with a massive truck tried to tow me out, and he ended up getting stuck as well. A couple of the boys and I tried to push the car out and that did not work. So I was stuck in the mud for a solid seven and a half hours and finally Dave, my dad, came to the rescue and towed me out. I have been to scared to park in the lot since.”

Jonny, along with many other students who got their cars stuck, have since given up on the lot and have tried to find other means of parking.

But not everyone got stuck, and most plan to keep parking where they always have been.

Another student, Trazer Hazen, had almost no trouble parking his car in the mud. His Toyota Land Cruiser had never been stuck, yet he too had a bad experience with the mud lot.

“To get across the mud you have to go a little fast, and the mud next to the opening of the dirt parking lot was deeper than the middle… And so I was coming down, and I was going a little fast because I didn’t want to get stuck in the mud. And as I neared the end of the dirt parking lot, I slammed down on my brakes, and I couldn’t stop and went right over the curb and hit a car right across from me.”

Trazer no longer parks in the mud, and has had to find other ways of getting to school.

After returning from winter break, most students who parked in the lot had anticipated that things would be the same as before. But with the many kids getting stuck some students instead tried parking in the baseball field lot, where they were turned away Miss Kim.

Students who parked in the staff parking lot received parking violations and were all notified that they could be towed. This left the teacher parking lot with vacant spaces, and the mud lot too risky to park in. 

It is impossible to say when parking will return to the way it was, or if it will. However it still continues to affect students in the same way it always has. So what started out as a reliable area for parking, turned to a fair-weather solution that did more harm than good.