12 Jun Sage: Camels part deux and our trip to Floydada
Floydada, Texas- Wow the last few days have been crazy! It feels it has been forever since I wrote a blog, but we finally have some downtime here in Floydada, Texas. Getting here was an adventure in itself. First, though, I want to readdress one of the stories that has become somewhat popular and I have been getting a ton a questions about, Camels in Texas. I now have the full story.
Mr. Hudson, who was described from our farmer as a little eccentric, started with nothing and was born in a small, rural dust bowl Oklahoma town. He became wealthy after investing in convenience stores with his brother and sister along the I-40 corridor, from California to the east coast. But his passion was in agriculture. He bought and sold ranches in the mid-west, which was his dream. He eventually sold out his interest in the c-stores for 100 million dollars.
So where do camels come into this whole picture? Mr. Hudson owned a ranch west of Wichita Falls, Texas and introduced camels to the area to see if they would control the mesquite. Camels have an ability to eat thorny items such as cactus, which is how they survive in the African desert. The end result was that the mesquite was too bitter so they didn’t eat it, but they did devour the plum thickets. A plum thicket is a thorny, bushy plant that can take over an area, and domestic animals cannot eat it. The camels ate the thicket, where they could reach it, and eventually it created an archway within the thickets.
This story has been passed down from a couple different people, and Mr. Hudson has passed away, so some of this could be embellished. This just one of the stories of Mr. Hudson that I heard from our farmer, but there were few more. The stories validated how people could view Mr. Hudson as eccentric.
Now back to the harvest operation. We moved Wednesday afternoon, from Holliday to Floydada, Texas. This was after I drove 150 miles one way to Clinton, Okla. to get a part for one of the headers from Mac-Don. As soon as I got back, I hopped in the Peterbilt and our journey was underway. We had some truck issues the night before, so the convoy was split up a little bit. The front convoy had Scott pulling a header, than Michael and Paul pulling combines and myself pulling the grain cart. After me was Craig pulling a header and Wally in the motorhome (or the hauler as he calls it.) We were about 60 miles ahead of the second convoy which was Dad pulling the service trailer, Sierra pulling a header and Laura, our cook.
We may have picked the hottest day to move and some people battle high engine temperatures. Both Wally and Craig had overheating issues so they just pulled over and joined the second convoy as they came by. We finally rolled into Floydada around 8:30 p.m., just before sunset. After a long day of traveling, everyone was ready for a good night sleep.
Thursday saw John and myself make the 175-mile trip back to Holliday to load the last combine. John’s truck was fixed late Wednesday and he pulled a grain trailer to Floydada. We double backed and loaded the combine in record time and were back to Floydada before dinner.
The crew was able to unload two combines and got started cutting right away on Thursday. We got a couple hundred acres cut before we had a huge storm system move in. I was stuck at the elevator in the semi at 9:00 p.m. when the rain came pouring down, and got my truck stuck in one ditches by a culvert (or tin horns as Texans refer to them as) after it flooded in roughly 30 seconds. All I can say is thank god for deep reduction and differential lock as I was able to pull out of the ditch.
So now that the rain is here, the crew has finally got a well-deserved day off. It is just a quick time to recuperate, because we are hoping to get back in the field tomorrow.
Sage Sammons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. All Aboard 2010 Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection.