All Aboard Harvest | The End of our 6-Day Raincation
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The End of our 6-Day Raincation

The End of our 6-Day Raincation

Garden City, KS – Six days…can you believe it? I can’t. I look back on those days now and wonder what in the world did we do? Had I known it was going to be that long, I would have TRIED to talk Jim into going home for most of those days. Sitting around the trailer house – just me and him – makes me very lonesome for the kids. I’m sure there would have been all kinds of reasons why he just couldn’t leave. That’s how he is. He’s a harvester and if he even thought there might be a possibility of getting back in the field, there’s no reason to even bring up the subject. You know the story…if the sun is shining, it’s drying and if it’s drying, there’s wheat to be cut!

So, looking back on our raincation, I’ll begin with the very first day off. It was catch up day, again. Catch up on laundry and mail, etc. That evening, though, we were invited to supper but we had to make a quick trip to Walmart. Our quick trip ended up lasting much longer. We kept running into harvesters. Guess what harvesters do when they gather…they talk combines. It was good to see familiar faces but I knew the other harvester friends who had invited us for supper were waiting. It was after 9:00 when I got the phone call from Amanda. She wondered what she could order for us because the kitchen closed at 9:00. Oops! We proceeded to the restaurant and the management allowed us to sit and visit a while. So thoughtful of them!

The next day, I received a text from Nancy. She was needing to get out of her trailer. I told her they could sure make their way to Deerfield. She and Myron were in Sharon Springs which is nearly 100 miles away. We decided we’d meet half-way and have a visit. Syracuse was the chosen spot. Jim wondered how we were going to have a good visit if we had no place to go. I proposed they come all the way to our trailer and we’d take them to Garden City for supper – no cooking involved. And, with a bit of arm twisting on Nancy’s part, they continued east to Deerfield. We had a great visit – all of us. And a wonderful supper, too. If you’re ever in the Garden City area and are looking for a good Mexican restaurant, head for Los Margaritas on Main Street. It’s a bit of a difficult place to find and it’s only open until 9:00 but well worth the trip!

Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

Myron and Jim look like they’re pretty deep in their conversation – about combines and wheat, I’m sure.

Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

Myron & Nancy Eberts of Eberts Harvesting. They make their way south to Frederick, Oklahoma from their home in South Heart, North Dakota every spring.


Sunday brought more visitors, including Jenna. I didn’t even get one picture with Jenna while she was with us for most of the evening. It wasn’t nearly a long enough visit and she headed back home on Monday. Monday was the 4th of July. This day brought back lots of memories of being with the girls. And, wouldn’t you know it, finally a 4th of July which didn’t involve working in the field and there were no kids to enjoy it with. The years go by so fast. Too fast. I thought of all the places we’ve celebrated the 4th with the kids. And how many tears were shed because they were certain we wouldn’t get to shoot off fireworks. Most other holidays have created good memories but it’s the 4th of July that I remember and treasure the most. We’ve been all over the Midwest for this holiday – Lodgepole, NE, Chappell, NE, Hobbs, NM, Norton, KS, Deerfield, KS and Limon, CO. Crazy to think about all these different spots and each of them involved cutting wheat. 

This year, we loaded up our neighbors – Randy and Janie Ediger who are also custom harvesters – and made the trip to Garden City to view their amazing fireworks display. While we were there, we met up with Kortney and Casey DeBock of DeBock Harvesting. I’ve gotten acquainted with Kortney through the HarvestHER project I started this spring. Kortney is one of 20 contributors. This vision of mine has really turned into a lot of fun for me and the women telling their stories! It’s brought encouragement and the reality that we share common struggles while making the harvest journey. If you’ve got a free moment, you should check this Facebook page out – especially if you’re interested in learning more about what these women do to keep their families and crew happy. These rain days, however, have been a bit of a challenge for quite a few of us! To visit the HarvestHER Facebook page, click here.

Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

Kortney DeBock of DeBock Harvesting and me.

Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

Thank goodness for Kortney and her idea of getting a picture! I certainly didn’t even think about it. From left to right – Casey & Kortney DeBock, Me and Jimbo and Randy & Janie Ediger of Ediger Harvesting.

 

Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

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Oh how I’d like to give these little buggers a hug! It looks like they’re enjoying their stay at our house. I just wish I was there to enjoy all those little moments that so quickly slip away.
We got back to work today – FINALLY! We finished our very last field of dry land wheat. It didn’t quite make 100 bushels per acre and the quality slipped a little with all the rains. It went from 61 lbs to 58 lbs. 

Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

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When we finished the dry land field, we moved to our first circle of irrigated. It’s what I had dreaded – twisted and laying down. It could be worse, I guess. It’s a slow go – about 1.8 mph and feeling like I’m breaking the speed of sound at 2.5. Not sure what it’s weighing but with only 25 acres cut, it’s averaging 96 bpa. But…boy is it dirty! If it wasn’t for the auto steer, I’m just not sure how I would be able to see the edge of the field when the wind is from my back. It’s almost a claustrophobic feeling knowing I should be able to see past the dust but can’t.

There was lightning to the north of us when we quit tonight. I hope that’s where it stays – to the north of us!

Update…the clouds made it far enough south that we will have another rain day today. Dang!!

Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

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Z Crew: Because it's what harvesters do.

You can have your cubicle and stuffy office. As for me…I’ll take this view any day!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. The Z Crew can be reached at zcrew@allaboardharvest.com.

2 Comments
  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 20:57h, 08 July

    Tracy when cutting an irrigated circle do square it up or cut in a circular pattern? Love the last pic should be on the 2017 calendar !!!

  • Z Crew
    Posted at 00:17h, 11 July

    It just depends. It depends on how deep the ruts are from the pivot tires. It depends on the roughness of the field – either going over the drill marks or with them. It depends on where we can place our trucks. With this particular field, I started going in the circle on half of the field. Then changed it on the other half and went across it. We’re on our second circle today and have decided to go with the drill marks in the circular pattern. Mostly because the ruts left from the pivot tires are really deep and still muddy from the rains we had last week. I got stuck going across them a couple of times while opening the field. Hope this helps.