All Aboard Harvest | Laura: Big Bin
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Laura: Big Bin

Southeast Colorado – It is time for our annual marital exchange post, this one regarding field directions. Last year it involved GPS. This time it was good old-fashioned verbal conversation. It went something like this, or at least this is how I remember it. The account may or may not be slightly exaggerated for effect, but I think it’s closer than not to what happened.

Me: “I’m going south on that highway you said. Where do I need to turn?”

Ryan: “It’s about x* miles south. Go until you get to the big bin, and go another x miles south. Then you’ll go east to the dead end. You’ll see us. Can’t miss us.”

*I’m using x because I can’t remember the actual mileage.

Me: “Seriously, I’ve gone like 10,000 miles, and there is no big bin.”

Ryan: “It’s a BIG bin. You CAN’T miss it. It is bigger than all the other bins.”

Me: “How big is big?”

Ryan: “It’s a HUGE bin. There’s nothing like it around. You can’t miss it.”

Me: “I’ve passed lots of bins of different sizes. Some are big.”

Ryan: “It’s a large facility with a huge bin surrounded by smaller bins. You can’t miss it.”

My former science teacher self was thinking, “Isn’t there a way to better quantify this? About, big and huge are qualitative terms.” And also, “I know this is going to turn into a ‘Go past Charlie’s dad’s place by the barn that was green back in ’64. Take a left where the old cottonwood tree used to be, and in three miles you’ll be there” situation.” 

OK, so I was just tired. I had driven four nonstop hours; passed through one storm; had another that appeared to be approaching; had two lovely ticking time bombs in the back seat; and virtually no cellphone service, which made for several pieced together, increasingly impatient exchanges.

In the end, that bin WAS huge. Ryan was right (no need to let him know I said that), and I didn’t miss the crew – not even close. But in my defense, I know I’m not the only one who has this or a similar conversation with someone in their operation. 

HPH 217 (Laura)

This picture absolutely doesn’t do the “big bin” justice. It WAS huge!

And just because I can, here are a few other photos from my travels this past week. 

HPH 2017 (Laura)

Of course there should be an Uncle Eddie’s Visitor Center in Coolidge, Kansas. I love small-town entrepreneurial spirit!  In case you may have forgotten, Cousin Eddie from “National Lampoon’s Vacation” lived here (though the movie was actually filmed elsewhere). According to the sign on the door, if they are closed, they will come open for you if you call the number. There was also a café in town that boasted chicken fried steaks.  It may be something to try for my next trip through.

HPH 2017 (Laura)

Just a neat old building in Coolidge. I’ve loved looking at old, interesting buildings as long as I can remember.

HPH 2017 (Laura)

It’s interesting to think my kids may never use a pay phone much less know what one is.


HPH 2017 (Laura)

They kindly have a parking spot in front of both the Kansas and Colorado signs for crazy bloggers like me! Unfortunately, the Colorado sign had some subtle graffiti on it.

HPH 2017 (Laura)

Yikes! Hopefully we won’t need this knowledge; but with the weird weather this season, one never knows. Ha!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Laura can be reached at

  • Mary
    Posted at 13:20h, 28 June

    Welcome to Colorado! Coolidge does have VERY good Chicken Fried Steaks!!
    Hopefully the weather will calm down and let you get to work.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 15:13h, 28 June

      Good to know about the café! Now I really hate it didn’t time out to stop! 🙂

  • Larry Rusco
    Posted at 09:04h, 29 June

    Really enjoyed your comments. Been there, done that. As a former Kansas farm boy, I can vicariously follow wheat harvest.
    Keep it up

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 09:42h, 29 June

      Thanks, Larry. Glad you enjoy it! 🙂

  • Autumn Joyce
    Posted at 10:18h, 29 June

    Hi,nice to see all your updates on the harvest. my son Leigh is truck driving with you this year, so I can see what’s going on.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 23:02h, 30 June

      How fun that you are keeping up with the blog! Thanks for sharing Leigh with us, Autumn! We appreciate his efforts this season.

  • dave
    Posted at 08:09h, 30 June

    Gigantic grain handling facility.
    Keep posting and great pics.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 23:02h, 30 June

      Thanks, Dave!

  • David Taft Farms ( Illinois
    Posted at 09:09h, 30 June

    Thanks for the pics. Love reading about your adventures. Stay safe.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 23:03h, 30 June

      Thanks, David!

  • Tom Stegmeier
    Posted at 18:41h, 01 July

    Laura, kinda brings back memories of my Mom bringing out supper to the field at harvest time , we had 3 quarters that are a miniature version of the Palouse,Mom would get lost on those 450 acres ,Dad & I would watch the lights of Mom trying to get to the main road,we told her always look for Semcoes Hill. A land mark east of Rycroft AB.Canada.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 10:37h, 03 July

      I feel her pain, Tom! Thanks for sharing! Glad I’m not the only one!

  • J Edmondson
    Posted at 18:03h, 06 July

    I was helping (or trying to stay out of the way) the crew my son works for last weekend, and we were within sight of that elevator the whole time! I have been through decades of corn and bean harvests here in Indiana, but that was a thrill. High plains wheat harvest has a feeling all its own! Good luck and thanks for sharing!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 08:09h, 07 July

      Wow! What a small world that you were in the area as well. Yes, you’re correct. Wheat harvest is its own animal! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed your experience!

  • J Edmondson
    Posted at 15:53h, 08 July

    It is such a small world! I realized after looking at the map that I drove through Coolidge as well. When I left the crew, I drove north on gravel roads along the state line, until I hit Coolidge. I am bummed to have missed Cousin Eddy’s! We saw the Griswold’s station wagon on our travels in New York state last Thanksgiving! Lol! Seriously though, there was the coolest old sandstone (I think sandstone) house just south of Coolidge on the curve south of the Arkansas river. I stopped and took some pics of it. It looked to have been empty for a long time, but looked like a very historic place. Bet the walls could talk.
    If you guys ever are in Holly on a rainy day, Jack and Wanda’s Tasty House is delicious! Hope you all stay safe out there, and have good weather!

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 17:40h, 08 July

      Old house are so fascinating! Glad you found a neat one to photograph.

      Thanks for the info on the restaurant. Knowing where the good eats are is an important thing for harvesters!

      Safe travels back to your home.