All Aboard Harvest | Laura: The Big Bin Strikes Again!
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Laura: The Big Bin Strikes Again!

Southeast Colorado: I have a love/hate relationship with GPS technology. Some of you may recall this from previous posts. I will admit, it is improving all the time and the accuracy is a little scary (the occasionally inaccuracy is equally scary). Without giving away my exact age, I’m apart of that “micro” generation some people talk about. I’m not totally a Gen X’er but not completely a Gen Y (millennial) either. Some people call us the “Xennials”. Yeah, it’s a thing, go check it out. I’m not going to debate if it’s a “real” generation or not, but it fits the folks I know of my similar age, so I’m totally riding that train.

As a Xennial, I grew up with a mainly analogue childhood, so I do love a good map. I mean really, aren’t they fun to look at and spark that sense of adventure inside of you? I usually have a good sense of direction and for my personality style (you can guess which one it is), I like to have a good visual of where I’m going to ensure I can stay in control of the situation (got to keep the kids safe, right?). Many of us know the benefits of a good map app when it works but if you aren’t familiar, here are a few: it talks to you allowing you to keep your eyes on the road, fast, efficient, and takes the stress out of travel.

If you remember the post from last year, you probably know where this is going. This year, when we headed out to SE Colorado, I tried calling Ryan for several HOURS. The service is poor out there, so we never got a hold of him which was modern age, non-life or death, frustrating. When I finally got a hold of him, he said, “Yeah, we’re out by the Big Bin again.” Well, this was less than helpful, because A. I was coming from a different direction this year, B: Places like the “Big Bin” aren’t always on the map, and C: Once you’re in the right area, if you know how to get to the said area, you can see the “Big Bin” for miles so that’s a lot of places the crew could be hiding.

In the end, I finally got the location “pinned” down (GPS pun intended) and made it to the field. Sure enough, the Big Bin could be easily seen almost like a lighthouse on the prairie.

We should probably quantify what big is. I was told that the bin has over a million-bushel capacity. That’s not messing around. I think it deserves the qualitative label “big” afterall! (Quantitative/Qualitative – once a science teacher, always a science teacher, I can’t help myself!)

As much as I joke about the “Big Bin” from a navigational beacon standpoint, it really is a wonderful facility to work with regarding their great staff and let’s not forget the in and out-bound scales! Skyland also spoiled the kids the days we visited a couple different locations between the candy basket, a hat, popcorn and cold drinks. Thanks everyone! It takes a village to get this harvest thing done!

HPH 2017 (Laura)
A silhouette of the “Big Bin” as seen several miles away from one of the fields we were cutting last year. As you can see, its a defining spot on the horizon. (Photo Credit: Laura)

High Plains Harvesting 2018 (Ryan)
The “Big Bin” in stormy conditions. (Photo credit: Ryan)

High Plains Harvesting 2018
Some of the crew cutting in southeastern Colorado. (Photo credit: Laura)

High Plains Harvesting 2018
This new hat may have replaced his beloved High Plains Harvesting model! (Photo credit: Laura)

High Plains Harvesting 2018
The Little Ice Cream Shop in Johnson, KS, was delicious! A must try. (Photo credit: The Nice Lady who stepped over to grab our picture)

High Plains Harvesting 2018
Loaded biscuits and gravy. Am I the only one who didn’t know this was a thing? A former student’s family runs this business and was fun running into her. We enjoyed our meals at the “Hug A Mug” in Johnson. (Photo credit: Laura)

High Plains Harvesting 2018
Ryan thought he was pretty clever with the “whole wheat” in a bag! Sometimes you have to get creative with containers when running samples into town. (Photo credit: Laura)

High Plains Harvesting 2018
Of course a picture at the Colorado sign. (Photo credit: Laura)

High Plains Harvesting 2018
Meanwhile, on the other side of the state line… Kansas, where is your sign? We had to make our own! (Photo credit: Laura)

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

  • Tracy Z
    Posted at 23:53h, 05 July

    LOVE this!!

    So, let me tell you about my most recent scary, yet very stupid, thing. We’ve been coming to Garden City for 10 years. 10 years of seeing the same flat ground. With no here’s-how-to-find-your-way landmarks whatsoever!

    Okay, with that being said, Jim tells me to get in the service truck and head to the field we had JUST taken trucks to. He was going to follow with the combine.

    No problem! I got this! Piece of cake!

    All at once, I see him turn while I had gone straight. Rather than finding a driveway and turning around, I keep going straight thinking I’ll just turn down the next mile road. There is no next mile road.

    I got this! (Or so I think) So, I make a left turn (thinking that was the direction Jim had turned). I go another mile further away. About this time, a bit of panic sets in and I do what I don’t want to do…I call Jim on the phone. “Coukd you tell me what the name of the road is that I need to be on?” His reply, “just go to the field where the trucks are. Can’t you see the combine?”

    Nope, I couldn’t see the combine. Even as flat as it is in that area, I couldn’t see it. Therefore, I knew I was a ways away from where I was supposed to be. No landmarks whatsoever. Only corn fields and wheat fields and it all looks the same.

    Oh…and when he told me to just go back to the field the trucks were in, I hung up on him. I knew I was on my own!

    I decided to head south rather than north. I tried to use some of the elevators I could see on the horizon as landmarks. I decided i was too far north. When I started heading south, I could make out the Beast and the dirt behind it. I knew i was gonna be okay. ?

    I really did feel stupid. It’s the worst feeling to feel lost. I didn’t even think about using my map app to find the farmer’s house. Duh! That would have been too easy. But it would have also been easier had Jim just told me the road name rather than “just go back to where the trucks are”! UGH!!!!!

    PS…LOVE your shirt!❤️

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 14:58h, 06 July

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who hangs up sometimes on their husband, I mean, eh, conveniently “lost service”.

      Great story! You’re not alone!

      PS: I love my shirt too! 🙂

  • David Parks
    Posted at 00:42h, 07 July

    I once had a limo come up my drive to pick up a family to take them to funeral. Scary can be people using GPS and showing up on your farm and thinking you are someone else. This has happened to me more than once.

    • Laura Haffner
      Posted at 13:59h, 08 July

      Oh my! I hope that family got to the funeral in time! What a crazy sotry!