Sponsored by:

Tracy: If Combines Could Talk

Limon, Colorado – It was exactly a week. We walked away from the too-green-wheat field on July 11 and finally got moving again on July 18.

It sure didn’t happen very quickly. After the showers we received on Monday and Tuesday, we opted to wait until the afternoon of the 18th to even attempt to get rolling again. What did we find? Well, good news and bad news. I was going to work on the north side of the field, Kyle on the south. He was able to roll right through the field he was on. Mine…just not good enough. I worked and worked to find some dry enough to keep rolling. The best it did was 15%.

Z Crew My sassy little Nora got her pinafore aprons in the mail. I’m sure Jamie probably said something like, “Smile, Nora, and we’ll send this picture to Gramma.” The straps need shortened a bit but otherwise she likes her new aprons.

Z Crew And, yes, we had additional days of waiting…so I made Christmas stockings. 🙂

Z Crew This “lake” south of Limon is not supposed to be in the middle of this wheat field. The rains have been spotty and have no consistency in the amount dropped. Some places have received 3-5 inches while other places, maybe, 20/100ths.

Z Crew Testing for moisture. The remaining fields that needed cut were very thin as a result of no rain after it was planted. It seemed to take forever to dry down.

Z Crew Manual moisture test to compare with the combine.

So, once Kyle was done, we moved back to the south and across the road and…it worked! By this time, the day was nearly over but we cut later than we had typically. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t know why. But it’s like the night I mowed the yard at 11:00 pm just prior to leaving for harvest. I guess because it’s a change and something that we don’t normally do. We were just shy of finishing the field by about 15 acres.

Z Crew Couldn’t resist. This just screamed, “Take a picture of me!”

Z Crew The “golden” hour.

Z Crew A good picture of what droughty wheat looks like in Eastern Colorado.

Z Crew The final Colorado sunset through the window of The Beast.

Z Crew A luxury for the Z Crew!

We finished the job, easily, the next day. And then, we moved right back over to the field the previous day was running a moisture test of 15%. Today…it was 12% or better. Amazing what one day, some hot sunshine and no humidity will do to a green wheat field! And the final acres in Colorado were complete.

Z Crew DONE!

We still had plenty of daylight left to begin the clean up. But, as typical for those clean up days, it was way hot and no wind. But, I was determined that we WERE going to get that header clean! We have a schedule to keep now. We’ve GOT to get moved up to Montana and in place as soon as possible because we are about to have visitors from home!

Z Crew Let the clean up begin!

Z Crew This was my view while cleaning the header with the air compressor. It was just too lovely not to share – and a view most don’t get to see (through the back of the header).

Z Crew Let the cool down begin!

Curt, Jamie and the kids are leaving home on Sunday with intentions of spending a couple of nights in the Black Hills and then making their way further north to Jordan. Eli HAS GOT to see REAL cowboys! We have approximately 2,100 miles ahead of us. Three trips on the same highway tends to get boring but the incentive of getting to Jordan for hugs from those kids will make it less horrible. Once we get there, we hope to find enough acres to keep us busy until it’s time to head back home for fall crops. Please keep your fingers (and toes) crossed for us!

We spent all of today cleaning the combine, settling up with our customer, and getting equipment in place for the move. In the area we were using for all of this activity, there sits this lonesome ‘ole C2 Gleaner. So, at the end of the day, I decided to take the time to jump in. As I sat in that worn, torn seat, I thought about the days when it was new and the acres it covered and the people who loved it. And I thought about how simple it was and how simple life must have been. Harder…yet simpler. Oh, if combines and equipment could only talk! Can you imagine the tales they would tell? Of the people who owned them and took care of them, the kids who crawled all over them, and how important they once were.

Z Crew The grain facility Jim was hauling to.

Z Crew I just had to. I had a few minutes to kill waiting on Jim and I had to climb in the cab of this beauty! “Hey, Jim, come take a picture of me in this!”

Z Crew No AM/FM radio, no air conditioner, no auto steer, no fancy joystick, not many gauges to watch, no computer screen. Just simple, simple, simple! I think the air conditioner would have been a plus in something like this. But they didn’t know any differenly!

Z Crew Old School.

Z Crew The Gleaner “CII” was introduced in 1964. For a short time, the Gleaner “CII” combine was referred to as the “Flagship” of the Silver fleet. It was powered by an A-C 6 cylinder/262 cubic inch engine that put out 93 HP and had the ability to run a 6 row corn head and a 24 ft rigid grain head. This machine would have been ideal for a custom harvester at the time.  The “CII” ended production in 1967 and as its time as the “Flagship” of the line. In 1968, an even bigger combine replaced the “CII” and that was the “G”.

Z Crew The grain bin capacity of the “CII” was 85 bushels. The Beast will hold 400 bushels plum full.

Z Crew No buddy seat in this ‘ole gal!

Z Crew A view of the feederhouse and header connection brackets.

Z Crew

I looked out over the rows of old equipment and thought about their owner. And I thought about the hard work and the days spent worrying and caring for a crop in this dry, arid and desert-like land.  I’m certain it was a hard life but a good life. And that string of equipment would have wonderful tales to tell…if they could only talk.

Z Crew See ya in a few days, Beast. In the meantime, I hope the older and wiser one can give you some pointers (and tell ya some good tales)!

We’ll be on the road for the next several days. If I’m lucky, I will have an evening to catch you up on our happenings. And if I don’t, the next update will be from Jordan, Montana.  Can I just say how very happy I am about going back there????

All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Tracy Zeorian can be reached at zcrew@allaboardharvest.com

18 Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.