Tracy: Where the heck is the Combine Cam? (video)

Jordan, Montana – I tried it. I really did! And I thought it was going to work, until I turned the corner and the wind blew from a different direction.

I honestly believe that’s the way it is up here. It was bad in Eastern Colorado but up here in the remote regions of East Central Montana, the cell service is virtually non-existent. Not only does it make it difficult to keep good on a promise (to keep the Combine Cam rolling), it’s also pretty crummy to keep in contact with family.

It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t have cell service to worry about. There were lines of harvesters at the pay phone and your loved ones just got used to not hearing anything from you unless it rained – or you were moving. The world was a bit more simple back then and a whole lot less “all-knowing” of what was going on. We’re so used to being in constant contact that when it can’t happen, you really do miss it.

I find myself getting so frustrated when I pick up the phone to do something or call someone and I can’t. So, I disgustingly throw it in the corner of the combine cab and tell myself I may as well just forget about it. And then…a text notification chime. I guess I caught a bit of the wind that carried a brief moment of modernization. For a second. And then it was gone. And to answer? Well, I reply and hope that the same bit of breeze that brought the first line or two in will carry mine out to the person it was intended. Sometimes it works and sometimes you get the bright red “message failed”.

And then the phone rings. I answer it, “Hello? Hello? Can you hear me?” A few choppy words cut in and out just before the sound of silence comes permanently from the phone. No use in even attempting to call them back. But, I’ll try to text. We’ll see how that works out. Yeah, just what I thought…no breeze to carry the words out. Maybe if I hold my mouth just right?

I wonder if those who live up here find this lack of coverage as irritating as I do. Do they know what it’s like in the larger cities and communities? Maybe they do and they’d just as soon not become as dependent on it as the rest of us have. Maybe I find this a little bit intriguing and okay. Ever want to experience what it was like in the “good ‘ole days”? Come to the remote regions of Montana (and other parts of the Flyover States) and your wish will be granted.

So, what happened to the Combine Cam? Nothing. It’s still in the cab of the combine waiting to do what it was intended to do. I can’t seem to find enough oomph (internet speed) to keep Grant happy. When I run the “Google Speed Test” and it shows like .0027 Mbps, he tells me, “Nope. Not gonna work.” Geesh!

I haven’t given up hope yet.

Caution…the video is jumpy and I’m not sure why.

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

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