25 Jul Christy: Finally, big sky country
Fort Benton, Montana—After a long move over the last two days, we pulled into Fort Benton, Montana, last night. It hasn’t changed from last year. It’s still one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. From what I could see on the way here, I think the crops will be good, though they might be a few days off yet. We’ll have a better idea when we get out there tomorrow and take a look at the fields that we’ll be cutting.
Before making our way here, I went home for two nights back to Ocheyedan, Iowa, to bring another header out. I had the opportunity to take a glance at the fall crops around home and things are looking good. We received a few inches of rain last week around home, and hopefully we’ll continue to get rains.
After I came back out to Nebraska so we could get moving here, Paul and a couple of the guys came home and picked up the two machines we left this spring. We’ll be able to keep all our combines busy out here, which is a great feeling.
The move to Fort Benton is the biggest move we make all year. It usually takes us two trips. This is because we don’t have enough trailers and trucks to get everything in one go. On the first trip, things went smoothly besides three blown tires. I went home during the first trip, and made it back out the day before we left with all the remaining equipment and campers.
On the second trip, we had a little more trouble. The first day only brought on one blown tire, but the second day Parker started having truck problems. After trying to switch the combine he was hauling to a grain trailer train, we thought it might lighten the load enough for him to keep going. But the rear end had other ideas and we ended up having to park the truck and trailers in someone’s driveway. It’s definitely not an ideal situation to have to abandon the truck, but we’ll get back after it as quickly as we can. We’ll need all our truck and grain trailers once we start cutting.
Traffic on the roads was terrible this trip. Over the years, it gets worse and worse. Drivers are becoming not only more aggressive, but brave in their maneuvers to try and get around us. Even other semi drivers are passing us without a care to the oncoming vehicle taking the ditch to miss them. I’ll admit, when I first met Paul, I had never been in a semi before. Knowing what I do now, I wish I had taken more care while driving around them. I certainly do now, and I’m more aware of how they cannot stop on a dime.
People are also in such a hurry these days they don’t slow down while they pass us when we’re emergency stopped on the side of the road. This one gets to me the most, because usually it’s my husband who’s walking around out there trying to determine what the issue is and how to fix it until we get to our next stop. So if it hasn’t crossed your mind, please slow down when you see us stopped. It’s certainly not lost on me that you want to get to where you’re going and we don’t want to be stopped either, but the few seconds it takes to give us a break keeps us safe and is so greatly appreciated.
Lately it seems like all I’ve talked about is moving, and that’s the only thing it feels like we’ve done since we’ve been going through acres so quickly. This time, we’ll be here in one spot for about four to six weeks. The crops will hopefully be better, and we can really dig into some larger fields.
Christy Paplow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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