All Aboard Harvest | Christy: Finally, big sky country
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Christy: Finally, big sky country

Hot Springs, South Dakota on our way to Montana. There's a large truck stop where we can all fit to have a quick break and pass out sack lunches.

We stopped in Hot Springs, South Dakota, on our way to Montana. There’s a large truck stop where we can all fit to have a quick break and pass out sack lunches.

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.

A quick snap I took of the wheat around Fort Benton as we were coming into town.

A quick snap I took of the wheat around Fort Benton as we were coming into town.

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.

Paul's soybeans by our house. His beans are looking really good so far, hope it continues.

Paul’s soybeans by our house. His beans are looking really good so far, hope it continues.

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.

 

After only about 45 miles on the road, here we are changing a combine tire on the shoulder.

After about 45 miles on the road, here we are changing a combine trailer tire on the shoulder.

If you can see, the truck with the rear end that went out has been pulled off into a driveway.

If you can see, the truck with the rear end that went out has been pulled off into a driveway.

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.

One of many impatient semis passing us on the two lane.

One of many impatient semis passing us on the two lane. You might be able to see my HUD that reads 45 miles per hour. We usually run around 55 miles per hour. I slowed down so this guy could just pass without incident. 

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 christy@allaboardharvest.com.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is brought to you by ITC Holdings, CASE IH, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, US Custom Harvesters Inc., Unverferth Mfg. Co. Inc., Lumivia CPL by Corteva Agriscience, Kramer Seed Farms, and High Plains Journal.

3 Comments
  • Jeremy Doggett
    Posted at 09:12h, 26 July Reply

    I hope the rest of your harvest travels are smoother and the other drives more considerate of everyone on the roads.

    • Christy Paplow
      Posted at 06:26h, 01 August Reply

      Thanks, Jeremy!

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