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Christy: Making the long haul

Fort Benton, Montana—We made it. It took a little longer than we thought it would with a few hiccups along the way, but most of us are here and already cutting. Gary and Rhonada still have one crew working in Colby, Kansas, and they should wrap up this week to join us.

Our trip out to Montana started early Wednesday morning. We had a tire blow out on the big camper, and a pickup run out of fuel. Nothing too scary, but it kept us from making Bowman, North Dakota, where we were hoping to stay for the night. Instead we made it to Buffalo, South Dakota, and dry camped between two lots.

Zoey actually fell asleep in the truck with Paul. She very rarely sleeps on moves, so she must have been tired.

The next morning, we took off early, only to have one of the service trucks pulling a double header trailer have an entire wheel break off. It flew across the road down through a ditch and into a field. I’m so thankful the camper behind him wasn’t following too closely, and that there were not any other vehicles near. It could have been a major disaster.

We were unable to recover the wheel, so we stopped at the sale barn just outside Bowman to see if we could find a hub. Paul ended up having to drive all the way to Dickinson, North Dakota, for a hub. It held us up for a few hours. The only good thing was our permits weren’t printed out yet to enter Montana, so I asked the sale barn office if I could come in with my printer and computer to print them out. The lady was awesome and let me set up office right there in the sale barn.

Where the wheel completely broke off the double header trailer pulled by one of the service trucks.
Getting the trailer road worthy again.
Sitting at the sale barn in Bowman waiting for parts.
My makeshift office.

We finally got moving again and made it to Lewistown, Montana. Everyone was starving, so we parked campers and were lucky enough to find Pizza Hut was still open, it was already after nine. They were really awesome to us there, too. Even making us some wings after the kitchen was closed.

Just starting up the trucks early Friday morning in Lewistown, Montana. We parked all the equipment at the Torgerson’s Case IH dealership for the night.

The next morning, we pulled in safely to Fort Benton. The drive in gave us a spectacular view of some really amazing looking fields. The guys immediately started putting duals on, and headed to the field. They have split between two farmers at this time, one by Highwood and one by Carter. As soon as Gary gets done in Colby, we’ll have the rest of the machines here and there’s also a group that had to backtrack for equipment that should be back tomorrow. We should all be back working together soon.

Since this is one of our favorite stops, one of the first things Zoey said she wanted to do was stop at her favorite ice cream shop, the Frosty Freeze. We squeezed that in between taking meals out and righting all the campers after the long move.

Now that’s an ice cream cone.

Judging from how things looked when I brought supper out, I think we’re going to see some awesome crops. And not one weed in sight. That’s definitely a relief. More to come on yields next week.

Christy Paplow can be reached at christy@allaboardharvest.com. 

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