Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tractor pull report

As many folks here know from my profile and posts I lease a small section of a farm (one small barn and a few acres) and board horses. The farm itself is huge and leases out land to several other people (5 other businesses!). It didn’t happen last year but several years in a row we’ve had tractor pulls in the late fall on the back half of the property adjacent to my area. It’s a lot of fun but of course a lot of work as well. In previous years my barn’s large community room housed the food buffet and rest room – fortunately this year all the facilities and electricity was available in the back part of the property so folks didn’t have to traipse across a giant corn field to these amenities. Now I only host the ring lights and help out in other minor ways... oh, and keep an eye on my charges too. I'm too much the mother hen sometimes.

It was still a VERY long and cold day… we didn’t get the snow showers they predicted thank goodness! 14hrs starting off with that would have been awful.

It’s really a terrific community event. There is almost always a “cause” chosen. Someone having a rough time – this year it was an old timer who’s been around the farm since it was a functional dairy; he and his wife were in an accident recently. They’re ok - he even visited for a bit which was great to see. About 100 people total were there this year, less than previous years (200 was the top year). However it was amazingly quiet and smooth running all in all. I believe the final tractor count was 40 but I saw a bunch of the bigger ones come in later so I’m not sure – they’ll know in a day or two when everyone tallies up everything. It is bigger than the pulls at the fairs though: anyone with a tractor comes and several people will drive the one family tractor sometimes which is pretty cool to see too. They also pulled some of the local guy’s trucks (but nothing rauckus like you hear in typical truck pulls with the modified engines/bodies and roaring stacks – these are just farm vehicles). My boyfriend pulled with his rebuilt ’56 chevy dually he had started building from a rusty old cab when we first dated. He won, beating guys who’d won their classes at area’s fairs. He’s pretty happy and ought to be – it took a lot of courage to test his workmanship that way: he spent about 2 years building it and it’s gone from construction site work, to car shows to a pull now – holding it’s own at each. Yay him! :)

Here's the triumphant '56 doing some work last fall & earning it's keep (and the timberframing work is what he does at the moment). It was a rusty brown cab (nothing more) when we went on our first date. I'm always just so impressed with his work. Can you tell?

In regular tractors, John Deere is just the name to beat. I won’t list out the class results by weight or anything, it’s just the tractor to own. The old, well cared for ones just can’t be beat though. There were two modified alcohol tractors, those don’t do the typical tractor 'putt putt' -> they roar like stock cars. Very entertaining. Overall though it wasn’t much more than a lot of catching up with everyone. The hay folks we buy from, the people we do business with or for and that sort of thing. Good times.

The horses were only bored silly by it all, they are used to louder stuff actually (the barn doors were closed most of the day too so it was really quiet in there) . They stayed in since there are 2 big worry-warts among them that would have lost 50lbs today just staring bugged eyed transfixed at the magically vehicle-filled field and forgetting to eat. I wish I was kidding. -sigh- The horses (different ones) have been out in the past and had no qualms about it all. But this gave me a fun excuse too -> I retreated to the barn here and there “having chores” (don't cha know) ;) when I needed to warm up. It was much nicer out of the wind and a little shoveling and soft shavings under foot got the blood back into my feet. Very quiet ending too – the bonfire raged all day and into the night and helped a good deal. Those that lingered to the end had to be assigned drivers though to get them home. ;) My boyfriend is just getting back right now from one of those designated driver runs.

Best part is that there seemed to have been little trash left over to be picked up tomorrow… I can just do business as usual. But oooooh maaaaaaaan do I really need a long hot shower right now. Tomorrow will truly be a wonderful day of rest. :)

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