This blog post was orginally written and posted for HarvestHER on June 14, 2016. HarvestHER is an online community formed by women for women who work within the custom harvest world. Custom harvest is a small part within the agricultural community, and women are even a smaller percentage. HarvestHER focuses on these women’s stories. Without the women behind the scenes, harvest would run a lot less smoothly. Some are harvest wives, some are owners of the company with their husbands, and a few like me are paid employees from a non-family related company. We are the backbone. Stay tuned for more of my posts on HarvestHER and some potential big updates from them.
Hello Dodge City, and Ford KS.
I have never been in and out of Dacoma and the surrounding area that quick. 15 thousand acres and 8 days of cutting- no rain or anything. We got there and kicked it’s butt.
Friday we were still up in Kiowa cutting on a section and a half. I spent a lot of the day running around and picking up parts and paying bills in Alva. We got our first shipment of mail from back home which is always exciting. Matt finally got a new phone which is fantastic- now you can actually hear him. AND he (stubbornly) graduated from a flip phone to a smart phone.
Saturday morning we got the guys going again, and then went into Kiowa for a quick meeting. While we were there we picked up a couple pizzas for everyone’s lunch. I fed everyone else first, then at about noon we moved from Kiowa back to Dacoma and started on our last few quarters. Although the move wasn’t bad at all, it took forever. We pulled three headers back to Dacoma, waited for three combines to get there, hooked them up, and then went back for the shop truck, last combine, and last header. It took almost three hours by the time everything was said and done. Then I finally got to eat my cold pizza. Still tasty. Our friend John was around again for most of Saturday and into Sunday. Saturday night he brought me out a large caramel frappe from McDonald’s. Total win for me. It’s little things as simple as a frozen coffee drink at 8pm that make your day. Also: drop off laundry service- might have to cough up the dough but so worth it. I don’t have time or energy to do laundry half the time.
Sunday we wiped out the last of our job in Dacoma and loaded the heads and blew off the combines a bit for our next move. Got back to our hotel after grabbing Taco Mayo, and then sorted out and organized probably 100+ tickets for our customer. I got to bed before 1130- it was awesome.
Monday morning it had rained in Alva, but our crew was moving to Dodge City anyways. We road the combines and tractors from Dacoma to our job in Ford KS. Some of the guys kind of get annoyed by the 6 hour drive, but by the time you load four combines and two tractors and carts, chain them down, and drive them to Ford, it’s just quicker and easier to road all the equipment.
We also dropped off a couple cases of beer to the guys (also gave the woman a pack of bottled margaritas) at the Dacoma Co-op. They’re so good to us and are willing to help with anything that we need. A couple cases of beer is nowhere near enough thanks, (especially cause I grabbed dinner there a few times, got snacks pretty much whenever, and tend to just sit and loiter), but you can still convey a lot of appreciation from a few cold ones.
Got our combines on the road, and two pickups pulling heads left with them and guided them on the less traveled back roads to get to Ford. Matt stayed behind with the shop truck to refill the fuel trailer’s DEF tank, and I took off by myself with a head and went right to Ford. Dropped the trailer there, set up our regular charge accounts at a few places, went into Dodge City, checked into all of the rooms, and then ditched the pickup load of luggage into our room. Drove back to Ford where Matt was just pulling in. We went into the office for our field maps and chatted with the office people a bit. The combines were getting close, so we waited in the pickup instead of driving around. I totally fell asleep. Hard. Never heard the combines pull in next to us, etc. I woke up by five guys crawling inside of the pickup. It had rained in Ford Sunday night/Monday morning and the wheat isn’t completely quite there yet, so we headed into Dodge at about 430. Matt and I brougth them to Montana Mike’s which was our first “real” meal since leaving on harvest. After getting back to the hotel and unpacking a bit, we sat in the hot tub for awhile, and went to bed early. I even slept in this morning until 7. After a good night’s sleep and a hot meal, I feel fantastic.
We had a pretty good storm last night and got about half an inch of rain everywhere. We’re letting the guys sleep in while we figure out our game plan for the next few days. Six more of our combines and two more grain carts will get here by the end of the week, which means I’ll most likely be bouncing from Ford back to Dacoma a few times to help move headers.
Now, off for a real breakfast.