Today Chris and I are headed to Effingham, Illinois to pick up farrowing barn flooring and a couple of new crates! Ever vacationed with a farmer or taken a “quick” trip to pick up parts, look at equipment or pick up a piece of equipment – I have and it is just one adventure after another! Chris and I and the kids have several good story’s of such “adventures” - but the reason I grabbed my toothbrush and a pair of clean underwear today takes me back to 1994!
The Feed Grinder Trip:
Chris had been looking for a new-to-us feed grinder for a while and located a place in Jacksonville, Illinois - a wheeler-dealer who worked out of his shop! So one morning Chris said “Jent jump in the truck we are going to make a quick trip over to Illinois to look at a feed grinder!” I asked do we need to pack a bag? He replied “Nope, the guy says it’s only a 3 and half hour drive – we’ll be back in time for supper!”
That guy was wrong – it took 5 hours to get there, we arrived at noon, looked over several feed grinders and decided on one!
That was when the fun really started! We really wanted electric scales so he started piecing us together a set and hooking them to the grinder. Then he decided if we were going to drag it all the back to Franklin he really ought to have his guys repack the wheel bearings – that is not a really quick job – by the time we signed some paperwork, hooked up the grinder and headed out of his drive-way it was 4pm, in the winter, the sun would be setting soon, we had no lights on the grinder and could only drive 35-40 mph – do the math – we weren’t going to make it home for supper, we weren’t going to make it home that night!
We did make it to Decatur, it was dusk in a place we didn’t know our way around, dragging a feed grinder with no lights thru town – fun times! We found a discount store where we grabbed a couple of toothbrushes, a pair of underwear for each of us and Chris splurged and said “grab yourself a new shirt for the ride home!”! We then drove across the street to a rather “seedy” hotel and got a room for the night! I remember that it really wasn’t the best part of town, we couldn’t leave so we had to order pizza to be delivered, he brought all the electronic scale parts into the hotel room so no one would steal them and spent most of the night peeking out the curtains to make sure no one was vandalizing the grinder and his truck!
We made it thru the night – no vandals – looking back now we laugh – what kind of gang looks up and says “Dude there's a feed grinder let’s go mess that thing up!” – but we were young! We showered put on our clean clothes, loaded the scales and set out for home!
It was an adventure, we had to drive 2 lane roads all the way and at a snails pace – we made it home late afternoon – it had been a long 2 days! But I believe the funniest part was the evening we got home – Chris went to take his “new” shirt off – it was a nice shirt too – kind of a denim blue color, button up with button down collars – too bad he didn’t read the tag that said “wash before wear” because when he took it off he was the color of a smurf everywhere the shirt touched him – I still laugh out loud hysterically remembering it – it took a couple of days for the coloring to wash out of his skin – oh good times!
Poor guy will never live that down – to this day when he mentions going to look at equipment I always want to grab my toothbrush, even if he says we are only going to Greensburg – I just don’t want to take the chance!