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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mud, hillsides, and I could have died on the way home or at least been somewhat stranded along the highway

I have often thought of my mental state as "swimming in mud," that was almost a literal thing yesterday.
I was planting a number of small fields in a new residential neighborhood. There was a spot where water was running across the access to a field. The farmer said they drove though it all the time and it would be fine.
I almost didn't make it though to plant the field. On the way back I got a run at it. I almost made it.
I briefly considered unhooking the drill and driving the tractor out, then towing the drill out from dry land. I had a heavy log chain with me.
Then I smelled the faint oder of human poop.
So stepped back into the tractor and I called the farmer. Actually I called his farm manager, Armonado. Armando is a nice guy. He sent someone to pull me out. I sat for an hour and it took five minutes to get me out.
I do not like to get poop on my shoes.
I think someone has some issues with their septic drain field.

I planted another 20 acres and then drove several miles up into the hills to do a 60 acre hillside. The field was worked in the fall. It appears to be a black heavy clay soil like our river bottom. There was no way to pack a soil like this last fall, because there was no rain until late, and then it never stopped raining.
The ground was crusted on top and alternated between fluffy underneath, rock hard clay and gravel underneath, or mud.  The tractor and drill sunk into the fluffy soil and made wheel tracks. I managed to get lucky and pick the correct way to go around the field and I encountered the wet spots going down the hill. Otherwise I would have planted the tractor and drill.
Contrary to the hopes of many experiments, planting a White tractor and Great Plains drill in the spring does not result in many little tractors and drills in the fall. I suppose it is because the White is a hybrid.
Then I lost a press wheel bearing.
I also realized I lost my knife which I use to pry the press wheel apart to replace the bearing. Then I realized it was 4 p.m. and I had promised to be at my daughter's softball game which was 20 miles away. (Only five miles from home)
So I went home.
I remembered a really bad bump in the highway. Yamhill Country has the worst roads in Oregon. There was my pocket knife. I stopped and picked it up.
On the way home I spied the farmer out standing in his field. I told him the field was too soft to plant grass seed in with my no-till drill and he should work it. He said ok! No one ever say's "ok... you know best..." They always try to talk me into planting-even if they have to drive 20 miles in a tractor to pull me out. I think I shall give this farmer a discount!
I headed to the game.
I almost drove my pickup straight to the game but instead pulled into the farm in the hopes that I could find someone else to fix my presswheel. (I had the bearing with me)
Instead of turning into the driveway the pickup continued straight into my sister-in-laws garden.
The tie rod end had come out of the socket!!!! I did remember a funny pop noise when I was going through that ditch in the other field...

I took the family car to the game. On the way I though about the number of opportunities I had to die on the way home. I think I shall attribute my "luck" to divine providence as affected by the earnest prayers of our hot-headed by very sincere tractor collecting friend who calls to check on my spiritual state from time to time. The only person I know who has been permanently banned from Weyerhaeser land and had to sell his logging truck as a result.
My daughter's team won! It was a hard fought game.
Middle school softball is often pretty boring as it is mostly the pitcher trying to get the ball near the plate and the kids end up walking.
This game had hits. Line drives and fouls and almost a home run. (by the other team)
My daughter's team had a pretty good pitcher and ended up winning in the last inning.
Now I have to empty a grain drill that holds 2,200lbs of wheat.
Grass seed is fluffy so it won't be that much work.
Better digging grass seed out of a drill with a five gallon bucket and a vacuum cleaner than pulling a stuck tractor out of a field.
Below is a photo of the planting job when I started. I am at only 280ft above sea level. Ignore the bird poop on the back window and look at the levels in the foam marker tank and the fertilizer tank. This was not even the steeper part. I couldn't really take a photo at the steep part.


  1. I can always count on needing to click the "interesting" button when I come to this blog. And I have nightmares about working land that steep. Believe it or not we do have sidehills in Sask. Luckily for me the residential areas I work near are only inhabited by four footed residents.

  2. Perhaps it's time to remove "lazy" and add "Lucky"? After all, luck goes both ways. This time it was in your favor.

  3. Boy do you get all the adventures. Glad you lived through this one.

  4. I found your interesting blog looking for White information. We run what I sometimes call a museum, three Whites, also have a GP drill. As for hills, we usually plant them up and down because the combine wants to run that way, in any case duals are a prerequisite. Keep writing.

    1. Thanks for reading! I'm glad you found it interesting. I really like my old White tractors. Especially the two with four-wheel drive. I don't know how much you read but our whole farm is a tribute to orphan and out of date technologies.
      At present I am a groundskeeper at a small college. Today I made hay. I miss being my own boss.
      I hope you keep reading.


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