Monday, October 21, 2013

171 Miles

I left you hanging as I finished writing about Day # 20 of the sugar beet harvest in Sidney, MT.  Day # 20 kind of merged into Sunday.  

Since we had just finished an unexpected 12 hour shift I had considered sleeping for a few hours and then hitting the road, but by the time we got home I was all wound up, and knew I would not be able to fall asleep, so we just set about getting ready to leave.  

The weather had turned bitter cold and windy in just 30, or 40 minutes since we left the factory, so everything seemed to take forever.  Nevertheless, we had the trailer attached, the hard top back on the 'Bird, and the 'Bird inside trailer by 9 am.  

As we edged along out of the Richland Country Fairgrounds I felt a kind of release.....a sense of new found freedom sweeping over my psyche.  We ran the 56 miles south to I-94 and merged into the west bound lanes.  Amazingly, the further south we proceeded the sunnier and warmer it got.

As I often do, I looked over at TLE and said "it's good to be moving again", and she predictably replied "Yeah".  Of course, that is what it is all about......changing our view, and moving down the road.

I have been thinking about our experience the past few days.  I think it is easy for us city dwellers not to think about what goes into putting agricultural products on our tables every day.  We just go to the supermarket and buy what we need, never thinking about, or realizing how much work goes into delivering that product to you.  Farming and ranching is messy, dirty, physically demanding work.  I have a new appreciation for people who have dedicated their lives to this pursuit.  

Working in a sugar beet pile yard was messy, extremely dirty, did I say messy, and sometimes quite disgusting.  It's do adjust to the work, and just put your head down and plow through it.  Could I do this kind of work on a daily basis 365 days a year?  No I have a new found respect for those who do live this life 365 days a bet.  That is one reason why we took on this job.....for the learning experience.   I had the same reaction last year after we completed our 11 week stint at a new found respect for the people who show up for that job 4-5 days a week working 10-12 hour shifts, 52 weeks a year.  I could not be a picker at as a full time job.  

TLE  and I "bop" in to these workamping jobs committed to give our all for a limited period of time knowing it is not a career, just a short term commitment, and then "bop" out to our next adventure.   We are not heroes......the heroes are the farmers and ranchers we met the past 3 weeks who work long hours in miserable conditions, and the guys who show up every day at Amazon to do their job with pride, and to earn their paycheck.  What we are is blessed to have the opportunity to live this lifestyle, and to take an occasional peek at how the rest of our fellow citizens live their lives.

Love the "Big Sky" here in Montana!

In all we drove 171 miles southwest from Sidney, stopping once at a Rest Area, and a second time at the Walmart in Miles City, MT to do some shopping.  We arrived in Forsyth, MT around 2 pm at Wagon Wheel Campground....there are two other RV's here right now.  The owner, Nancy, said they were full until Saturday when the snowbirds began their treks southward to warmer climates.

It rained on and off as we cruised westward on I-94, and rained for about 30 minutes after we arrived in Forsyth.......a good reason we are glad to be here and not showing up at 7 pm to work the night shift piling beets at the Sidney factory yard.  As I was relating to a friend this morning via e-mail, there is something mildly claustrophobic about working outside at can't see the horizon, and have no depth perception....I like the daylight, long views, and sunshine.  TLE says we have been living like moles for the past 3 weeks.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. So I was thinking, most people carve a pumpkin for Halloween but you should carve a sugar beet.


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