Saturday, June 27, 2009


Today was to be a day of mowing, and for that matter, so was yesterday. Jim bought the rake
yesterday and brought it home hitched to the back of the truck. Since, it tends to trailer a little right of the truck, and is quite a monstrocity of wheel type rakes, he was concerned about crossing the Missouri River Bridge with it in tow, so Dennis Fischer went with him.

They got it towed out to the land without any problem and up to bluff where the mower and tractor are, and began to cut crested wheat grass. It's a little rocky on the bluff, but everything was going well until a part on the mower gave out. Mowing was finished for that day and on hold until the part could be secured.

It was agreed that I would go out to the land with Jim today, which was Saturday, and stay with him while he worked on machinery and then mowed.

He had to stop out at the farm implement store here in Mobridge fior the mower part first . Then, there was another stop at Stoick's Super Value grocery store for a picnic lunch, and the West Side Meat Market for salami and slice roast beef before we started out of town with the implement part, two dogs, a jug of ice water, thermos of coffee and even some of my childhood favorite bakery rolls. We called them Bismarks back then. They are still the same as I remember them. So many things here have not changed in all these years that we have been away.

So, there we were off and heading west out of town. We crossed the Missouri River AKA Lake Oahe as we drove out of Mobridge, and entered Corson County. We change counties when we cross the bridge, and time zones as well. Mobridge is on the East side of the bridge, on Central Standard Time in Walworth County, while the west side of the bridge is Corson County, which is on Mountain time.

Just a short distance beyond the bridge is a left turn for The Grand River Casino, and for The Sitting Bull Monument. Sacajawea's monument is close to Sitting Bull's final resting place on a bluff overlooking the Mighty Mo River/Oahe. I know this place well as we often went there during teen years.

Today we passed the monuments and continued down the road to pick up the bailer that Jim purchased. It was at Wjinches River Bottom Ranch. a beautiful place with a fabulous view of the water. It' s actually three miles from Mobridge as the crow flies across the river, but the drive across the bridge and down the road parallel to the river is over twenty miles. We met Ken Wjinches and his son, C.J. and nephew, and hooked the baler to the truck.

Ken was very helpful to Jim and offered help and advice. He discussed his own successful farming and haying business., advising that there is very good money in hay, and gave some good tips about selling it.

This piece of equipment was in West River country so we didn't have to tow it over the bridge, which is always good. We proceeded along to the land and put it up on the bluff with the other equipment.

When we arrived at the land, we were once again in awe of the beauty of the place. The sun was shining and the the grass was rolling in waves in the wind. As always, we gazed out at the miles of pastural views, and imagined sitting on the porch of a cabin in that very spot enjoying the beauty of it all.

I set up the picnic lunch on the back of the mower, made some sandwiches, and poured us each a cup of coffee. The wind was brisk and we used the baler as a combination wind break and buffet to hold our food. The dogs were having their own lunch below the baler as we have learned to bring their food and water dish along.

The sky began to turn dark just as we finished eating and Jim went to his repairs. I took him his coffee cup, and as I handed it to him, remarked, "looks like it's raining in Timber Lake".
He agreed and kept working.

By this time the wind was blowing very hard, and the sky above was black, so I quickly gathered up all of the food and thermoses from the baler and put everything back in the truck. The dogs were scared so they too went into the truck.

Jim commented that the storm was coming our way as he continued tightening bolts on
the mower. When I felt the first rain drop, I headed to the truck, but Jim stayed until he was in a full blown thunder storm. He came sliding into the truck just as it started to hail and the wind was trying to blow everything out of the truck through the open windows. We closed the windows and watched the storm. The hail looked to me to be about marble size, but was reported on the radio to be the size of quarters. We watched the hail fall and bounce up to what Jim estimated to be about a foot and a half on the new mown hay. The grand finale was some bigger hail pounding on the truck, and Jim said, "I don't like this."

Then it began to move off to the south east and we heard weather warnings and alerts for the towns in it's path. The high wind continued and the grass was wet, so we had to post pone the mowing until tomorrow morning.

We'll be up early tomorrow and on the road without any equipment to tow. The machinery is gassed up and ready to go.

Now if the fields are dry and the weather cooperates, we will make some very fine hay.
Jim had to repair the part on the mower, and then tighten some bolts? on the rake and grease it, then fill the tractor with gas before mowing. As it turned out, we had several boughts with wild wind, thunder storms, rain, and hail.We were up on the bluff, the highest point in the area, and Jim was out working on machinery

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