The Daytrip

I don’t believe I’ve ever taken you on a day-trip with me. Last fall, I did write about our trip to Idaho, but that was seven times longer than a day-trip. Last week, my nephew, Jamie, and I retrieved an Oliver manure spreader from North Dakota, during a trip that took less than a day.
First off, most day-trips I make are recognizable by several factors; they have a purpose, they are the result of a purchase, and I usually rope someone into going with me. I’ve needed a different manure spreader for quite some time and decided to recently take the plunge. I could have purchased one locally, but that would have required more money and would not have required our day-trip.
Jamie and I left last Friday at five in the morning; we were bound for Denhoff, N.D. Denhoff is about 60 miles west of Carrington, so we would pay brother David a visit in the same fell swoop. I have become emboldened with age and so took several back roads that saved us some time and also brought us through the town of Hatton, N.D., which is the home of Carl Ben Eielson, world famous aviator. I like small towns, and North Dakota is rich with them; most have business districts the width of a C-store, but the towns are typically well-kept and feature a huge grain elevator. I also like the fact that Main Street is normally the highway, therefore I see some of the older, more ornate old homes from either side of the year 1900.
We arrived in Carrington and saw Dave working at Erickson Implement. Dave is a gadget-hound, like myself, so he offered his GPS for our trip to pick up the manure spreader. These little units are fantastic, and I think they would make a good addition for local emergency services. The GPS helped us find turn-offs with great accuracy and ticked off how far we had traveled as we curved around gravel roads to the home of Terry Stroebel.
Now, northwest Minnesota people are fantastic, but some of the North Dakota people would give us a real run for our money. Terry had welded a jack onto the spreader, oiled the wooden floor, greased the axle bearings and fussed over the unit to make sure it was field-ready. I’d sent him a check weeks ago, but he had not cashed it, as he wanted to make sure I liked what I’d purchased. His family was all gathered around for conversation with the travelers from abroad, and I’m sure they would have fed us had we stayed any longer, but we had to get home.
We stopped for another visit with David on the way home. We stood in front of his work and shot the breeze under the sun in light wind; it was really pleasant. We talked about the weather, farming, farmers, my new spreader, family and how well our trip had gone. Our trip had gone so well that I guess I wouldn’t have had to bring most of the tools I own, an air compressor and my good crescent wrench. I felt we were due for a breakdown on the way home, but it never happened. Daylight revealed that which we’d missed on the way out, and we stopped for coffee about every hour and to stretch our legs-I’ve got a 28-inch inseam, so it doesn’t take me very long.
The manure spreader is home now and sitting in the shed. Jamie and I had a nice trip and got to see Dave, so that was nice. Still, I wonder when I’ll get the chance for a quest that does not require staying somewhere overnight. It’s rare that purpose, purchase and someone willing to ride shotgun to get a manure spreader come together for a day-trip.

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