Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mild meanderings (behind the little animals.....)

     Growing up in a small Idaho farming community in the 70's was great! Living/working on our family farm gave me employment from the time I could lift and carry irrigation tubes. I can remember being paid a quarter an hour at about 6 years old.
     It was an easy, safe time to grow up in. By foot, by bike and finally with our own cars we roamed as far as each mode would take us. We had farm buildings, hay and straw stacks, etc. to play in; we had friends living across the road to play with. We had TVs but that was mostly an evening event. We had to much fun outdoors, some of it safe, some not so safe! I remember digging many tunnels and caves, playing in the canals and drain ditches, riding our bikes for miles around. But we grew up with a confidence seldom seen in the youth today. We drove trucks, tractors and combines as soon as we were physically able and proved early on that we could be trusted and responsible. This work and play taught us to be safe, even when doing unsafe stuff!!
     Now, my teen years were quite colorful as it was the early 70's with all that entailed!! Wish I had some pics to share (I think) of the clothes we wore then! We listened to the rock of Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Chicago, The Rolling Stones. We had black light posters, bell bottoms, harvest gold and avocado green and bongs. We said "far out!", "right on", "dig it", "gnarly", "groovy", and "let it all hang out"!!
      Drugs were an issue, and I still miss marijuana! But I realized that when I was under the influence of "maryjane" I might take anything else and quit all of it in my mid teens. Again, because most of us could be trusted we rarely let drugs or alcohol lead us to the crime much of our youth are involved in today. It was more of a social event rather than a way of life. It wasn't "cool" to be a junkie or an alcoholic.
     Even though my kids grew up in a small community and on several acres with chores and the like, and with NO broadcast or cable/sat. TV we still could not allow them the freedom I had growing up. But we did the best we could and our kids grew up always outside with their mother and I spending a lot of time with them in scouting, 4-H, camping, trips, etc. We had a lot of fun!
     Now I'm into a new way of life. Divorced and moved back to my hometown, driving long haul to pay the bills, and now with a wonderful relationship with a beautiful lady close by and her family to get to know and love. Life is good; it has it's ups and downs but with the right attitude you can weather anything and even find good in the bad. Love being around my Mom, brother and sister now, and having sooooo much fun with all my online friends!! You all are great and the fun is just starting!!  Right on!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Canadian potato run 2010

For about 7 weeks we ran newly harvested potatoes from Oregon and Washington into Canada, to Taber and Vauxhall Alberta. Approx. 6 trucks running on the American side delivered bulk potatoes to Bonners Ferry, ID and met with about the same number of our drivers running the Canadian side. I say "about" because although many of us were permanent we had a few others rotating in/out. This is how it went.......

Most of the potatoes were from the Terra Poma Farms outside Irrigon, OR. We loaded by backing into a belt auger.......

.......then Miguel would load us up!

As you can see they dumped them raw into our trailers!

We had a young lady inspector who made out our Canadian bill of lading, Tina!

We had to weigh in on a truck scale and then weigh out, telling them each time how many pounds of potatoes we wanted them to load us with. Then it was about a 5 1/2 hour drive to Bonners Ferry where we would congregate to give our Canadian truckers the loaded trailers and we would hook to their empties for the return trip to Oregon.

 We met on this dirt lot actually on the grounds of the Idaho port of entry and what a dusty mess that was. There was a small truck stop there with store, restaurant and 2 small showers....all the conveniences of home!! It actually was the hot spot of the town, the food was very good and lots of town folk packed it up each night. I don't think there was a lot else happening in Bonners Ferry......

The potatoes were being harvested each day just as we arrived to load, brought in in farm trucks and backed into the building up to the machine to clean and load them into our trucks.

In the first pic you see a truck backing in; they would load into the large tank, then would be run through some cleaning belts, then would be cleaned again by the crew you see above. Ths crew would also pick out the larger potatoes as the spuds were on their way to Frito Lay to be made into potato chips and they were picky about size!

It was quite the project; I wish I had taken more pics of our truck drivers as I made some pretty good friends. We even had one buy a charcoal bbq and we bbq'd steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs while spending time at Bonners Ferry!! WOO HOO!!!'

Okay, due to popular request, I have located the BBQ PICS! And here they are.....

You can find fun in almost any situation!!!