James & Carla Miller (21279)
South Carolina Palmetto Pals – Presidents
Hey from South Carolina (and all over). Jim and I left home the middle of July to attend the International Rally in Lewisburg, West Virginia and have been traveling since. We arrived in Williston, North Dakota on the 8th of August and had a wonderful time seeing family and friends. Jim got to play farmer again when he assisted our brother-in-law, Kurt, with harvesting his wheat crop. The drought caused a serious reduction in the quantity and quality of this year’s produce, but they gathered what was there.
After completing the harvest, we visited Bemidji, Minnesota to see Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox monument. Our travels continued to Fargo, North Dakota, where we visited the Air Museum and the Hjemkomst Center. This site hosts the Viking ship that sailed to Norway and the Hopperstad Stave Church. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and informative. Well worth the visit!
When we started this trip, we planned to stay and participate in the sugar beets harvest, just on the east side of North Dakota, but Kurt convinced him into staying in Williston and working with a local farmer that turned out to be a classmate of mine. Jim and Kurt drove eighteen-wheeler trucks, with thirteen gears (totally new to Jim) alongside the beet picker which conveyed the beets into the truck. The state waives the load limits during the harvest season to allow for quick completion. Some of the loads Jim hauled were more than one-hundred thousand pounds. I spent a day riding with him to get the experience, too. We made several trips from the field to the dumpsite and boy was that ever a thrill. Six huge piles of sugar beets, more than a football field wide and six fields in length. The trucks dumped the beets (some by tipping up, others by the conveyer belt at the bottom of the truck bed) onto a conveyer which spread the beets from side to side. The conveyer had to be moved back at times as the piles grew.
Several days of weather delayed the process, some days getting into the nineties (they don’t harvest the beets if over sixty degrees) and a second delay because of SNOW. When we woke up to the snow, our kids said it was time to pack up and head home, but it was gone in one day, so the harvest continued. They finished up last Monday, so one day to stock the RV and say our farewells. We departed on Wednesday in hopes of avoiding the weather system that covered the entire way from the gulf into Canada. We were excited to get back home and arrived on Saturday night.
We missed the Region Five Rally, but are looking forward to the North Carolina/South Carolina Christmas at the Beach Rally scheduled for December 7-10 at the Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Safe travels to all and “Keep it between the Lines.” We can be reached at Beanbag40@aol.com.