Tractors Across The USA – July 26th to Aug 1st 2009

Day 30:   July 26   ILLINOIS

Sunday morning started out bright and sunny, but not too hot – these people must have bribed the weather man as well!  The common comment is that it is unseasonably cool and no-one has complained.

One of the local Churches held a Chapel Service at 8.00am, good old fashioned gospel music and a message from the local Pastor, Glenn Kreider.  Then our group had a short meeting to decide on the best route to take to Moline and soon it was time to have the tractors ready to participate in the opening of the Parade of Tractors.  Again, we could only stay for a few minutes before heading down Route 140 to Gillespie.

The trip to Gillespie was fairly short and uneventful and upon arrival, the ladies were very happy to take up the kind offer of our hostess, Becky Doyle, to use the laundry facilities.  The past week had not given much opportunity for keeping up with this aspect of housewifery, so the machines had to work overtime.

Neville and Peter had stayed behind at Greenville and were to catch up ‘soon’ but when the hours rolled by and there was no sign of them, there was some concern as to their whereabouts. The phones did not work in most of these areas and the CB radio was obviously out of range.  Eventually George went back into the town of Gillespie to seek word of them – zooming along in his tractor and passing incoming guests on the drive, much to their amazement!  Sure enough, they had just arrived in the town after having discovered a section of ‘Route 66’!  They were not lost, just sightseeing!

In the meantime, Becky and her husband Ken were cooking up a real feast – a whole side of roasted pork – just delicious!  The many guests contributed towards the wonderful array of salads and sweet temptations and there was even a very special ‘Welcome Aussies’ cake which not only looked great but was very tasty as well.  Becky kindly took over the hosting of our visit when her neighbours, Lindell and Jean Loveless, discovered that the date set with us clashed with their planned trip to Alaska.  We were sorry to miss the Loveless’s, but Becky and Ken certainly entertained us very well in very lovely surroundings.

Day 31:  July 27  ILLINOIS

After four very hectic weeks, the group members have decided to take a few days ‘R & R’ – some wish to visit the Oshcosh Airshow in Wisconson, others plan to go to the John Deere establishment in Moline and Ron and Kerry are just going to do some sightseeing and fulfill some media arrangements.  There is an arrangement to catch up with Cumber and Jeff in Dubuque, Iowa on Saturday August 1st.  Diary notes will resume once all members are together again, and some may have their own stories to tell of their experiences.

Days 32 to 36: July 28 to August 1 ILLINOIS to IOWA

Five days have flown by and all the members of the group are looking relaxed and ready to start the second half of the trek bright and early on Sunday morning.  George and Anne made the long trip to Oshcosh, promising to return early Sunday, but the two tractors of Cumber and Jeff have not returned to Dubuque as planned.  Ten members of the group will continue on to Waterloo and Clarion.

During the intervening days, many interesting places have been visited –

Hannibal to ride the ‘Mark Twain Riverboat’ ;  Galesburg to have fun with some paramedics ;  Illinois City to visit with the Editor of ‘Farm Collector’, Leslie McManus ;

John Deere Pavilion in Moline ;   Blanding’s Landing on the Mississippi River ;  One of the many lochs on the river ;   Chestnut Mountain Resort to admire the wonderful views of the river ;  “The House on the Rock’ – a wonderful collection of novel and imaginative displays ;   Galena to investigate the wonderful little shops full of ‘tourist traps’ , and last, but by no means least, the sights and sounds of Dubuque – the Museum and Aquarium, the Food Fair and the Fenelon Place Elevator, the world’s steepest, shortest scenic railway.

Some discussion has taken place about the proposed route and suggestions for change have been made in an effort to maintain our critical time schedule.  The new route will take us from Clarion in Iowa across to Sioux Falls, then via Mount Rushmore down to Loveland, Colorado.



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