The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Oh my aching back... and wallet!

Made the trip to pick up the tractor just South of Kansas City, Mo. Borrowed a trailer from Brother In Law and was going to follow him up to their place in Misery Missouri right after lunch last Friday. Unfortunately, I found out my fan clutch was out late Thursday night. Had to run up to Patterson's in Bowie and get that fixed.

Fan Clutch: $750 (Yes, that's American Dollars)

Patterson's got me in/out toot sweet and only 4 hours behind schedule. I got to Sis's around 1am. Saturday morning BIL unloaded the hay rings and gates I hauled up on the trailer, then took me on a little tour of their place and I am very jelly. There is water everywhere. They have several artesian wells, creeks and ponds. You have to be careful not to break the crust on top of the ground or you will get a 4 wheel drive stuck. I haven't seen ground like that around here since the 90's.

We all ate an early lunch at a Mennonite Deli in Lead Mine, MO. I mentally blotted the name of the area out. If that's what lead tastes like, I'm a willing participant! Man, talk about good! Everything was raised and or handmade on site. BIL pointed out the ceiling fans that were compressed air powered. They would allow an electric air compressor, but everything else was pneumatic from the ceiling fan to the meat slicer. They had a little store there and everything was hand measured/weighed from bulk and hand labeled. Have to admit I was confused, amazed and impressed all at the same time. We also saw several teams of draft horses plowing on the drive there. They were all out of the field taking lunch when we left. I bet both men and horses worked up a powerful appetite. That's shore 'nuff hard work.

After lunch I got to watch my niece compete in a sanctioned barrel race. Come to find out she's qualified/been invited to the NBHA Youth World Championships in Atlanta later this year. She placed 2nd in her class and they had a pretty darn good turn out, too.

I was impressed with the Highway 38 Arena. It was a bit narrow, but plenty long. More conducive to roping than barrel racing. A very nice indoor arena and even had several hundred plastic stadium seats with cupholders. One thing they did need to work on was parking. They need to get that act under control. People were just parking wherever they came to a stop. No rhyme or reason, just "this will work". Needless to say leaving was a mess. Remember that off road crust? How many horse trailers can you sink on a Saturday night?

I overslept Sunday and didn't get up until 10. Loaded up my stuff, gave everybody hugs and hit the road. The Ozarks are beautiful this time of year and the weather was cloudy and cool that morning.

A portion of Harry Truman Reservoir. The thing is huge and it's well developed. Looks like a great place to be in the summertime.

Made my way to where the tractor was. I was expecting a trucking yard, turns out it was a front yard. A front yard in the middle of nowhere. I had serious concerns my GPS was sending me on a wild goose chase down gravel County Roads until I saw the tractor sitting in the yard. I had to use 4 wheel drive to get up the muddy driveway. At least leaving was going to be downhill.

After clearing the cab of a battalion of wasps, I loaded up and headed out.

I made it a short way down I-49 before I blew out the inside left front trailer tire. No probs, I got a jack and a spare. What I didn't have was a lug wrench that fit the borrowed trailer.

Road Service Call: $135 (Yes, American)

After regaining my composure from the roadside raping I got rolling again and made it 5 miles down the road before I blew out the inside right. No more spares and no way I'm calling Schadenfreude's Road Service again. I limped at 20mph to the next town 30 miles away. I got to Nevada, Missouri Misery the same time the thunderstorms did. Unfortunately we were both 5 minutes after the Walmart tire shop closed.

Opulence, I haz it.

Motel: $65

Bright and early Monday I found a tire shop with 16 ply tires and busted out the plastic.


Visualize 2 more just like it on the other side.

Tire Shop: $750

I also picked up a 4 way lug wrench that fit the trailer in case I did have another blowout.

Lug wrench: $130

I somehow managed to make it out of Misery without spending any more money.

 I took my time and ran 55 all the way back. 69 is still as rough as a corncob and I had to tighten chains in McAlester. But this sight never gets old.

Unfortunately, my adventure was not yet complete. When I turned on to FM1810 in Decatur I saw a cloud of smoke. My first thought was my oil cooler blew, but it wasn't coming out the exhaust. My rear wheel seal gave out and I slung oil all over the brake rotor. I limped the rest of the way home at 20mph, but I made it home.

Guess It's back to the shop for rear wheel bearings and getting those new brakes after all. I hate to admit it but the guy at Chico Auto Parts warned me about the seal when I had the carrier bearing replaced before I left, but I didn't understand what he was telling me until it failed. Now I do.

Oh Yeah, Carrier Bearing : $285

So far I've spent $2115 and change (not including fuel & tolls) getting the tractor from Misery to here and I still have another $400 or so repair to do. I could have had it shipped straight from Montana for less.

I still have to weed kill, fertilize, plant seed plus work on the baler and swather and find out what needs to be done on the tractor.

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