Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Terminal

New to truck drivers this year, is the ability to haul to Ritzville Warehouse Templin Terminal.  This is a huge grain transfer station, just outside of the town of Ritzville.  Previous years, Ritzville Warehouse has contracted with commercial truckers to transfer grain from all their satellite stations to the terminal, where it is loaded on to trains and shipped out.

This year, management decided to allow farmers with semi trucks to haul to the terminal, vastly reducing the amount of grain that Ritzville Warehouse has to transfer themselves.  This only works for farmers that are in a relatively close proximity to the Terminal.

We were able to haul our spring wheat crop to the Terminal, but not our winter wheat crop.  Good news for us, our winter wheat was yielding too much grain for us to get back to the field in time, without making the combines wait.  Our little Tokio warehouse is closer to our fields.  The spring wheat yields are not as good, so we are able to get to the Terminal and back, though we still have little down time from our furthest field.

Here are a few photos of what the Terminal looks like!

Every  truck has one of these card readers that an electronic eye ball reads as you drive on to the scale.

Then there is this touch screen where you enter your information each time you bring in a load of grain.  My family was pretty sure I was going to fry this thing the first time I got near it, given my track record with electronics!  But, so far, I have not!!

This is one of the screens that comes up.  After this is, you enter the commodity that you are hauling (soft white wheat) and then the next screen is your farm number, then if spits out this ticket for you to give to the guy at the dump pit.

This is the ticket that it spits out.

Then there is a screen that tells you which pile to go to.  This means ground pile number 6.

Here I am, emptying in to  pit at ground pile number 6.

This belt take the grain to the top of the pile.  

This pile is full.  There's about 1 million bushels of grain per pile.

Then, when you are done, you go back and weigh out and this machine spits out our ticket for that load.  You get a ticket after each load.  I was in a state of high anxiety the first day we hauled here, but now I'm more used to it.  I still like my little Tokio warehouse best though!

Now I'm finished unloading my truck and ready to go back for another.  

Saturday there was a train that was waiting to unload.  There are 100 grain cars in a unit train.  This one is most likely bringing red wheat from Montana to store here until the price goes up a little more.  
This photo shows a pile that has been prepared to take the grain that the train has hauled in.  You can also see the difference in color between the piles in the back ground.  The closer pile is red wheat and the two piles in the distance are soft white wheat that have all been hauled in from our area.  

Monday, August 19, 2019

Harvest profile #4 Reynald

Reynald is still the high boss of our crew, though Alicia is giving him a run for his money!!  The tasks that he does in a day are too numerous to list.

This is his least favorite job to do......blowing off the combines every morning.  It's an important job though, as it reduces the risk of fire by keeping the build up of chaff and dust to a minimum.  

After he's finished servicing the combines every morning, he is ready to start his day on the combine!

The lunch fairy packs breakfast, lunch and dinner in his Coleman cooler.  Lucky fellow!
But his favorite and most frequent job, is telling us all what to do!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Another sunrise, sunset post!

Living here and responsibly working the land, we are rewarded daily in many, many ways.  One thing we all appreciate is the wide open vistas, especially from the field, or our front porch!  The last few days have offered spectacular beginnings and endings to our day.

The sun was just beginning to rise in the east.

And in the western sky the moon was setting.  

A brief thunder storm passed through this particular morning, leaving behind some dramatic clouds that the sun painted with amazing color.

And the sunset.......

Friday, August 16, 2019

2019 Harvest Profile #3 Alicia

Harvest simply can't happen without Alicia.  She is our field manager and manage she does!  She expertly drives the bank out wagon, keeping the combines empty of their cut grain and the trucks full.  Every morning she fills our trucks with fuel, services her tractor and helps service the combines.  Mostly though she is quick with a smile and a plan for the day.  We can't do this job of farming with out her.  We are so proud of her!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Harvest scenes

Here are a few photos from Monday when we moved to the Home Place field.  There is a quiet and calm spirit on the land.  Also, a pretty good crop!  My dad is smiling.....

Getting started at the home place.  Reynald, Alicia and Shawn.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

2019 Harvest Crew Profile #2

Erich joined our crew last year and drove truck most of the time and combine when needed.  This year he is a full time combine man!  Like Shawn, Erich's day job is working with the Washington State Department of Transportation.  He also has a yard care business that he does after his DOT job and sometimes even at night!

Erich is family.....his grandfather George is Reynald's Uncle George.  Both Erich and Reynald spent their formative years working with George, though they are a generation apart.  George's training was timeless however, and I often find myself telling one or the other to stop acting so much like George!

We love having Erich as a part of our harvest crew. 

Erich fueling his combine in the morning.

Erich ready to start the day.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

2019 Harvest crew profiles

We'll start our harvest crew profiles this year with the newest member of our crew.  Shawn is a native of Coulee Dam, currently living in Wilbur and works for the Washington State Department of Transportation.  He is an EXPERT truck driver!  The day we went out for a test drive I came home and told Reynald I was going to resign.

That didn't happen so I decided to learn from Shawn.  I have to say, just riding along in his truck that one time, taught me a lot and I think Starbucks appreciates my new found truck driving skill!

Shawn is driving Double Shot back and forth to Tokio and the most amazing skill that I think he has is that he can back up the truck and trailer.  This is something I avoid at all cost.  I'm so happy to know that if I get in to a tight spot, all I have to do is call Shawn and he will back me right out!

Welcome to the GMC crew Shawn!  We love having you aboard.....

P.S.   Shawn's in-laws own Doxie's Drive-In on the west end of the town of Wilbur.  If you're driving along on Highway 2, stop in for a great burger and fries and you might even catch Shawn flipping your burger!!