Author Archives: Jody R. Scholl

2013 Sugar Beet Harvest – Hillsboro, North Dakota

We didn’t spend much time traveling from Oregon to North Dakota after our summer in the shadow of Mt Hood.  I had planned to return for my second year at the Sugar Beet Harvest, but I had been asked at the last minute to fill the Night Shift Deep Freeze Yard Foreman position in the Hillsboro yard.  We had planned to spend 3-4 weeks traveling from Oregon to North Dakota, but we did it in 13 days (still managing to make it to several National Parks along the way).  I dove in to work the day after I arrived, so I didn’t have much time to take pictures or video during the first part of the harvest.  I had a lot to learn in a short period of time to get me ready to lead a crew of around 40 people in a very fast paced environment.

NOTE:  If you are looking for something to do and make some money in October, we are still hiring for this years harvest.  Let me know if you would like some additional information…

I took very few technical shots this season since I was so busy, here is a shot that shows the deep freeze tubes that carry the cold air under the pile to freeze them from the inside out.  A night shot toward one of the pilers on the outside of a building, and me relaxing in a pile after a completed season.

Most of the pictures I had time to take were sunrise and sunset shots since I got to see both on every shift.  These moments are some of my favorite parts of the beet harvest, even though the yard is loud and smells funny you can still enjoy the views.  I even managed to capture a shot of a rainbow, but the pot of gold at the end must be sugar since it ends at a nearly full building of beets.

This years video was taken near the end of the harvest so you can see what the yard looks like when it is close to full.  Click HERE for my post about my experience during the 2012 harvest.

We had to head to Kentucky this year for our jobs at Amazon in Campbellsville, so we packed up and headed south as the snow was beginning to fly.

Quick Stops in South Dakota

We rolled through Wyoming and made it to South Dakota to our campground, which happened to be within sight of the Crazy Horse mountain.  We didn’t go to the monument since we could see it from our campsite, I am sure it would have been interesting for the adults, but the kids weren’t excited about going.

We drove Boober from our campsite to Mt Rushmore to spend a few hours checking it out.  Our first glimpse of the mountain was made a little more exciting due to the presence of some mountain goats that were chilling just above the road.

The museum had lots of interactive exhibits, so we all took our time checking out the place.  It was neat watching the girls soak in all of the information that was very well presented to them.  I am amazed that more lives weren’t lost in the making of this monument, it was truly an amazing undertaking.  Our visit to Mt Rushmore only lasted a couple hours, we were tired from all the traveling and I was ready to get to our spot in North Dakota for the beet harvest.  We did enjoy some vanilla ice cream that was supposedly Thomas Jefferson’s original recipe before we left though.

Badlands National Park was our next brief stop on this leg of our trip.  I wish we had more time to explore this area, it is amazing how stunningly beautiful weathered piles of dirt could be.  As we were leaving the park, the storms that were rolling across the countryside were dropping visible bands of rain.  You can see these in the last picture of the Badlands section below.  I don’t think I remember seeing this before.

Wall Drug has got to be on your list of things to do as you are driving across South Dakota.  Don’t worry, the crazy road signs tell you how far you are away from there so you don’t have a chance of missing it.  It is touristy for sure, but it was a nice stop on a hot day of traveling.  They have excellent root beer floats and ice cream (the ice cream seems to be a trend on this post).

Our last stop in South Dakota was the World’s Only Corn Palace.  This is another stop I recommend, it is unique and full of great information on one of the most valuable commodities in the world.  All of the art work outside the building, and around the inside, is made from different colors of corn.  They were finishing up this years designs the day we arrived so you can see one of the masterpieces coming together.  The girls loved being able to run around on the gym style floor, so we let them burn some energy before we got back on the road.

We were only in South Dakota for 3 days, so we took a lot in in a short time.  I knew sugar beets were in my future, so we headed to our campground for the next month.  This year would be my first year as Night Shift foreman at the Hillsboro Sugar Beet Yard, and only my 2nd year at the harvest.  Beet posts will be coming soon, stay tuned…

Leaving Yellowstone

We enjoyed our short time in Yellowstone National park, but we had to get to North Dakota for the Sugar Beet Harvest.  As we were leaving Mammoth Hot Springs Campground, on the North side of the park, we had some visitors to see us off.  The Elk were in the peak of mating season, so they were wandering through the campground all the time.  There were big signs telling folks to not hang clothes on lines outside their RV’s because they would get tangled in the male Elk antlers.  When this occurred, they would have to find the elk that was tangled (usually looking for the one with blue jeans hanging from his antlers was an easy to determine which one did it) they would then have to stun it with a dart and remove the tangled mess.

As we drove through the park, we wished we had more time to explore the area.  The expansive views were breathtaking, and the clouds were just enough to add some depth to the scene.  Thor just knew he should be able to run out and chase the Bison and other wildlife.  His traveling days were usually spend with his ears and jaws flapping in the breeze.

We drove out the South entrance to Yellowstone, and made our way to the Grand Tetons.  The cloud cover and rain made it impossible to see any of the scenery in the Tetons, so we just stopped for a snack in the gift shop and headed on toward South Dakota.  Our drive across Wyoming was beautiful, but for some reason we neglected to take any pictures.  Our goal was a campground with a view of the Crazy Horse mountain…