May on the farm brought many new sights and smells. The magnolia trees began to bloom and filled the air with a wonderful aroma, and the edible peppery nasturtium flowers were in full swing. They brought a lot of flavor to our farm fresh salads.
The girls were more than happy to help when a tarp needed to be cleaned. I squirted some dish soap on it, gave them the water hose and the hard work began. The tarp was spotless when they were finished, and they were too. Hind sight should have involved some conditioner… Brandy the farms resident pointer, and my hunting buddy, also enjoyed her personal spa. The horse water tank makes a great spot for a gal to take a dip and get a drink. Sandy, the horse, benefits by not having flavorless water.
We also managed to make our first appearance at the Lake City Farmers Market with our fresh picked treats. The Napa Cabbage was a hit, and we had the only Kale and Mustard the entire season. We also sat with Frankie, the truck, and peddled our goods under the big tree at Coopers Country Store.
Once the slithering critters began showing up, we never knew where we would find them. A pair of snakes loved the knot hole in the live oak tree over the driveway. Sometimes they would be on top of the limb but they were usually peaking out the hole. Laini discovered a pair of snakes all tangled up in the duck pen when she went to collect eggs. They were having their own little roll in the hay if you catch my drift.
After the North Dakota Sugar Beet Harvest, we made a quick trip to Campbellsville, KY to work for an Amazon Fulfillment Center. In 2012 we worked for Amazon in Coffeyville, KS on our way West. The KY location got us back in close proximity of family, so the first road trip I took as soon as we had our site set up was to visit my mom in her nursing care facility in Wilkesboro, NC. She was happy to see us after a little over 1 year without a visit. She still beat me at our ritual Uno card game.
We didn’t get many pictures of our camp site on the lake, most of them involved me smoking something on the grill. The girls had fun with some other kids that were camped close to us. Chas and I stayed tired working opposite shifts to keep someone with the girls at all times.
We had some cold windy nights in the campground, even a small tornado that passed just a few miles from our campground. I was thankful for our spot down by the lake, the hill behind us shielded us from the straight line winds. Emmie found a good spot to relax on a basket full of laundry, she tends to do that at every possible opportunity. I made a treat one morning by adding an Oreo to her espresso
We had a few critters visit us during our stay at the park. The eight legged variety visited me while in the shower at the campground bath house. I am glad it didn’t eat me, I think it could have, those are 12″ tiles with ½” grout lines. Every morning when I went to take a shower, usually around 5:30 am, I had to be on the lookout for an odoriferous campground guest that probably should have been in the shower instead of me. It is a little alarming to walk around the corner and almost step on that stinky little guy while still half asleep.
Our Amazon season came to a close, and we headed to the NC mountains to spend Christmas with my family. We were glad to get some much needed rest, and ready to eat some good food, the grill on the bus helped with that again.
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.