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This Is How They Roll vBy Julie Eickhoff WNAX and the Tri-State Old Iron Association have been hosting an annual two-day tractor ride for twelve years. The route and breaks, through South Dakota the first day and through Nebraska the second day, vary each year, allowing the participants a variety of scenic countryside. It’s a great way to take a break from life in the fast lane and take in nature’s incredible beauty at 12 miles per hour. The ride has become increasingly popular since it began and has a limit of 200 tractor enthusiasts allowed. Many ladies have taken part, either as a passenger on a tractor equipped for two or a driver of their own tractor. I talked with a few ladies who attended this year’s ride about their experience with tractors, this year’s ride and other rides they have been in. Marilyn Ashley Marilyn Ashley, a Lindsay, Nebraska native, is not new to the twoday tractor ride, having taken part in it a handful of times. She’s always liked tractors and remembers their family’s old Alyce Chalmers WC, when she and her brother would sit on top of the flat gas tank and ride along during daily chores. She and her fiancée Virgil each drive their own tractor, taking part in about five or six local rides through Iowa each year. She has a 1954 Farmall Super H with a blue cultivator, a tractor that she’s had since approximately 2010. She explains that the red tractor and blue cultivator combination tend to stand out in a group. Virgil opts for green, driving a John Deere in the events. The longest ride they have taken part in was taking part in three days of a seven-day trip across Nebraska. She enjoys being out in the open and taking in all the scenery the rides have to offer. “I like talking to other people on the stops and looking at the other tractors,” she explains. Visiting with the other drivers allows an opportunity to learn from them, often sharing trouble shooting tips and similar experiences. She views the two-day ride as a short vacation for her and Virgil, giving them the chance to visit another town and see its surrounding countryside. Grace Driver Grace Driver, from Hartington, Nebraska, took part on her first ride in the two-day tractor ride this year. She drove her own tractor, a 1945 Farmall H, one of the first antique tractors that her grandfather bought. She rode with several family members. She and both her grandfathers, her father, older brother, older sister and a cousin were in the same group, along with one of her grandfather’s best friends. The motivation 22vHERVOICEvSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 from spectators along the route sticks in her memory. Along the route during this ride, she smiled as she heard a stranger yell out to her, “GIRL POWER!“ Laurel Driver Laurel Driver, from Hartington, Nebraska, is Grace Driver’s sister. She drove for the second time in the two-day ride, taking her grandpa’s Farmall Super M. Her grandpa, Dale Harkness, is the third owner of the tractor. She recalls the tractor being driven many times by her grandpa, brother, cousins, and by her. Though she has not yet taken part in any other Grace Driver, Dale Driver, Laurel Driver, Lane Driver, and Darrel Driver rides, she really enjoys participating in the two-day ride as a family. She reflects, “I think it is really cool that I get to spend time with them driving tractors together.” Karen Larsen Karen Larsen, a Viborg, South Dakota native, was also new to this year’s ride. She split the route with her brother, Randy Blunck, and drove on Saturday while he drove on Friday. They used her Farmall M for the trip, a restored tractor that her husband surprised her with on Mother’s Day in 2009. She takes part in one to two rides per year, having previously driven the Midway tractor drive and the Hurley tractor drive. She explains her favorite part in participating in rides, “Exactly how it is described, viewing the world at 12 miles per hour. I love to look at the scenery, the farms and the wild flowers and animals.” She enjoyed her group of fellow drivers this year, taking part in the first group, with Rodger Harts as the leader. “It kept me on my toes. It was fun to be part of such a big group of people just enjoying their hobby,” she states. Randy Blunck and Karen Larsen

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