Folks in Minnesota are friendly and have that delightful accent, very much like the Wisconsin slang. I love regional accents. I wasn't actually looking for the most economical place to stay when I called to make reservations, but I didn't have a lot of choices. In fact, we had to stay 45 minutes away from the actual show, because all the motels nearby were booked full. Everyone else at the motel with us was there for the same purpose, so there were a lot of orange shirts, and even an Allis Chalmers tractor on a trailer parked out front.
As usual, our meals on the road to and from the event consisted of sandwiches and raw carrot sticks (our replacement for the crunch you get from chips). It's just so much easier than hunting down a restaurant, wondering what to order and how much it's going to cost, and then eating a meal with a bunch of strangers around. Iowa has great rest stops along the freeways, with flowers blooming and lots of picnic tables... some shaded, some not; so no matter the weather, you can choose whichever you need for your comfort. Oh, and we ate suppers in the motel room: chili hot dogs the second night, the egg salad left over from our noontime sandwiches the previous night. Not the healthiest fare perhaps, but neither is most of the overpriced stuff you get in a restaurant. The only meal we actually purchased was on the grounds of the show at Hutchinson. Proceeds go to the tractor club that puts on the show, so we didn't mind paying $8 each. Below you'll see a small sampling of the tractors there.
I had downloaded three audiobooks from the library: "Y is for Yesterday" by the late Sue Grafton; "The Zookeeper's Wife"; and "The Whistler" by John Grisham. Sue Grafton has never been my favorite, but I thought she'd entertain us well enough. We listened most of the way to Minnesota, but when we headed home Cliff confessed the author was taking too long getting things said; I sort of agreed, and we switched to "The Zookeeper's Wife". I was getting into it pretty well (OK, I fell asleep once), but Cliff thought it was too wordy also. Next time I'll just take a stack of Readers' Digests and see if that's condensed enough for him. I'll probably get "The Zookeeper's Wife" for Kindle and finish it alone. I can't listen to audiobooks much because they ALWAYS end up putting me to sleep.
While I'm at it, I'll let you see Cliff's latest project, another "Donna Carrier" for another tractor. It's small compared to the one on the Allis, but I think I can make room for my dog if I want to.
If you're wondering why Cliff put a blue umbrella on it instead of Oliver green, it's simple: We already had this one. And we're not fancy or picky, so who cares about the color? Oh, and at least it matches the cooler.
We have our choice of three events to which we can take our tractor this weekend: One at Odessa, one at Dover, and one at Norborne. I don't know who, if anyone, from the club is going to each fair, but Cliff wants to go to Norborne because we've never gone to their Soybean Festival before.
Since our trip last weekend wasn't planned until the last few days before, it was no use calling our usual doggie motel to see if they had room for Gabe, so I called in a favor with my granddaughter, Amber. A few years back I watched her Mini-pin, Sophie, for several days, so I asked if she'd be willing to watch Gabe. She was fine with that. Old Sophie has health problems due to her age, but Amber has another dog, a young Shitzu named Rory. As it turns out, the two young dogs had fun, and so did the cat that lives there who went chasing Gabe around the house batting him with it's paw. The good news is that since all the pets were so happy together, I was invited to leave Gabe there any time I needed a dog-sitter. He wins, because he can sit beside a person all day like he does at home, and I win because I'm more at ease with him there, and I save $20 per night.