2531 Sky Top Trail, Dover, PA 17315
On October 23, 1981, my husband and I started out for Carrington, North Dakota, for a Rumely Oil Pull and John Deere 80.
We are both interested in old tractors. We collect mostly John Deere's; but I wanted a Rumely. We took a large flat-bed truck and put a large trailer on top of the truck bed and chained it down.
The weather in Dover, Pennsylvania was perfect. We had nice weather until we got to Minnesota; then it started to snow. It snowed off and on all day Friday. Different times during the snow it was hard to see to drive. We would pass a man in an orange snowmobile suit on a motorcycle different times throughout the day. It seemed like whenever we would stop for gas, so would he. But we didn't get a chance to talk to him. We were curious as to where he was going in such bad weather on a motorcycle. On Friday afternoon we broke a heater hose on the truck and lost all our water and antifreeze. We were lucky to be close to a garage and got it fixed.
We stopped at Menomonie, Wisconsin for supper and to find a motel for Friday night. While we were eating, we looked out the window and at the gas station across the street was the man in orange and his motorcycle getting gas!
On Saturday morning we started out at 6:00 and it was snowing pretty badly. After driving for a short distance, the man in orange passed us again. Since the snow was blowing and freezing on the road, we talked about how cold it would be out on that motorcycle and how dangerous on the icy road. We talked about putting the motorcycle on top of our truck and trailer and taking him along. About two hours later we stopped for gas, and it looked like a blizzard around the gas station. When we pulled in, we were amazed to see the motorcycle there too! The man was inside trying to get warm. My husband talked to him about how since Friday morning we were passing each other. He said he was headed for Valley City, North Dakota. When we left here, we had the man in the front of the truck with us, and the motorcycle tied on top of the trailer on top of the truck. He was so happy to be in the warm he cried. It seemed as if it was to be that we came along and helped him. We took him to Valley City to stay with his brother, and he was going to return home to Wisconsin later on a bus. He couldn't get done thanking us.
We arrived in Carrington at the John Hoppe's home about 2:00 Saturday. Mrs. Hoppe and I visited while the men loaded the tractors. She had homemade bread and coffee for us. After a brief visit with them, we started for home. They were so friendly we hated to leave but we had to start home.
The Oil Pull was on the truck bed and we pulled the trailer behind with the John Deere 80. Since we have been collecting tractors we have met some of the nicest people from all over the United States. We get the opportunity through the Gas Engine Magazine. We drove about 100 miles Saturday night and then got a motel room.
On Sunday morning the weather cleared a little and we drove all day on a tire that lost half of its tread. We would stop at truck stops to have it fixed and the mechanic was always off because it was Sunday. Finally, we found one on duty and he had an air gun to loosen the lugs on the wheel; but they wouldn't budge, Go he had to heat them to get them off. So, with a new tire we drove on. We drove all night, stopping at a truck stop and trying to sleep in the truck for about two hours. We got breakfast Monday morning and drove all day. Needless to say, we were very glad to see the Pennsylvania border. We drove in rain and fog all day to get home.
My husband, Jim, and I enjoyed the people we met on this trip, in addition to the Hoppe family. Every time we would stop to eat or get gas, we would have two or three people come over to the truck to share memories of the Rum ley's past, or to know what n the world that old thing was!
This was our fifth trip together to get old tractors and I certainly hope there will be more in years to come.
We take pride in restoring and taking them to steam shows. We don't care to part with any of them, because each one has its own story to it.
Our three daughters and two sons-in-law and grandson all share our interest in tractors. They are getting together their own collection. The winter will be spent restoring these two tractors.
Some people will probably say we went through a lot just to get these two old tractors; but this makes our hobby more interesting and builds memories.