Greetings from the farm. I will be returning to Frederick on Saturday March 17. I will be at the Dutch Plant Farm from 10 AM until noon. I will have my full line of beef, pork, lamb, cheese, and eggs as well as Cornish hens. Also, the lamb sausage is available.
Hopefully I will be able to stay awake as I have not yet recovered from Wednesday night. I went to a brood cow sale in Winchester, VA. that night. Had I bought a cow or two, I would not have landed in this situation. I was ready to leave the sale around 9 PM when a cattle trucker asked what I was driving. There was a man who had purchased 15 cows that needed a trucker. Charlie asked if I could help him out and haul 6 head. I asked how far the haul was and he said around 100 miles. I really did not want to do it, but 5 years ago Charlie helped me out. Back then a friend and neighbor had purchased a herd of cows and asked me to help haul them. That roundtrip was just over 300 miles and took 7 hours to complete. The fact that Charlie helped me out back then save me 2 more trips. So I agreed to haul that load for Charlie on Wednesday.
I went to a gas station and topped off my tank, it only took 27 gallons. Then went back to the stockyard and got the cows loaded. My truck is tagged for a 10,000 pound maximum weight. The cows and trailer exceeded that so I had a too big load. We started up the road just before 10. We went through Virginia, into West Virginia, and crossed the river into Maryland. The roads were windy and hilly so we could travel too fast without jerking the cows around. We entered Maryland at Hancock and headed west on Route 68. Talk about hills, we had to go over Sidling Hill. I went up that mountain at 40 miles per hour so that my truck's engine would not be over worked. Having finally crested the hill, we started down the other side. I had to keep my foot on the brake to keep the load from pushing me too fast. Then there was the sign. "Runaway truck ramp." That was all I needed. I just imagined the load getting out of control and me having to head there. But I made it down the mountain with nothing more than warm breaks. We made it into Cumberland, then drove the rest of the way on back roads, top speed of 30. Now in Pennsylvania, we drove through Berlin and a few minutes later arrived at the farm. To reach the barn, we had to back in off of the road and go about the length of 2 football fields. In the dark. With me holding a flashlight and guiding Charlie, and then Charlie guiding me. And the edge of the driveway was full of obstacles. But we made it and got the cows safely unloaded.
Now ready to leave, Charlie thought we should take the main road rather than risk finding our way back the way we came. There was only 1 turn until we were on the main highway. Smooth sailing all the way into Grantsville where we picked up Route 68. The only thing was we were about 20 miles west of where we would have been if we had taken the back roads into Cumberland. But since we did not get lost, it was a success! Now nothing but major highways all the way back to Hagerstown, I finally reached my driveway right at 4 AM. I went straight to bed but the phone started ringing just before 8. That made for a short night for an old geezer like me. Tonight, being the night before market day, will be a long one as well.
Eat fresh, be well, and I will see you at the market. And if you need to wake me tomorrow, please do so gently, I'll be very happy to see you.