I attended the 2011 US National Plowing Contest last weekend in Huber Heights, Ohio just north of Dayton. The event was at Carriage Hill Farm which is a part of the Dayton Five Rivers Metroparks system. It is a living, work recreation of an 1880’s farm.
The weather on Friday and Saturday was very hot, but the skies were clear and beautiful. There was talk that the Friday temperatures could possibly break the all time record for that date. The plowing on Saturday was for practice and provided an opportunity for the competitors to join in some fun. The ground was in great shape. There was the usual competitor’s dinner on Saturday night and everyone drew their plots for the Sunday competition.
Overnight on Saturday, however, a series of very strong thunderstorms rolled through the area. It was probably the worst storms that I have ever camped in. My little trailer was doing some rocking and rolling during the night. A nearby local resident told me on Sunday that he had recorded 4 inches of rain in his rain gauge overnight. In addition to the rain, the temperatures took a very sharp nose dive after the storms rolled through.
The ground for the Sunday plowing was a real mess on Sunday morning with standing water in a few plots. It was downright cold and a misty drizzle was still falling through much of the day. All of the competitors took it in stride, however, and went out to plow in conditions that they had not faced before at home where they wouldn’t have attempted to plow ground as wet as this. However, some of them had come long distances and weren’t going home without at least giving it a try.
The photos from this event are now out on the website. Some of the Sunday photos are less than great. Between trying to keep the camera dry and the overcast conditions with the reduced lighting, it was a challenge to get the job done. On several of the photos, it appears that there are faint white vertical lines in the photos. This is caused by the raindrops that the camera picked up as the shot was taken.
My next adventure begins on Friday of this week. I will be hooking up the trailer and heading down to Tell City over on the other side of the state of Indiana. I am joining up with the Southern Indiana Draft Horse and Mule Association for their annual wagon trail. The ride starts on Saturday and continues through the following week, ending on Sunday. The group will cover about 150 miles in southern Indiana and over in north central Kentucky. I plan to ride with them for 5 days before returning home to repack and head out to attend the Community Draft Horse Association weekend ride down in Scott County Kentucky. This will be a busy few weeks coming up, so don’t look for any updates to the blog for a little while.