Say What? What's a Hay-Carrier? For those of you that do not have a farm background a Hay-Carrier is a mechanical device that would allow horses to raise loose hay from a wagon up into the barn, carry the hay to a location in the barn and drop it. Steve provided a 1 ½ hour overview of how hay-carriers worked, the many different designs and patents, and the hundreds of back yard manufactures that existed in the 1800's. In addition Steve has a restored collection of ornate cast iron horse drawn implement seats, and Massey Harris tractors.
From Steve and Jan's we cross-country over to Lee and Neil Schlabaugh. As we roll up to an old nondescript barn the two brothers are waiting for us. 'Stalltek' is recognized nationally as one of the finest 356 and 911Porsche restoration team available. Inside the old 'barn' is a modern workshop full of fabrication, machining equipment, paint stall and currently four 356 Porsche’s in different reconstruction processes. A 356 Speedster is about ready to head off to it's owner in Colorado. The 'before photos' of this little gem embodies a remarkable tribute to their genius. If any of you have a 356 or 911 and want to have some restoration work done you can find a neat article in the “356 Registry” magazine.
From Lee and Neil's we head off for lunch. We could have gone to Kalona which is celebrated for their Amish dinning. But remember this is a 'Pearl in the Prairie tour'. Instead we find a lady Janet Stutzman who is best-known in the area for her loose meat hamburgers (aka: Maid-Rite) and homemade pies. We have a picnic in the town park in Wellman.
With a satisfying lunch we head off to the outskirts of Cedar Rapids. We visit Hughes Nursery and Landscaping operated by Dwight Hughes Jr. and his sons. What makes this place a pearl is Dwight's private collection of family heirlooms covering four generations of Nursery men. Although Dwight does not have a Model A, he and his forefathers share the same “pack-rat” attributes that many of us Model A'ers possess. All of the thousands of unique items on exhibit are directly from his family. Nothing has been purchased to 'represent' the nursery business.
Inside the original 1910 facade of his fathers establishment is a modern memorial museum. Hand tools and horse drawn equipment from the 1800's, state-of-the-art 1950 nursery equipment and numerous memorabilia down to a check for $41.75 written to Iowa State University by Dwight Hughes Sr. for the 1933 fall quarter. A personal guided tour by Dwight leaves us in awe.
We are back on the road again this time to Fairfax (that's Iowa, not Virginia) to make our tour an official tour. Ice Cream at the DQ.
On a personal note:
For some reason the tours that Elaine and I have developed over the years carry an certain element of challenge, if not risk. I would like to thank the 30 of you who were brave enough to risk our “Pearls in the Prairie Tour”. On this 'Pearls' trip we have set another record for our tours!
2007 'Root River Tour' Houston, MN. August 19
The National Weather Service recorded the largest 24 hour rainfall in SE Minnesota on Record 15.1”. All the Model A's started that morning but our tour was diverted by the Minnesota National Guard.
2009 'Fall Color Tour' Westby, WI. October 12,
A lap-robe drive in an early snow fall
2011 'Back Roads Adventure Tour' Waukon, IA October 9-10
Weather perfect but Eight Tech Sessions – most challenging tech session- Timing gear replacement on a fire road in the Yellow River State Forest.
2013 'Pearls in the Prairie Tour' Wellman, IA September 9
National Weather Service recorded the highest temperature in SE Iowa for September 9 on record – 101 degrees.
Dennis and Elaine Zuber