Everyone was up early doing their final checks on trailers and tractors to have them look their very best for the 9 a.m. departure.
The convoy proudly took to the road for the first time, arriving at the Carroll County Farm Museum at 10 a.m. Quite a crowd of spectators had gathered to see these Aussie creations and tell their stories of their own tractors, and we were presented with calendars, books and other interesting material.
Our next destination was the Howard County farm museum where John and Virginia Frank made us very welcome and again we were guests at a wonderful spread, followed by a tour around the farm property on the back on a trailer pulled by a John Deere tractor. This farm museum is a work in progress, capturing the history of the area. Local school children, scouts, etc., have the opportunity to spend time here and learn the old-fashioned farming ways. This is an inspiring living museum and we really enjoyed our stay there.
Our journey today is across Maryland through Frederick to meet up with a gentleman who contacted us by e-mail and has offered help with arranging guidance through the very hilly terrain on off-roads.
A head gasket problem with one of the tractors saw an emergency (tractor) operation in the main street of Hagerstown with the procedure taking a mere two hours before the convoy was on the way again. Despite this delay we caught up with Tom and his daughter Mary at Indian Springs and he introduced us to Chuck who would be our guide as far as Hancock.
The countryside is very beautiful and a rich shade of green after a particularly wet spring. The 11 miles of secondary roads takes us through areas not often visited by tourists and it was a very enjoyable experience. Once Chuck left us at Hancock, Mary took over as far as Cumberland, and then we were joined by an interested local, Steve, who offered to keep us on the right track right through to the Little Meadows Lake and campground at Grantsville.
A highlight of the day was an encounter by Barbara with a local, Patricia. They chatted about Barbara’s problem with sunburn on her arms causing discomfort and next thing, Patricia has taken off her protective long sleeved shirt and insisted Barbara wear it — another generous American, who like most we meet is excited at the news of just how far we are traveling.
The hills are even steeper west of Grantsville, but are successfully navigated, again with the help of Steve who has volunteered to accompany us for the day.
Our journey takes us through Oakland where we have Neville’s exhaust welded courtesy of George at Allegheny Welding & Machine Inc. — again the generosity of the people we meet is incredible. After crossing into West Virginia we continue west through Grafton and Bridgeport before camping at West Union. Steve leaves us with our sincere thanks, and now Carlos has joined us and will take over as guide in his home state.
Today was cool after quite hot and humid weather over the last few days and there were some fairly light showers.
Everyone we meet comments of how wet the spring and early summer have been, and we offer to have some precipitation sent down our way!
We continued down Route 50 West through Parkersburg, W.Va., and into Ohio. After the steep hills of West Virginia, it is a pleasant change to drive through undulating country on 338 North, then 83 North from Waterford through Cumberland and New Concord to Coshocton (pronounced “cshocton” as all the locals informed us).
Arrival at the Lake Park RV park was close to 5 p.m. and we were joined by a reporter from the Ohio Farmer, Tim White, who was intrigued with our happy band of Aussies and enjoyed some relaxing time with us as well as taking photos and making notes about our plans. A second reporter, Diane, from a local paper also came along so our presence in Coshocton, Ohio, was well noted.
See photos and read more on Ron’s website, TransworldTractorTreks.com.