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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Ginnow

October at The Sugar Beet Harvest

After leaving Cheyenne Mountain State Park on September 15, I drove to St. Vrain State Park outside of Denver. I enjoyed a visit with my high school friend, Colin.


I left St. Vrain to head to North Platte, Nebraska for my fist stay at a Harvest Host location. I stayed at a brewery, and very much enjoyed the food and IPA.


On the way, I traveled on I-76 from Denver to I-80 in Nebraska. That road was not a smooth ride. It shook and rattled my RV until my driver side mirror almost fell off. It broke off two of the screws holding the mirror assembly onto the RV. I had some Liquid Nails and a caulking gun for RV repairs. I pulled off at a rest stop, loosened the two screws still attached, put a thin bead of Liquid Nails along the seal of the mirror assembly, tightened down the screws, and prayed it would hold. It did.


I left North Platte and headed to my next Harvest Host destination, The Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, South Dakota. On the way, I was traveling I-90, and encountered some heavy winds that ripped open my awning. Unfortunately, I had to cut it off while on the side of the interstate. What a harrowing situation that was! After fighting the wind and the awning, I was exhausted and decided to call it a day. Five miles up ahead was a campground. Luckily I was able to get a spot for the night. Sadly, I did not make it to The Ingalls Homestead. I was rather looking forward to visiting my childhood memory of The Little House on The Prairie.


Continuing on the next day, I went to a different Harvest Host location, a buffalo ranch in South Dakota. What an experience! I had an entire field to myself. I was just feet from the fence where the buffalo were grazing. I was able to get a lose up view, but its not a petting zoo, and touching was not an option. I did snap some great photos, though.


Leaving South Dakota, and entering North Dakota, my next destination was a winery near Fargo. It was raining and cold, but the sun did break through at the end of the day, and the sunset was gorgeous. The wine was delicious, and I did get to see how the wine was made. I was tired and slept like a baby.


I left the winery and pointed my RV north toward Grand Forks. The Sugar Beet Harvest was about to begin. I booked 2 nights at a campground near Grand Forks, in the town of Grafton. It was a terrific deal! $30/night, full hook ups with Internet! There was a dog park nearby, which was perfect for Bella to run off some energy.


I was scheduled to arrive at Hamilton,ND on September 23rd. However, I received a call from the Harvest Coordinator telling me I've been moved to another location in Minnesota to work. I was sent to Stephen, Minnesota. The campground was very nice! Full Hook ups, Internet and Cable all included! It was right next to a cornfield. In mid October, they mowed down the cornfield, and a few days later I discovered my cats chasing mice in the RV. Oh, my!


For the harvest, early in the month was too warm. We worked two days the first week. On the 10th, it finally cooled enough to really start the harvest. Then it rained, and we had a day off. Then the cold really hit! It dropped into the 20's at night and my car had frost on it! I was working 12 hours on my feet, along with the rest of my crew. My feet, hips and back hurt the whole time. I was living on Advil and drinking hot tea all night. I switched to tea after drinking coffee the first night, but then not sleeping the next day.


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