Monday, July 20, 2009

Pulling the Rock- 09




Again how good it felt to be on the road in my old 88 Chevy homebuilt tractor in tow. Rose was occupied with a family reunion but 11 year old Briana was game and welcome company. We stopped at Cheryl and Rogers place to pickup second cousin Jordan, a happier bunch never graced the cab of the old Chevy. Grins and high hopes all around.

Learning from past mistakes we arrived early, I always get butterfly's though the stakes are rather low for me, at worst I bust and have to push back onto the trailer. This year is no different, I weigh in, 3230, sign up for two pulls, thirty bucks. Lot of pullers, nice crowd, weather is perfect, dry and cool. I pace, visit with some old friends. My sister Laura arrives along with nephew Travis and husband Darold, and lunch. Offered a sandwich or cookie I decline and continue to pace. I warm up the engine, if they had a drivers meeting I missed it. 3500 lb class is first off, I can not find the order posted, a modified B John Deere makes a run, sled looks tough to break loose but he has a good pull once rolling. I finally find I am pulling last in my first class and then coming right back to pull the second time.

I study every pull and find all have trouble breaking the sled loose but once free all make it to mid track and a couple make full pulls. I back up to the sled , they drop the hook into my clevice, I check for the uptenth time to be sure I am in low range then pull the slack out of the chain, I watch the starter, the flag goes from red to green. , I ease out the clutch, rev the engine, front tires lift everything strains, Damn but that sled is heavy, ten foot out and I am hooked up and on the gas.

The track feels a little loose I detect some slippage and am drifting right, dang I hate to lift but if I don't I am going out of bounds, I ease off just enough for the frt. tires to get some dirt and and ease back to the center, to my great surprise I get straightened up in good shape. Giving it the gas I can feel the big wheels churn and she pulls right again so I back off slightly playing with the throttle keeping just enough power on to hold to the track and not bust loose.

I have never had a track like this before, it is wonderful. If I go wide open the tires churn and I start to drift right, by just playing with the gas and keeping the right balance of power I can pull the load and keep everything straight. My straight pipe belies every move I make on the gas, I feel like I am playing a saxophone, what a pretty tune. The pull seems to last forever, like I am stuck in a good dream which just keeps on going, I look down and see the big tires turning, can see the slippage when I give even a tad more throttle then they will hold, everything is in slow motion, and perfect.

At two hundred feet it starts to pull down, no nuances now I bury the pedal and the motor screams the high notes as the front wheels wag up into the air. At 208 I the flag goes red and I ease it down..

Second hook was same although we were able to stretch it to 231.

The rest of the evening was very relaxing, Sis left early taking Briana with her, Rog and Cheryl came and picked up Jordon while Travis and I stayed till eleven just walking about and soaking up the ambiance. Saturday morning I taught Travis how to handle the little homebuilt and then let him drive it through the parade.

Sure wish Dad could have been there.



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