Sailing the Plains
Iowa is home to Big Ag, with some of the largest farms in the country spread over the Great Plains. Mitch and Connie Morrison of Mason City have a daughter who married into a farm family. They explained alternately what her life is like while sailing near Williamsburg on a breezy day. “They farm 10,000 acres, but it’s not all contiguous. Some of the property is 50 miles away. They have one combine and rent another to harvest, running 18 hours a day for a month to gather corn and soybeans.
They did a million bushels of corn last year. It has to be stored in bins to air out. Huge propane tanks are used to heat the air in a big dryer to get the moisture content to 10%, or otherwise the corn can mildew and go bad. They have to fill a 30,000-gallon propane tank once a week in drying season. When harvesting, they drive big tractors where you sit a story-and-a-half high. It seems windier now because the windbreaks between farms have been sold off, since farmland is worth $18,000 an acre. My son-in-law said Ag was too hard in college, so he took Marketing instead.”
People actually do sail in Iowa. Check out the video below of the University of Iowa sailing team.
While sailing the York River, we encountered a dredge getting pushed by a tug along the York River. Even lowered to the supine position, it extended more than 80 feet tall and thus required that the Coleman Bridge be swung open for passage. Note how high up the bridge is of the vessel. You can see the window the cab, where the dredger sits.
Whenever I take people sailing, I eventually get around to what people do for a living. Not everyone wants to talk about that while on vacation, since that’s why they’re on vacation in the first place. Amber Martin of Atlanta had this to say:
“I teach music to children, in my home.”
“My daughter taught music in Gainesville.”
“Really? I went to the University of Florida for music.”
“She hired undergrads and graduate students there.”
“What’s her name?”
“Robin Kaley Shorter.”
“I taught for her!”
“Yes! Piano and voice.”
It was nearly eight years ago but seemed like yesterday.
Let’s Go Sailing the Plains
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sailing the plains sailing the plains
Sailing the Plains
Sailing the Plains has an Iowa couple describing the work of a 10,000-acre farm. Let's go sail instead.
Capt Bill ODonovan
Williamsburg Charter Sails / Let's Go Sail