Convoy of tractors: seeking riders
By Clay Schuldt
Special for the Argus
Do you have an interest in tractors? Are you able to identify the make and model of a tractor at a glance? Do wish you could ride a tractor all day? Then Eitzen has an event for you.
A parade of tractors will take off from the Eitzen Fire Station at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 30, to begin the 2012 Tractor Ride.
The tractor ride has been an annual event since 2004 and was started by Greg Mohwinkle. The event is put on through the Eitzen’s Lions Club, and is typically the kickoff event for the town’s Fourth of July festivities. The idea for the tractor ride began with Mohwinkle.
“I was tractor riding with other organizations,” said Mohwinkle. “I just decided to incorporate it with the Lions Club and I’ve been in charge of getting it going every year since.”
Mohwinkle is something of a tractor enthusiast, having started a club based out of Waukon nine years ago called The Rivers and Bluffs Classic Tractor. The club currently boasts between 80 and 100 members.
Mohwinkle has taken part in numerous tractor riding events over the years.
“I put over 900 miles on my tractor last year, going 12 miles an hour,” he said.
These tractor riding trips are becoming a popular activity in the area. According to Mohwinkle, a tractor enthusiast has the option of attending multiple events in a single weekend. In fact, two other organizations are promoting tractor riding events on June 30.
This year Mohwinkle estimates that 40 tractors will attend the Eitzen event, but this is a small number compared to other tractor rides. A few weeks earlier Mohwinkle took part in a ride consisting of 527 tractors.
The local tractor convoy will travel along County Road 27 from Eitzen to Spring Grove. From Spring Grove it is on to the Locust Road and down to Highlandville, Iowa. After a short break in Highlandville the convey moves through Quandahl on the way to Dorchester. In Dorchester the tractor train will stop for a meal at Wings Supper Club. After lunch in Dorchester the tractors will travel onto New Albin, before completing the circuit by returning to the fire station in Eitzen.
The trip is 65 miles and is estimated to take eight hours.
All tractor enthusiasts are encouraged to attend the event. The only restriction placed on tractors is that they must go faster than 10 mph.
Some of these events prohibit tractors with cabs, but not in Eitzen, Mohwinkle promised. All models of tractors are welcome.
The Rivers and Bluffs Classic Tractor will be hosting other tractor rides throughout the area this summer.
Those wishing to register for the June 30 trip may do so the day of the event from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. at the Eitzen Fire Station. The registration fee is $20, which covers the price of the noon meal.