The first time I heard of the Tractor Trek, my friend S. had been assigned to drive a tractor. This meant that he found himself sitting alone on a very slow-moving vehicle for the better part of a sunny summer’s day. He relayed this story to us, and we laughed our asses off. How was this a thing? Like, “Oh S., you get yourself into quite the situations! Hahahaha.” Like that.
That was about 13 years ago.
Last year, the Tractor Trek wound its way past my brother’s house. He lives way out in the bush, kinda remote — no one ever really drives by. His eldest son was 4 at the time, and when these shiny colourful old-timey tractors began slowly chugging past their house, it was like one of his wildest dreams had come true. I’m charmed by the mental image of my nephew standing enraptured by these noisy, sluggish, very old machines.
Hearing about this changed perspective for me.
And then, a different friend of ours began driving a tractor in the Tractor Trek. Like, deliberately. (Unlike S.) His perspective was quite meditative; connecting with the past, and accepting of the fact that no, you’re not going to get anything else done that day. Just sit on the tractor and take it in.
So this week, when I realized the Tractor Trek’s happening this Saturday (HEY THAT’S TOMORROW) I became really quite excited. I even tracked down the route! It wasn’t that hard to do — it’s on the Mennonite Heritage Village website, magazine PDF, and it was in The Carillon.
It’s also here on Mennotoba! Yes. I am so fascinated by the MHV Tractor Trek that I created my own version of tomorrow’s route. I took a photo of the area on my handy Manitoba Back Roads map, then used the “highlighter” tool on my laptop to depict the route. Then I used the “pencil” tool to attempt to draw in where the coffee, lunch, and faspa stops are. The giant “S” by the MHV stands for both “start” and “stop”. I believe the start will be around 9am. Coffee will be in Randolph, likely aiming for 10:30am. (I had a difficult time drawing the word “COFFEE” on the map. Maybe you can’t tell. HA.) Lunch will be at Unger Meats, which is south of Mitchell (marked on my map with a giant “X”). And Faspa will be at Aimee Boivin’s yard, which is just south of Giroux. I don’t know who Aimee Boivin is, but she must be lovely to invite all these Trekkers to her yard for faspa. I find this all delightful! (What is not delightful is the way I mangled the word “FASPA” when I attempted to label it on the map. Whatever, you know what I’m getting at.)
Anyway, hopefully this map will help you get an idea of how to effectively stalk tomorrow’s Tractor Trek. See you out there on the back roads!