GOWRIE - Though not a Fourth of July parade, a long line of tractors took to the streets of Gowrie Wednesday morning ready to cruise through the countryside.
From the restored to the rustic - and even a few larger modern-day implements - 16 tractors departed from Laurel Park before heading north for a short break in Callender and continuing on to Dolliver Memorial State Park on the Prairie Valley/Southeast Webster-Grand tractor ride.
Alan Fiala, of Webster City, had one of the more rustic units on the ride - a converted Toro lawn tractor.
-Messenger photos by Emilie Nelson-Jenson
Earl Hanson, of Dayton, right, comes down the Hill into Dolliver Memorial State Park on the Prairie Valley/Southeast Webster-Grand FFA tractor ride Wednesday afternoon. Hanson’s tractor has been in the family since it was brand new in 1958.
"It used to be used to service golf courses," said Fiala.
Fiala added a passenger seat and a second seat in the back of the tractor, which was just enough room to take three of his grandchildren along for the ride.
Fiala takes his tractor on as many rides as he can.
"We go on lots of them," he said. "We just got back from riding the WHO tractor ride a few days ago."
Troy Shaw, of Ogden, brought his 1962 Farmall 504 to the ride. He, too, has taken his tractor on several rides since restoring it.
"My grandpa and I worked on it together," he said.
Earl Hanson, of Dayton, knew exactly where his tractor, a 1958 John Deere, came from.
"It's been kept in the family," Hanson said. "We bought it brand new on Oct. 1, 1958. We've kept it around and it still gets used for work."
Hanson enjoys getting the tractor out and just going for a ride.
"We've taken it on a few rides," he said. "We made sure we got caught up on all of our work so we could come out on this one today. It's been nice, just a perfect day for it."
One of the younger riders, Morgan Farnham, 10, of Gowrie, wasn't just along for the ride as she climbed into the cab of her dad's John Deere to help lead the ride. After taking her place in the driver's seat, she started the large machine with ease. She wasn't just helping steer, after all.
"Oh, I'm driving it," she said.
Steve Kehoe, PV/SW-G FFA chapter adviser, said he was pleased with the turnout for the first ride.
"We didn't know just a few days ago. We only had four signed up," Kehoe said. "But we would like to make this an annual event."