My trip to Louisville last year for the National Farm Machinery Show probably ranks high on my list of most memorable shows there. The 50th anniversary show runs this week from Feb. 11 through Feb. 14, so it's the time to share a few memories.
I went down on the Friday of the show, leaving early in the morning. I knew the weather would be iffy later in the day – last year was the year of snow for southern Indiana, remember? It looked like I would have time to find new products and get back in time. I was looking for a couple dozen new products that we could write about during the summer issues.
About 10 a.m., still in the first wing I ventured into, I saw someone checking his radar on his phone. It looked like snow was coming in early. A rumor started that it would be snowing hard by 1 p.m.
A friend and great Farm Progress editor, has taught me how to make decisions in times like these. You talk to yourself and talk it through. Usually you can arrive at a common sense answer. After all, there is nobody to argue against the answer you come up with!
"Self," I said, "Seems to me that if the radar is showing snow already out there and people here are talking about it snowing early, I should put it in high gear, find my products, skip lunch and get the heck out of here."
So that's what I did. I was back on the road before 1 p.m., with a notebook full of new products and plenty of pictures on the camera. About the time I hit the county line for my home county, the snow kicked in. It was slow going, but I made it home by 3 p.m.
Was that a good decision? You bet! Me and "self" did good on that one. I knew some other farmers from our county who had big four-wheel drive pickups, unlike my Ford Escape, so they weren't as worried if the rumors were true and it did snow hard. They didn't leave until about 2:30 p.m. or so. It's less than a two-hour drive normally from the show to where they live. They both swear, and I asked them separately, that it took eight hours to get home. The snow was so bad that traffic came to a snarl much earlier than where I ran into snow.
So I completed my task, left early and saved myself probably six extra hours on the road. Sometimes listening to your 'self' isn't a bad idea!