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Hoosier and His Tractor Make Historic Journey

Hoosier and His Tractor Make Historic Journey
IH 350 started out life on his dad's farm, this year crosses famed bridge.

There are tractor drives, and then there are tractor drives! The 7th annual Mackinac Bridge crossing in northern Michigan took place in late summer. More than 910 antique tractors crossed the bridge in a weekend-long antique tractor celebration.

Among them were several Hoosiers, including Gary Lamle and his wife, Nadeen, long-time soil and water conservation district coordinator in Whitley County. Others who traveled with them and took tractors included Mike and Connie DeWald, Ron and Gladys Mumma, Jim and Marilyn Costelman and Jim and Bobbi Estler.

Related: Nostalgia Plays A Huge Role In The Perception Of Agriculture

Tractors everywhere: Nadeen Lamle, Columbia City, snapped this shot of antique tractors that participated in the Mackinac Bridge crossing this year.

Nadeen was one of two designated photographers for the group, and also the reporter, telling everyone about the trip when they returned home.

"It was a great trip, except for all the rain," she says. "The guys are talking about going back again. I hope it doesn't rain next time."

Although most of the tractors on Gary's place are green, and he belongs to the Tri-State Two-Cylinder Club, Lamle decided to take the Farmall 350 his father purchased new to the tractor drive. The Farmall and the four other tractors made it to the starting point on a semi-trailer.

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The Farmall 350 was bought new when Gary was a boy. He had it restored to its original condition a few years ago.

"They actually crossed the bridge in the rain," Nadeen reports. "It wasn't raining as hard as it did earlier, but it was raining. By 2:30 that afternoon, the sun came out and it was beautiful. People who hadn't already went back to their motel for dry clothes began to dry out."

More than 100 people rode along on buddy seats and didn't actually drive tractors. That makes the total number of participants in this huge event more than 1,000 people.

Related Stories:
Antique Tractors Roll Across Mac - 2013
Antique Tractors To Parade Across The Mighty Mac - 2012
Antique Tractors Cross Mackinac Bridge - 2011
Antique Tractors Trek Across Mighty Mac - 2010

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