Tractors tour Bluff Country during annual autumn ride

DAVID PHILLIPS/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Tractors fill the parking lot of Faith United Methodist Church Saturday afternoon during a stop on the seventh annual Bluff Country Tractor Ride.

DAVID PHILLIPS/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Tractors make their way out of Spring Valley toward Preston Saturday during the seventh annual Bluff Country Tractor Ride.
David Phillips

About 85 tractors from seven different states rolled through Spring Valley Saturday afternoon as part of the annual Bluff Country Tractor Ride sponsored by the Preston Historical Society.

The tractors made a stop at Faith United Methodist Church in Spring Valley before making their way back to Preston on Highway 16. The tractors left in the morning for Fountain and Chatfield before circling around south to Spring Valley on the 68-mile journey. Participants stayed in Preston Saturday night and then headed to Harmony, Canton and Lanesboro on Sunday, Sept. 15.

The event, now in its seventh year, gets a few more riders each year, according to Bob Maust, who organizes the event with his wife. In addition to the 85 tractors, another 50 rode on the people wagons to enjoy the scenery at the tractor pace.

In addition to bringing tractor enthusiasts together, it is also a good program for the Preston Historical Society to raise funds for its needs. The fee to participate includes all meals and snack breaks, such as the one at United Methodist Church that included coffee, juice drink and cookies.

The number is limited to fewer than 100 to make it manageable for the organizers. Tractors came from as far away as Mississippi and West Virginia this year.

“They love our country — the scenery — up and down the hills,” said Maust.

It’s also an attraction for local people with roots in the area. Maust’s great grandparents came to the area to homestead in 1852. Last weekend, his son and two grandsons participated in the tractor ride.

“It’s a nice family event,” Maust said.