Gerald Jacobson sits atop his 1951 Allis Chalmers WD tractor during the 2013 Full Circle Caravan.  SUBMITTED PHOTO
Gerald Jacobson sits atop his 1951 Allis Chalmers WD tractor during the 2013 Full Circle Caravan. SUBMITTED PHOTO
"Smile and wave, you're having fun. You are representing your tractor, yourself and your country."

Wykoff resident Gerald Jacobson enjoys his hobby at a slower pace. It takes him back to a simpler way of life most people have forgotten about now that we live in a technology-drenched society.

This August, Jacobson and his 1951 Allis Chalmers WD took a trip from Montevideo, Minn., to Oakes, N.D., on the Full Circle Tractor Caravan.

Jim and Ione Lunneborg began hosting these caravans in the summer of 2004 when they travelled from Oakes to Manitoba, Canada.

The Lunneborgs decided this would be the final caravan they would host. They called it the Full Circle Caravan because they kicked off their first ride in Oakes and now it will mark their final stop.

This year Jim led 20 tractors, driven by persons from North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and South Dakota, and 16 support crews along 225 miles of quiet, secondary roads.

Jacobson reported that other than a tire tube needing repairs early in the trip, no one had trouble this year, which is great news as the caravan takes safety quite seriously and makes sure they always take care with their tractors and the other traffic on the road.

Along their route the group was able to take a moment to stop at the Laurentian Divide for a picture and tour many small towns.

Jacobson was most impressed with their stop in Madison, Minn., where the Lund Equipment Agco dealer surprised the group with a free meal, a look around the implement business and a chat with the owners.

But, his favorite portion of the trip was when the caravan reached the final destination and took a road past Oakes' care centers where residents were waiting and waving.

"It's the people; the friends you make over the years," Jacobson said as he explained what makes each trip so special.

In fact, his friends helped him considerably for this trip, since he came solo this year. They were able to load his pickup truck onto a trailer and his own trailer was pulled by another tractor following the caravan.

This was the third trek Jacobson has made with this caravan since he took the inaugural trek with the group to La Prairie, Manitoba.

"I'm the only guy that crossed the U.S.-Canadian border into Canada on an Allis Chalmers tractor in Fillmore County," noted Jacobson.

Sitting atop his Allis Chalmers, Jacobson has seen acres upon acres of different lands, some good and some bad.

"It's fun to see different parts of the country. You see a different view at 12 miles per hour (mph) than you do at 60 mph. It like you are taking two different trips," he explained.

But Jacobson isn't done showing off any of his four prized tractors just because this caravan has driven its last mile. He spent his Labor Day weekend in Charles City at the Cedar Valley Engine Club Show where his tractor was used on a John Deere wire tie baler. He is also looking forward to the Fillmore County Tractor Ride in Preston the weekend of Sept. 14.