On the road again after a two-week hiatus, “Tractor Dave” Wolfsen said all variables now seem to be in place for him to finish his journey strong.
“This works much better,” he said. “I am moving at a little slower pace, and having more crew with me makes a lot of difference.”
Wolfsen previously encountered difficultly pulling a heavy camping trailer behind his 1937 Co-op tractor, especially through hilly terrain along the East Coast. He is now pulling a small, empty trailer that serves as a billboard, while a crew member drives a truck and trailer about an hour or two ahead of him. And instead of trying to tackle 120 miles (193 km) per day, his new goal is between 60 to 90 miles (97-145 km) at a pace of approximately 25 miles (40 km) per hour. Each day should involve fewer than four hours of driving as a result, allowing Wolfsen more time to meet people and promote his causes.
When The Banner caught up with Wolfsen on Wednesday, he was just outside of Kokomo, Ind., on his way to Tipton, Ind., for a meeting at a Tractor Club. In the evening he planned to stop at Grace United Methodist Church in Westfield, Ind., for cookies and coffee.
Wolfsen’s revised route will take him through Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, before he returns to his hometown of Fremont, Mich., Aug. 15. He has now raised more than $21,000 toward his goal of $200,000 for the Foods Resource Bank and the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee’s Disaster Response Services.
“We’re going through more heavily populated areas than we would have across the South,” he said, “so we’ll probably make more contacts along the way. And there are contacts no matter where we go. I just stopped and got fuel an hour ago and a couple walked up; I spent a few minutes talking with them, and then they took some brochures with them for other people they know who may be interested [in the causes]. Raising awareness along the highway is pretty fantastic all by itself.”
Wolfsen expects to schedule more stops throughout the next several weeks. To schedule an event, make a donation, or view his revised route, see Tractor Ride Across the U.S.