‘Twas The Night Before The First Ridge and Valley Tour……

Not a creature was stirring, not even the possums who get into our dog food.

Well, that’s not accurate, we are still putting in the final prep for our inaugural East Coast Tour. We are beyond excited for the first tour, we have gone down the checklist and checked it at least twice:

  1. Set up social media and begin to promote the tours.
  2. Purchase a shuttle bus-check
  3. Negotiate and renegotiate insurance-check
  4. Final information and discussion with partner sites-check
  5. Stock the shuttle with protective foot covers and carrying bags-check
  6. Research cheese factories, recall my farm upbringing, and research our Karst Topography and local history-check
  7. Hire and schedule a driver of the shuttle…….wait, what? Don’t panic, yes, I did that-check

It appears we are ready for the first tour, pretty much everything we should do in preparation has been checked off the list. I can remember back in January and February when we were contacting farm partner sites and getting the typical, “You want to do what?” response, it felt like we would never get to this point. But as time wore on we just kept ticking each item off the list.

The preparation for this tour season reminds me of a rock-picking illustration I have used to motivate my football players and co-workers alike, and it is very appropriate in this situation.

When faced with a seemingly insurmountable project I would tell my players or co-workers, “This is just like picking rock on the farm when I was a kid. If you look at the end of the field, with several acres in front of you and all of those rocks sticking out of the ground, it can be depressing and even debilitating. But if we put our head down, and pick that rock up at your feet and just keep moving forward, pretty soon you are at the end of the field. A project that seemed to be impossible is done. Just keep your head down and keep picking rock.”

Both Teri and I are very excited to share the stories of the farms and businesses with our guests. I can promise three things will will happen during a Ridge and Valley Tour.

  • You will laugh and be entertained
  • You will be educated and fascinated by our partner’s stories
  • You will have some great drink and food

Tomorrow can not come soon enough and we look forward to introducing our guests to our corner of The Driftless Area. We hope to see you soon.

Have a great day,

Marty

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