Anyway, to back up, yesterday saw the day I had scheduled for Gardening Day 1. The morning started with a quick three-stop run into our little town (post office, bank to deposit a couple of checks, and the gas station). Arriving home with my fuel, I unloaded it at the back of the barn, parked the car, and headed back to open the barn up wide.
Done with that, I hopped on the mower and mowed the top half of the garden area. I mowed fairly high so that the shorter dandelions would not be damaged too badly, except for where I was going to till.
I don't recall if this is only our second year of strip-tilling or the third. Either way, strip-tilling the top half of the garden was the task I had laid out for myself. Once done with the mowing, I greased the Bolens, hopped on and gave the thing a crank. Oh, it turned over, but it was clear it wasn't going to roar to life, even after being on the charger over night. Thankfully, this battery charger has this nice 50 amp jump feature (I've used it several times for various vehicles)...and when I got that set up, old Bolly rattled to life! (By the way, I gassed up first. It's not particularly fun, especially for me being so short, to put gas in the tank over that muffler when it's hot.)
Merrily on my way (and this was before lunch y'all!), I made the first pass. At the end of the row, following my usual routine when the field is planted (it got planted Saturday), I went to back up and do a multi-point turn around (the Bolens turns like a barge on the Mississippi...or an oil-tanker--whichever "meterpher" you prefer). Nothing.
Reverse was non-extant.
You have got to be kidding me!
Okay, you're not. Why do we always have something go wrong with our machinery?
I wasn't hugely upset and decided that I would just have to bounce over the newly planted corn to get Bolly turned around and back to the barn. I also decided that I wasn't going to bug my dad with the problem unless I really couldn't figure it out myself. So I headed in to do a little research. (The internet is a gold-mine if you know how to dig right.) Locating a manual for a roughly contemporary dated Bolens yard tractor, I poked about looking for something that might be of help. I was in and out a couple of times (had to take pictures with clean-hands!) and someplace in here was lunch. After lunch, I headed out with a page printed from a manual for reference...
I compared my set up to the somewhat striated photos on the manual page and went to work.
Before I put the fender arrangement back on, I cranked the machine (I was very careful, Mom!! I have zero interest in getting caught in a spinning drive shaft!) and using my hand, played with the pedal and ran it back and forth. Satisfied, I turned the tractor off, put the fender contraption back on, reattached the seat, crawled on, cranked up...and proceeded to spend the next several hours happily traversing back and forth tilling up the dirt.
And that was Day 1 and 2 of Gardening 2018....