Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hello Everyone,

It is funny how when you start a new adventure, you get so consumed with learning as much as you can in as little time as you can.  The property is set to close tomorrow and officially be in our name.  Chris and I have been in so many discussions regarding planning the layout of the land, solar vs. PGE, researching trucks, tractors and trailers.  So with all the research Chris has down in the last 48 hours... this weekend we bought a truck and a trailer.  We have been toying with the ideas of tents vs. modern conveniences of building our Ag Shed/Apt... then we decided to look last minute at the travel trailers.

We found a Ford F250 1997 with 112,000 miles on it and grabbed it.  It came with a lot of accessories that we thought we could use like the 4x4, lumber rack, bed liner, 2 tool cases and best of all... a winch to help move the trees around for us...

We were going to try to build some sleep sheds so that we could enjoy the property but realized that the most convenient and the fastest route is to get a little travel trailer to park up there and then we would have a bed and a kitchen and a place for the kids to sleep.  We still want to build some 10x12 sleeping sheds with bunks for the kids but for now this will do until we can get them done.  Alexia is excited to throw a tarp over the back of the truck and make a make shift tent in the back and sleep in the bed of it... we will see.

So the fun story about the camper is the couple we bought it from... Stacy and Mike from Alaska.  Chris came across the camper literally last night.  It had only been posted for 2 hours and they were leaving today to move back to Alaska.  They had actually sold the camper the day before and the family that was coming down to pick it up got in an accident and totaled their truck and they didn't have insurance and now couldn't afford to buy the camper.  Everyone is okay...  but now they still needed to sell it in a day.

Mike came down here to work as a lineman (electrical, not football) and bought the trailer from the original owner in December and then recently he got called back to a job in Alaska.  This is a 1998 Wonderer by Thor and all systems work, brakes just done, new tires and full of propane.  They have been living in it for 6 months and this is what especially appealed to us because things have to work when you live on board.

Not only have they been living in it but they are from Alaska and are used to living off the grid and they know how to take care of the campers systems.  I felt like we were talking to our cruising couples but instead of talking about pelagic fishing they are talking about ice fishing.  Instead of talking about lobster hunting they were in a rush to get back home because it is bear hunting season.  We had such a good time talking to them.  The first time we stepped into the trailer she apologized to us for the smell because she had just cooked MOOSE BACON... Now she is talking my language.  It was soooooo good!

Mike is a pilot up there and has his own plane and a harley and he and his son often fly the plane into the remote locations to go bear or moose hunting then pack up their goods and return to the plane and fly home.  We are looking forward to an alaskan road trip to go visit them... and have more of that Moose Bacon.  They did part with a jar of canned wild Alaskan salmon and a jar of canned Moose Meat... Anyone, Anyone?

 The trailer has a 12' slide out area so it allows for us all to have a place to hang and then the couches and tables fold down to beds... or the floor.  At least we can fit most of the kids until we get the sleeping sheds built.  I just love all the gold trim... and it has a cassette player.  Does anyone have any cassettes laying around... so cool!  It also has a solar panel to help keep the batteries charged and run the lights.

Now the only problem is we need to be able to get it up into the property.  Right now the property has only one drive entrance into a small holding pen for the cows... release the cows.

This picture was from today from Denise our real estate agent that lives up there.  She went to check on things and was greeted with a number of happy faces... We just aren't sure who they belong too.  She is looking into that.  In the mean time I hope they eat as much grass as they possibly can to keep the fire hazard down.  and frankly I love it.  It looks like by the picture that we need to run some new fencing... we need 2,000 Linear Feet of 7' Deer Fencing... and that is only the back, the front of the property has this old fence so for now we will have to install in stages.  The vinyard and the people on both sides of us have installed deer fencing so we just need to back up to what they have already have up...

We are now trying to figure out how to get it onto the property.  The incline is to steep and the ground is a bit mushy still.  We will need to have a driveway graded and installed so that we have a level spot to set up.  Once we have the driveway and jogging path graded around the property by Allan (Denise's brother-in-law) we are hoping to get a bush mower to help clear more of the grass.  The cows are great but we need a shorter lawn to help us see the rattlesnakes.  The property has not been used in a very long time, so it seems every local person that comes up to give us a quote or a bid is asking us if we have a shotgun to kill the rattlers.  "There is going to be a lot of them, hee hee".  Okay not so funny.  I have woken up in panic attacks about these little guys.  So let the learning begin.  I have found out that the owls (we need to build lots of owl boxes), red tail hawks, and our new flock of Guinea Fowl... I just have to raise them hear first so the hawks and owls don't get the babies.

Guinea fowl will eat snakes, okay maybe just peck at them or because they are loud and scratch will chase them away.  Either way I will try it.  I am going to get a few of these beautiful birds.  They eat all the bad insects like ticks in your garden without ruining any of your plants.  I love it.  I just bought a book about gardening with guineas.  Sounds fun and they are really cute, but they are supposedly loud.  We will see. Some more research is needed and then we may place an order.  
We have to keep the cut the grass short in the areas that we are in and teach the kids not to climb on the rocks.  Most often the rattlers bite because they are stepped on or a hand is put down on them.  They don't always rattle for a warning especially if you step on them.  You can put a snake fencing around a small area just to have a safe spot... UGH.. I didn't buy the property to fence it all up... so I have to figure this out.  Maybe a little rattlesnake stew.... Yum.  

The good news is they aren't aggressive and don't come looking for us... we just need to be able to see them and stay away.  They are usually out in the early morning or dusk till dawn especially when it is really hot.  They like wood piles and hay bales and shady spots and long grass... They react defensively not offensive, typically, so we need to educate the kids and ourselves on awareness and sounds....  I also have to get Bula with a local dog trainer that teaches the dogs to stay away from them... Snakes are NOT FOOD.  

Again, I feel that this consumes all of our time.  It becomes overwhelming with what we need to learn.  So we write our lists and cross them off and then add to them... we try to stay on track with goals of what we need to prioritize and what is reasonable.  Then we get back on track and start our list over again.  Our goals for this week are to get the trailer up to plymouth and out of our driveway, figure out the grading options for the property driveway, finalize the well details and put down a deposit to lock in a date and then the fun stuff... to look at a tractor that Chris has found in Lincoln.  

Hugs and love to everyone and hope you had a wonderful weekend.


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