So here’s a photo of the “Wood.” Actually, I’m just practicing loading photos onto the blog. Next week, maybe I’ll learn how to put them where I want them?
Saturday, Larry and I wanted to walk the perimeter of the property, having not even seen half of what we are buying (still have to make that “hoping to buy”) There was a light rain — that Oregon mist where you can’t see it coming down, but you definitely get wet. Boots on, we disconnected the hot wire and started out. A truck slowed along the road, stopped, and the driver got out and accosted us.
“You realtors?” He asked
“Nope, we’re buyers.”
“Son of a gun. I tried to get this place couple of years back. Wanted to exchange it for some dairy land I have down in Toledo, there. Yep. This place would look sweet with a nice double-wide slapped on her, but they didn’t want to accept my offer. How much you pay for it?”
Where’s Toledo, I asked Larry after the gentleman had driven away, unsatisfied with respect to his question. Guess people have different visions! We marched on to the corner, as defined by the shores of Muddy Creek. I was surprised to find that it’s more than just a trickle, more like a junior river, maybe 8 – 10 feet wide. It is muddy colored, though, kind of like the Tualatin, if that means anything to you.
We headed south, toward the herd who were sheltering under a grove of oaks, and startled them into a stampede out into the weather. The fence led us around a sharp turn to the west, following the creek, then back south down a steep bank to an oxbow in the water. We had assumed that the cows were fenced off the stream in its entirety, and were disappointed to find that the fence led across a generous loop, thereby offering a nice watering hole to the animals. Of course, completely degraded, nasty. (Not the cows’ fault, of course, they do have to drink somewhere.) Still, we thought we’ll have to revisit the idea of continuing to lease to their owner if he can’t water them some other way. Ugh! And by the way, why doesn’t an electric fence draping into the river electrocute anyone touching the water? Haven’t we all been warned about that sort of thing?
Our animal husbandry doubts are doubled now. In an earlier conversation with the cows’ owner, he enquired if we would consider letting him run sheep as well. “Have to trap the coyotes, we run sheep,” he said. I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean “trap the coyotes, round up the cubs, and deliver them to a nice coyote sanctuary elsewhere in the county.” So. Must give this thing more serious thought. While I can imagine the hungry pups, starving to death as their mom chews her leg off trying to escape the steel jaw of the trap, I can also imagine a sweet little lamb being dragged off for the pups dinner, did she not get caught by Farmer McGregor. Mother Nature. What kind of farmers are we?
Down past the wetland part, turn the corner back to the west, up the hill, pant legs getting soaked, remarking that 100 acres is bigger that it looks, discovering more thistles. Holy moly, this place is huge! Right turn again to the north (you following me?) and we ran into an impenetrable thicket of trees and blackberry vines, so had to abandon the actual fence line and strike out cross country to the border with the road.
The point of the exercise now became to figure out a route for a driveway up to the house site. Lots of discussion about cross fencing to keep the animals away from the house and driveway. Rotating them through various sections. Wait a minute. This is getting too complicated. Do we have to keep the cows after all? Hmm. To be continued.
Now I haven’t told you about Larry’s new toy. As Vik said, there will be endless opportunities for him to acquire guy stuff, and this is only the beginning. Well, he bought one of those hand held devices that golfers use to tell them how far it is to the next green, with the purpose of mapping the land and the road. He will, of course, use it for golf, as he has now had the perfect rationale for its purchase. Unless his golf buddies give him too much &*%*) for having such a sissy object. He bought a bundle of stakes and a mallet, too, but it’s hard to discover any golf application for these. And a toy’s a toy, after all.
So we waved our arms and measured and made notes. We did find one potential route for the road, but the reality is that we’ll have to wait to see what a road builder has to say. While waiting to see if we even get the place after all.
Lunch time, and I’m sorry to say that we struck out again. (Except for the first lunch at a Togo’s we haven’t found anything we’d want to make our country-folk hangout in Corvallis. And I can now say that I do not recommend Tommy’s Bar and Grill, either.) I rolled up my soggy pant legs, picked the devil’s darning needles out of my socks, ate an indifferent burger, and we headed home.