9/26/05 to 10/01/05
Remember how much we loved Colorado Bend State Park in the hill country
when we were in TX?  Well ever since we've been checking the web for
riverfront property.  About a month ago we saw an add for 10 acres right
across from the State Park.  The two old houses on it were flooded, and the
more the Realtor told us, the more we thought it wouldn't work for us, but we
could not convince ourselves without seeing it, so Monday morning at 3:00
AM we got on the motorcycle in Long Beach, WA and drove the three hours
to the Portland airport.  Now, being that we were driving along the coast and
the Columbia river at that hour of the morning, we were going through such
thick fog that it kept obscuring the windshield.  I could see since I sit up
higher; I see right over the windshield.  Unfortunately, my driver wasn't doing
as well so I kept having to talk him over to the shoulder so we could wipe the
windshield down.  The other thing about the Northwest coast at 3:00 AM is
the temperature.  We FROZE.  We knew we would, but 40 miles to the
gallon on the motorcycle compared to 8.5 in the truck, and the FREE
motorcycle parking at the airport compared to the cheapest $8.00 per day
economy vehicle parking, and the fact that we have no money all
encouraged us to endure the cold, foggy, three hour ride.  So Monday
morning, we strapped the suitcase to the back of the motorcycle, and flew
down to Austin, rented a car, and went out to see the illustrious riverfront
property.  We both agreed that once we saw it, and were reassured that the
property wasn't for us, we would enjoy the rest of our week as a vacation.

Tuesdays run out to the river property went as expected, horrible gravel
roads leading down there (you should have seen the poor rental car, when
we returned it the girl asked if we had taken it muddin'.)  The houses were
awful, the river was brown, 9.75 acres of the 10 acre property was behind
the houses up on a cliff, and the terrain was grown up so thick that we could
not penetrate, but did climb up far enough to realize that there was no way to
access the majority of the 10 acres.  Why pay for something we cannot use?
 And what about the cow?

So, we were reassured that this was not the property for us, and we tried to
enjoy our "vacation."  We were staying with my grandparents, so
Wednesday we loaded them up in the dirty rental car and headed down to
the Guadalupe river, and south to Medina and Bandera.  These were areas
we had enjoyed the last time we were here, and my grandparents had never
seen them.  Of course, on the way we were frantically writing down numbers
for real estate signs and picking up real estate brochures.
This is how
we wanted
our property
to look, lots
of trees and
a crystal
clear river.
We quickly realized that we could not afford anything decent on a river, or
near Fredericksburg, or with a tree, etc.  Thursday we met our Realtor an
hour north of Fredericksburg and drove another half an hour north and saw
a place we both liked, with none of the features we were wanting.  We were
both surprised that we liked it, so we went back Friday morning and gave it
a more critical look.  Then we looked at more property with our Realtor, and
headed home.  On the way (we had a 2 hour drive home at this point) we
decided we just had to have acreage in Texas, so we waited until we drove
into a town so we could have a cell phone signal, called our Realtor, and put
in an offer.  As we were having our farewell dinner at Chili's with the
grandparents, the Realtor called to tell us the seller accepted our offer.  So
here is what we're working on buying:
Compare
this photo to
the one
above, and
you'll see
why we were
able to afford
this one.  No
big trees, no
beautiful
river, just a
nice view
and some
seclusion.  
Here is an
overly
flattering
picture of
one of the
two "tanks"
(Texas talk
for farm
pond) on the
48 acre
property.  
See the
three frogs
sticking their
heads out?   
We own
those frogs.
Our
neighbors
are
currently
growing
cotton.  We
are in the
middle of
large
farms, so
we have a
great view
and little
chance of
a strip mall
going in.
So, I'm sure you noticed that there is no house.  We can't afford a house.  So,
our plan is to continue down the West Coast as planned, and after we fly to
KC for Christmas we will wander towards Texas, and live in the RV while we
argue over what kind of house to build.  Richard has a much more "rustic"
idea in mind than I do.  Electricity is not a problem, but there is no water...yet.  
Rural water is coming, but they have no estimated date, maybe 18 months or
2 years.  There are wells on the properties to our left and right, so we think we
can drill a well, but that is never a sure thing, so we may be waiting for water.

And of course
ONE of us will have to get a job to afford all of this.  I'm still
protesting, but getting more used to the idea of working, and of course, the
prospect of having some money is nice.  HOWEVER, there are no
good-paying jobs in at least a 100 mile radius, which means I would have to
travel, which means Richard would be left there by himself to get things done,
which means we will never get a house built!

Anyway, for those of you who want to see all this foolishness on the map, find
Brady (the official geographical center of Texas) and follow Hwy 283 North to
Farm Road 765, go West, then North again on County Road 2635.  (On my
map it is just a small, grey, unnamed line, the first one, about 2 miles from
283.)  Our entrance is 100 yards from the intersection.  Oh, and "entrance" is
a stretch, we have to put one of those in too.  

So, we have nothing to bribe anyone to come visit, no river, no excitement, no
trees, only cotton fields and homemade wine.  (Although I hear Disney bought
6,000 acres an hour from our new place.)  However, you are all invited.
(Although I suggest you wait until we build a house.)

So, after about 1500 miles in the dirty rental car, from 70 miles North of
Mexico to 100 miles South of Dallas, we have covered central Texas,
returned to the San Fransisco airport, and are waiting patiently for our
airplane to get here (already an hour late) so we can get pack to Portland for
our 3 hour ride back to the RV to check on the wine.

Yup, we're from Texas y'all.  (Do y'all think that will get as annoying as "eh?")