Sunday, September 12, 2010

This land is my land

For my 46th birthday, I treated myself to a week off work to go check out my land and do some sightseeing and meet some neighbors. I left Athens at 9pm Friday night (Sept 3), drove to Alabama to pick up my friend Jim, and we got to Terlingua Ranch just before sunrise on Sunday morning, September 5. We stopped at Nick's container and unloaded a few things, then hit the showers at the Ranch Lodge. Then it was off to David's place for Sunday Brunch. We got there a bit late, but there was plenty of good chow and coffee, and a great group of people to enjoy it with. We had basically no sleep on the way down, so after that, we went to my land to poke around and set up camp. James, my neighbor and surveyor, stopped by in the afternoon and let us know he could come and get my corners marked Monday morning. We stayed up long enough to enjoy the night sky; you can see every star out there! Some time in the night, the dogs growled and had their hackles up at something outside. Jim shined a flashlight out around the tent, but didn't find any eyes, so what ever it was decided to take off. Slept like logs til dawn.
Camping on my land
James showed up with his survey equipment at 10am and explained the process, and showed Jim how to work the prism pole with level bubble. The two of them spent the next several hours getting my 4 corners marked, plus the halfway points on the long sides.
James setting up in the road, Jim at the marker
My southeast corner
After that, the rest of the week we did the touristy stuff; drove to Study Butte, Terlingua Ghost Town, and Lajitas, visited John Wells at The Field Lab, had lunch at the American Legion post just up the road, and visited with David one more time. I picked up some stakes at the hardware store and marked where I want my cabin to be.
12x20 cabin site staked out, clothesline showing sides

The picture above is looking west-northwest. Here's a 360 degree view of the site that I took standing inside the perimeter of the future cabin. It starts out looking south, then turns east, north, west, and back south.

I can't even describe how much I loved the area. The sights, the sounds, the smell... I really didn't want to leave. Five days were not nearly enough time down there, but we took off Friday morning, September 10 and headed for home. I'm planning to be back down there between Christmas and New Year's, if all goes well. In the meantime, I need to finalize my cabin plans and make some extra cash to pay for some fencing and get started on the cabin.


Nick Cooper said...

It was nice meeting you today. Welcome back to GA, lol

jandean said...

Happy freekin Birthday! You give good presents!

Jim H. Moreno said...

Totally groovy trip! It was more than a pleasure to finally meet you, and even better still to spend a week with you and your furkids. Very glad to see you saying what you want to do, and then actively doing exactly that. I'm ready for the next trip! :)

MsBelinda said...

Happy belated birthday. Was wondering if you had bought your land sight unseen on the internet or if you used a realtor.

So many people are moving out there, they are going to run out of land soon :-)

Abby said...

Thanks, all :)

MsBelinda, I did buy it on the internet, without seeing it in person first. However, I felt pretty comfortable about it since I knew where it was on the tract maps and Google satellite view of the land looked fine. I'm very happy with my purchase :)

Pam said...

Wow Abby how very exciting! So is Terlingua Ranch the name of the town/city you property is located in? Thank you so much for posting pics and this blog, what a nice way to watch your progress! Can't wait to see it when it's done especially since we haven't seen each other in over 10 years!

Abby said...

Pam, Terlingua Ranch is about 200,000 acres of privately owned land including the Lodge area. Check out There is an owners' association and annual dues of approximately $155/yr per owner. Property taxes for my land should be around $35/yr.

tffnguy said...

Well Abby, if we'd have known it was your birthday we could have put a candle on one of the muffins at the brunch. ;) Belated Happy Birthday, but I would have thought you were still in the 30s.

Abby said...

David, that makes my day, thank you :) My birthday was September 1, I just had to hold off on my "present" until Labor Day week when I could make the most of my vacation time.