I have two excuses for not updating the blog for the past couple of weeks…… first, we have had very inconsistent internet. We have to drive up the road to the top of a hill to get connected and even then it is spotty. The second excuse is that we lost Barb’s camera and we were hoping it would turn up. It didn’t……thus very few pictures this post.We closed on our property in the Black Hills last week so now it is official! It was a long and arduous search and it feels good to have someplace that we will someday call home. When is that someday? We will probably start building very slowly over the next several years but for right now we are content traveling and exploring this great continent. First up will probably be leveling the site and running power so we have a place to park when we are in the area.
We have been out to the property several times in the past 10 days, walking it, checking out every nook and cranny, envisioning ourselves living there someday. Besides being home to several hundred prairie dogs, the property has been used to pasture 3 horses the past several years. Funny thing about that…… When we asked if the owners knew whose horses they were they had no idea. A check with the neighbors resulted in some speculations but no concrete answers. Finally a son-in-law of the former owners said he thought he knew who they belonged to and would see about getting them moved.The property is fenced on 2 sides but the horses shared our 45 acres with the adjoining 40 acres so the horses had free roam of 85 acres. One thing we learned about South Dakota is that if you don’t want livestock on your property it is your responsibility to keep them off, otherwise if there is no fence they range wherever they want to. Very different than Wisconsin where it is the farmers responsibility to keep their livestock within their pasture area.
We also ran across something else really cool on the property. It seems to be home to several Burrowing Owls that have taken over abandoned prairie dog holes. Stayed tuned as we try to get pictures of them.We need to do something to get the prairie dog population under control. A few are okay but 100’s are ruining the pasture. Prairie dogs feed primarily on grasses and their roots which in turn kills all the grasses just leaving the noxious weeds or open land void of plant life. Of the 45 acres the prairie dogs cover about 1/3 of the property. When Barb was researching how to handle them she ran across an article about what great pets prairie dogs make! If fact they sell for up to $700 in Japan in $450 in New York. So to all the readers out there, when you stop by and visit us in South Dakota you will receive one prairie dog for free!!!!!
|Walking the dog town.....|
Several readers asked if there is water or power on the property. The short answer is yes to both. They recently brought rural water to this road so there is water at the road. All we would have to do is pay a $2,500 hook up fee and pay to have a pipe trenched the 1,700 feet to the building site. After that it is $80/month whether you use it or not. The other option is to install a cistern and haul your own water. Since we are a year or more away from getting serious about building, we are going to wait and see which direction we are going with the water.There is also power in the area so that is definitely a bonus compared to a few other pieces we were looking at! I also met one of the neighbors who seemed very nice but then again they were from Wisconsin as well so of course they were nice!
We had hoped to move the rig out to the property but a late April snow storm changed those plans so we stayed our final week here at Country Charm. Well actually 2 nights for me and 9 nights for Barb and the dogs as I took a 4 day “vacation” and went to central South Dakota to go turkey hunting with some friends. We had a great hunt and I was able to get one with my bow.We did have one traumatic event over the past two weeks…... The day started like any other. We thought we were moving onto the property and were taking care of any chores that required power since we would not have hookups for the remainder of our stay here. One of those chores included getting my hair cut. Something Barb has been doing every 3-4 weeks for the past 3 years. But with the first swipe of the electric clippers I knew this experience would be like no other I had before. Barb gasped as she took the first swipe and said “I am so sorry” I knew immediately what happened and said “You forgot the guard didn’t you?” She just kept repeating “I am so sorry…..” Yup, she forgot the guard and I had a 5” strip shaved to 1/8th inch on the back of my head! She kept saying that she could fix it but somethings just aren’t fixable but she tried to blend it as best she could. Needless to say we got a good laugh out of it once the initial shock was over.
|The short strip really brings out the gray!|
My friend Kevin returned to Pringle with me after turkey hunting and we spent a few days exploring our property and the surrounding area. Kevin is a general contractor and if everything works out he will be the one to build our place. We played with house designs, picked out a building site, met with the Highway Dept. to talk about putting in a driveway, talked to the electric company and several lumber yards. It was a busy few days but we now have a good idea on several key items.We left the Black Hills this past Tuesday and since Kevin had to work the following day we drove the 13 hours in one straight shot! Have not driven that long in a while and it was very tiring. After being on the road for the past few years anything over 5 hours seems like a long time so 13 hours was really brutal. Barb and I drove the truck while Kevin drove the jeep. Everything went well until the 12 hour mark of the trip when Kevin noticed that one of the tires on the 4 wheeler trail was bouncing. He stopped to check it out and found that it had blown a ply resulting in a large bulge in the tire. He limped it home the last hour very thankful that he did not have a blowout.
It is good to be back in Wisconsin, it has been almost a year and a half since we have seen our family and friends in the area. We are only here a week and I think we have things planned everyday so I am sure it is going to go a lot quicker than we want!