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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The First Year: 2006

Ah, life was simpler then. We parked at the edge of the land and walked. We became the proud owners of 3 big clippers, several bow saws and multiple bruises and scratches, and spent the first summer making trails. Road builder # 2 walked around with us (jeepers, he walked fast!) and said, "No problem!" to our wish for a road that would get us up and over the ridge. He rubbed his chin, mumbled about the steepness. Did he mutter the word "dynamite" once? He was walking too fast to be sure. He smiled back at us and said again, "No problem!" We marked a spot that seemed like a cozy place to put a cabin with a lovely litte rock cairn and a GPS dot, looked up the name of a surveyor and arranged for a winter survey to find where on that rocky slope the east boundary of our land ended and the west boundary of the Forest Service's land started. No problem!

We explored, easily finding the west boundary (big yellow signs -- hard to miss), getting lost (a GPS works fine, except under thick tree cover, when it doesn't work much at all) and learning to love mosquitoes. We visited lots and lots of people who inspired us with their wonderful homes and awed us with their hospitality (thank yous to Molly and Ken, Maxine and Roger, Brooks, Gail, the Boyds, Wesley and Tom, Kent and Nick, John and Matt, and many others who let us peek at their houses!) We explored some more, and eventually found 3 USGS survey pins (there isn't one in "The Dismal Swamp", as we affectionately call our southwestern corner.)
A map of our New World (minus the Dismal Swamp)

We dragged friend after friend to take a look and reassure us that we had not lost our minds. Most everyone was polite enough to smile and nod with enthusiasm, at least as long as we were in sight. We slid and slipped for an entire day in the rain with a whole architectural firm, and they had T-shirts made that said "We Survived A Day On Kathy and Val's New World" and had only two immediate casualties.

Winter came at last, and it was beautiful. As you see...

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