Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Our Little Slice of Heaven

Andrea and I both grew up in the hills of Eastern Kentucky. After getting married we moved away to college, and lived in that city for the next 12 years. I was perfectly content living in the city for several years, and swore that I'd never move back to a rural area. As time went on, however, I began to be drawn to the country living.

Approximately 3 years ago we purchased a tract of land on which to eventually build our dream home. We own 32 acres, of mostly hilly and wooded land, which borders a Wildlife Management Area. We have a small stream running through the property, and another, larger stream, serves as the southern boundary. We live 6 miles from the nearest town, which has a population of less than 1,000 people. As far as most people are concerned, we are in the middle of nowhere, and we love it here.

I've come to think of the property as being divided into five general sections, which is likely how I'll refer to them throughout the blog. First we have the yard. This includes the site where our mobile home is located, along with the front and back yards. I also generally think of the shed as being in "the yard".

Next, to the west of "the yard" we have an old, dilapidated house that is just waiting for me to tear it down. The house actually has a completely separate drive way. Over there is also an old shed, which I use for storing some scrap lumber as well as an outhouse, which I haven't really checked out very thoroughly. There are also a few hundred feet of woods separating the "old house" from "the yard".

To the east of the yard is a trail which leads down to a small stream. Across the stream is the area we are turning into a garden. It is nice and flat, but hadn't been cleared in years. I have parts of it cleared, but am still working on other parts. There are a few acres in this section, probably 3-4 total. The boundary with the garden is the Wildlife Management Area.

The bulk of the property is the hillside behind (to the North) the 3 previously mentioned sections. I will generally refer to this area as "up the hill". Our property runs up the hill to the cliff line, where it meets the Wildlife Management Area boundary. I estimate that this hillside area accounts for at least 20 acres of our total tract. Fortunately there are several old logging roads that provide access to a good portion of this area.

The remaining section of our property is actually located across the highway. There are approximately 4 acres between the road and the creek. This is another section that has not been cleared in years, although I have recently began the process of clearing it. This area does flood from time to time, so its usefulness is limited.

It is worth noting that the term "highway" can be very misleading. While the road running by our house is technically a state highway, it receives little traffic. It is actually part of a Scenic Byway, which is often used by bicyclists and motorcycle riders. There are days, especially on weekends, when the bulk of the traffic are motorcycle riders. Other than that, the traffic is almost entirely limited to locals.

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