It’s time to check in and see what’s happening at the ranch! We’ve discovered a default rule around here: when the weather is nice out, it is a joy to work outside. We’ve had LOTS of good weather days lately; heat wave of sorts, complete with deep tanning in the intense sun. While it means I’m out happily tending my garden, it’s definitely hindered my virtual bandwidth so, I’ll see if we can cover a good set of highlights…
THE SUMMER OF REZONE
Of course the critical path for our project is dealing with the county to obtain our proper permitting. After going through their initial "Pre-application planning process", we recognized the need to engage professional services to prepare the official application. With that in mind, there has been a bevy of work going on with our surveyors and biologist. They’ve prepared a new site plan for us giving the contour intervals and locations of buildings. By the end of the month we’re expecting to file, and pay fees of course, then the official announcements of proposed development go out.
In the meantime, we had a visit from our water systems engineer whose working on preparing our Class B water system application for the state. This is to allow us to offer our most pristine well water to the public for drinking and hot showers.
Then there is our structural engineer who is reviewing the plans for the large yurt and coordinating getting it properly permitted. At first glance the county did not require a permit for the deck we built, but once we put the yurt on it, they wanted a permit, so it meant getting an engineer to stamp the plans and submit them.
As we await the rollout of these processes, we turn our attention to projects at the ranch.
MOVING YURT ALONG
We had removed the main portion in early 2006 and relocated it up to the ranch prior to the start of construction. It was the very first building to be built here! Now it has morphed into our concept guest room for the Mountain Loop celebration. Soon we’ll put a small ranch store in there. One of many yurts to come!
…we prepare, just in case. With the grand re-opening of the Mountain Loop Highway at Barlow Pass, having been chopped off there for a few years due to geography rearranging itself during some serious flooding, we thought it best to prepare for potential visitors. So we took the yurt and configured it as a guest room. We also placed a kiosk of alpaca hiker socks out for sale. The road was really busy that beautiful and sunny Saturday. A few people stopped in to check us out, but until we fully roll out our road signs and advertising, we don’t expect too much. Still, it was a nice stake in the ground for us to complete a few projects around the land in anticipation of visitors.
THE LOWER BACK PASTURES
One of those projects you’ve been following has been the development of our lower, back acreage. It originally was all stumps and logging debris and now we’ve got grass growing; dead logs yarded from the under-story for use on the ranch as poles, planks, and firewood; stump piles composting into hillocks. Our neighbor, Jack, was so kind to come over for a visit on his log skidder. What a machine! He focused a couple of hours consolidating the lower two stump piles together. It will be so nice when we can get this lower portion all fenced in. That’s next on the list. The fence posts are already in and the rolls of fencing staged to be stretched into place. Its a good thing we pulled in all the logs or it’d be a challenge with a fence in the way. Once we get this fenced, the animals will have another 4-5 acres to graze. Of course we still have to tame a number of bracken fern, salmonberry and blackberry bushes, and other miscellaneous invasive weeds. I’ve uploaded a video of Jack hard at work so you can see some heavy equipment in action. Be sure to check out the scenery and see how well the grass is growing too! I’ll leave you with the latest pictures of the views from the front porch…