Other Possibly Helpful Info

Culebra Peak

What about mail?

Just like everywhere else, the U.S. Postal Service will deliver your mail to your mailbox. The only catch may be the location of your mailbox. In some cases that may be at the end of your driveway. In some cases it may be at the nearest public road. In many cases it can be miles from your dream home. In my case, it's in a rural Post Office, 8 miles from my house. It could just as easily be in town, 23 miles away. It's a good thing that I'm not attached to getting my mail every day: when the snow level in my driveway hits 3 feet I tend to call any appointments I have in town and tell them "Not today, maybe not even this week." Same for my mail. But then, that's part of what I came here for anyway...

Who plows the road when it snows?

This is a good one. In my area, the state plows the state roads (nearest one to me is 15 miles). The county plows the county roads but because of the difference in funding levels, they have much less equipment to work with (fewer operators, too). So they prioritize roads in order of traffic levels. I'm beyond the end of the county road so guess my priority... The nearest county road to me is 2 miles away anyway...That means the last 2 miles are on me. Anyone selling a CJ6 in good condition with a good plow already mounted on it for cheap, cheap, cheap? Or how about a decent tractor with a good blade, because dealing with the ruts and weeds in that road are on me, too...

Do I really need insurance?

As long as there are lawyers in this world you better have at least liability coverage. Of course, the lawyers are only representing people who refuse to be fully personally responsible for their own actions while they are on your property. "Stupidity is offensive, not defensive," is the way my grandfather used to put it. Your only defense is good insurance. Then there's lightning strikes... and wildfires... and if you have any kind of mortgage on your property, those folks will require a full insurance package anyway.

Where do I put the trash?

In most country areas (including mine), you'll have to haul your own, to the nearest landfill. There are some places where neighbors have gotten together and rented a large dumpster that gets emptied on a regular basis by a private contractor. Around here, the monthly fee involved for each household included in that arrangement is about the same as paying for 4 tickets at the landfill, but it is a fair bit more convenient. If you're thinking about starting your own private landfill along your back fenceline, don't. That's one of the biggest nasties you can do anywhere, never mind in this gorgeous countryside. You can usually burn all the paper stuff but please, not the plastic or the cans. And you know, that dumpster deal doesn't sound all that bad...

What about varmints?

You mean mice and skunks and squirrels? Get used to it. There are some things you can do to mitigate some of the problems but mice: there's no final solution been found yet. Even Orkin has to come back every month and start all over again. And I never realized how much deer and elk love garden bulbs. We plant marigolds now, they help deal with the rabbits, too. Except as potential hawk food, all of our cats have been worse than useless: they actually catch things outside, bring them in to play with and then lose them. Oh, and it's illegal to shoot the hawk... So get used to it. On the other hand, you could always just go back to the city...

Best thing we ever did is the Great Pyrenees who lives on our back deck. She came into the family at 10 weeks and grew up in the house with all our other dogs. She's been outside for several years now and I can't say enough good about her. Mind you, she doesn't protect us, she protects the other dogs. And there's been no skunks, no hawks, no coyotes. She knows the boundaries of our land and stays right here. 110 pounds, pure white, curves in all the right places... oh yeah, when it gets below 0° at night, she comes in, but only because I ask her to.

A few words about safety:

Unless you're wanting to test the response time of the county's first responders, don't try to operate any kind of power tools or equipment that you don't know how to operate. And even then... Every couple of years or so, I hear of some professional getting killed in a chain saw accident. No, they're not all from Texas... but when you add in tractor and backhoe roll-overs, getting run-over by their own vehicles in their own driveways, getting gored by bison (Really, officer, I don't know how I got on the wrong side of that electric-wire-topped 6-foot-high cyclone fence with signs on it every 5 feet saying: KEEP OUT!), you have to wonder about folks... A lot of folks I used to know in the city had lots of tools, but no user manuals. No eye protectors, ear protectors, safety shoes or heavy gloves, either. But if they chanced to cut a finger off, the hospital was right around the corner. Not here...

Then there's pesticides, insecticides, herbicides... care for a taste, anyone? How about your kids, would they like some? Just putting them in the shed when you're done using them doesn't cut it. When Cousin Fred from the city comes to visit with his kids, where do you think his kids will go first?

And what about guns? I know there's some city folks who'll just start shooting anywhere, anytime, at anybody... It's different here. Some folks have armories in the house. The walls, top and bottom are concrete and the door is very thick and barred shut. They're not worried about any city folks, they're trying to keep themselves and their own kids safe. Come hunting season though... Nobody goes out and just target shoots either. You want to know where other people and their horses and your cattle are. Stray bullets don't discriminate but you are responsible for what they do when you set them free.

I haven't mentioned lightning, frostbite, snakes, spiders... Rule of thumb: don't be silly. Don't put your hand where you can't see. Pay attention to what's happening in the sky above you. Winter usually gives lots of notice but plan on snow coming down any time between Labor Day and Memorial Day. I've even been snowed on up high on July 4th. Remember the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared. I'd like to add: be properly educated and informed about what you are thinking to do. And then do it... logo
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