Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pig Iron Lookout

Besides our slight fascination with caves we like to go to the other spectrum and check out various fire lookouts. Hubby had found this one kind of by accident when he was grouse hunting one day.

This is the Pig Iron Lookout. To get there take NF-4780, aka Mowich Loop Road. This is the road that turns off North Umpqua Highway just north of Stump Lake. As you continue up that road you have to be careful not to miss where 4780 makes a definite right turn. It almost seems like a different road, but if you were to go straight (which seems the obvious choice to remain on 4780) you would end up at the Clearwater Forebay. So anyway, you've turned north (right) to continue on 4780. At the next "T" intersection make a left onto NF-060 and very shortly after a right onto NF-100. Stay on 100  until you get to the locked gate.

Now you'll have to walk a bit. Fortunately it's an easy, level walk on the gravel road. It's barely just over a mile long trail. 

There's Clyde leading the way.

There's a little path that leads off the road. It doesn't look so easy.

You'll finally get to another T in the road and head left. You should be able to see the lookout then.

Here it is from the roadside.

Looking up at the lookout.

Here's a view from the base of the lookout.

Here's from that rock Hubby is sitting on. We made Clyde stay because it's a little dicey beyond that point. Didn't want him falling off the cliff!. In fact, I was rather uncomfortable being on that point myself!

Here's a few pictures of the area.  Look between the trees here and you might be able to see Watson Falls.

Here it is enlarged. You can still barely see it here, but it's there! Right smack dab in the middle of the picture flowing off the big rock.

Here's the valley below with the canal going into the Clearwater Forebay.

Toketee Lake just to the right of the forebay.

I got the bright idea to use the video on my phone to do a panoramic view. The first video is from the base of the lookout.


This video is from the rock point below the lookout. Sorry about the quality. It's not high-def and I was trying not to fall off the rock!

Here was a note posted on the base of the lookout by the stairs to go up.

Having lived in California for so long it just amazes us that we can go to an unoccupied lookout like this and see that it hasn't been vandalized. It's so refreshing. 

In any case it's a great hike. Like I said, if I find it to be an easy hike then trust me, it is! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


The property sale did not go through. 

I was really hoping this one would work out. We picked out a house plan on a manufactured house and I was getting excited about getting all our stuff and having our own place again. 

Our first offer was based on the total price of the property and dividing that by the total acres. Then we took that price per acre and applied it to the approximate acreage we wanted for our own. 

That was rejected and we got a strange counter offer. They said the "five acre homesite" would be $145,000 and each acre after that would be $3,000. What they were calling a homesite was by the entrance gate and a very old well. While we would have been testing the well in any case, I would not have called that a homesite. The well was from before wells had to be recorded so it wasn't numbered. And add to the mix the fact that though there were electrical lines to the well, the lines were disconnected. Who knows how long they were disconnected so would the pump even still work? In my opinion that was not a homesite. And we wanted the house to be more in the middle of the property anyway. 

We did a little research at the assessor's and the building department's offices. We found out that it appeared that at one time the process had been started to make that an approved homesite. Apparently, however, some time ago the lines had been redrawn and the homesite had been requested to be moved to the opposite side of the ranch, which was done and approved. At the old site, now no longer approved (or ever approved), there was only the old unknown well. No septic approval or anything else.

Our realtor asked their realtor for an explanation of how he came about the figures. He stated that in fact it wouldn't matter where we put our home, the $145,000 would be for the first five acres. That price was based on comps from lots nearer to town in a very ritzy area. We were kind of flabbergasted as that area has million dollar homes and we were just trying to buy a piece of a cow pasture! 

Then our realtor asked him what he thought his clients might go for because that was not happening. He said he thought they would accept $20,000 less than their first counter. That is exactly what we then offered. 

Just as the bell was chiming on the response deadline their realtor texted our realtor and said he misread his client's flexibility on the price and they were not willing to go any lower than their first counter offer.

Thanks for getting our hopes up.  

Yes, very frustrating. I want to believe that means there is something better out there for us, somewhere. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Grouse Parmesan

September 1 was opening day of grouse hunting. Hubby and his friend went to one of the areas where we had seen some grouse on one of our little day trips.

They returned home with two birds in hand. Though hubby shot at one he missed and our friend got two. He generously let us keep the birds as he was under strict orders from his wife to not bring anything home. I think it's something to do with her preferring to get her meat from the store prewrapped in cellophane??

We had been watching a Cook's Country cooking show and they were cooking a recipe they called "The Best Chicken Parmesan". We thought it would easily translate to the grouse, since the grouse is so very chicken-like.

I didn't write anything down and we kind of winged it (pardon the pun). I did refer to the website for a little refresher. If you want the exact recipe you can go to the Cook's Country website and do a search for "Best Chicken Parmesan". You will have to "join" but it's free and then you have access to all the delicious recipes and equipment reviews, etc.

We started off with the two breasts.

They were carefully deboned.

We got our breading station ready.  This is where it's a little different from the average parmesan recipe. There is a bowl of beaten eggs mixed with flour (rather than two separate bowls). The dry mixture consists of panko mixed with parmesan cheese.

First off, the meat is pounded to a uniform thickness, about 1/4" to 1/2". Just so long as they are fairly even. Lightly salt and pepper. Dip into the egg/flour mixture and then coat with the panko/parm mix.

Fry in medium-high heat til the pieces are golden brown.


Next get your topping ready. This is where we strayed a little from the original recipe. We used store bought sauce for simplicity. We chopped up mozzarella cheese sticks and havarti cheese slices and mixed them together. 

 Cheese gets piled on top and the tray is placed under the broiler...

...til the cheese is melty.

Top that with your heated sauce and enjoy!

The crust was crispy, the chicken grouse was tender, the cheese was melty and the whole thing was absolutely delicious.

Our friends' wife doesn't know what she is missing!!!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Offer In

About a week ago while our realtor was in a regular realtor's meeting she made a request on our behalf. She told the others what we were looking for and what our approximate price range was. 

After the meeting one of the realtors approached her and said he may have something we would be interested in. It was a 129 acre ranch that was being sold by the heirs (brother and sister). It has a very large pond, a big shop/hay storage, smaller shop/barn, and two homesites, one with an existing mobile, though that would be removed at the time of the sale as it did not belong to them. It is currently being leased to a cattle raising/hay operation. The asking price was $650,000.

Obviously that's way above our price range but he said they would be willing to divide the property, first come, first served.

We made an appointment to go take a look.

The good news is the ranch is in an area that I like, the land is not too steep, and while there are not a whole lot of trees, there are some. We actually didn't like the top half too much, where the mobile home and second home site were. And while the pond was very cool that just wasn't the area of the ranch we liked. It didn't help that there were high wire electrical lines running through that portion and the way the property was situated for that portion one has to utilize an easement and go through a series of gates. The whole idea of easements that other people have to use (other than utility companies) does not appeal to me. 

Then we went to the lower portion of the ranch. It looks like they had planned another homesite at one time because there is an unused well head there and standard electrical lines. We were told they had started a septic approval process but never followed through.

After a quick look in the beginning area we decided to go back on another day when we could take our time to walk that portion and take a closer look. 

Here are the pictures from our closer look.

This is the entry gate. If you look at the very last picture this is where the road curves at the lower left. I outlined the part we are interested in in orange. It amounts to approximately 42 acres.

From the bottom line towards the top. The gate would be to the right of this picture.

Looking in at the gate. The blue tarp is over a bunch of hay. The leasee won't be leaving any for us. Just to the left of the tarp is the well. It's not hooked up right now and we would have to do some testing to see if it would work or if we need to dig a new well.

From just past the hay looking back towards the main gate. The gate here is actually going into the main portion. The way I had it divided we would get a small part of that but the main part is to the right. 

From the tarp looking north. The trees border the east fence line before curving to the west. See the last picture.

This is from the tree line about in the middle, looking north.

Same as above, just a little more to the right.

From the same spot looking towards the gate. You can see the blue tarp on the left side.

If you look at the last picture you can see the tree line curves to the west as it follows a seasonal creek, making a couple of acres triangle in the top right of the property. This is right where the trees leave the fence line (looking north).

I've stepped through the trees and across the (now dry) creek here. The triangular portion actually curves around those trees on the left.

This is pretty much in the middle of the property from where we thought a potential homesite might be, looking north. While the property is mostly rather flat there are some ever so slight elevation changes. 

Same as above looking at the gate. See the blue in the middle?

Same but now looking east at the tree line along the creek.

Here's the aerial. The thin red lines encompass the entire ranch, the thicker orange line is the part we are interested in. Remember you can click on the pictures to enlarge.

We made an offer so we have a few days to wait.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!