First, I want to thank everyone for the nice and encouraging comments of last week.
I was afraid that my thought of raising Alpaca's would be dismissed as yet another one of my pipe-dreams.
Instead I received comments that urged me to investigate. So I did.
I found that there are people raising Alpacas right here in my general area.
I even found a seminar that is only an hour away!
So then I got to thinking that if I decided to actually raise Alpacas, I would need some land.
I found this:
Most of the people I work with live out in the country. Not in the same towns but all over. Some in Iowa and some in Illinois. While it would make more sense to live in Iowa near my work, I would rather be in Illinois near my family and friends.
I have a friend that lives about a half hour from me, but it's way out there.
Somehow I have never been to her house yet.
I actually get confused as to where it's located.
So I called her and told her about this listing and she said it's near her friend who has all the horses.
She said that the road in front of the property is THE major road and everyone travels it.
I said that is GOOD right? I mean it would always be plowed!
She said, "Yes, that's true but you would end up with a lot of
"little dog road pizza's"......
I asked how much she thought it would cost to enclosed it in fencing. She said "Thousands".
So I hung up and kept Googling, then I found this listing that instead having the main photo be of the house, it showed a goat. -
Of course that caught my attention. I could have Alpacas AND a goat!
So I called up one of my nieces and asked if she would go with me on a small road trip.
It was a nice drive, we had a great talk. The drive there was longer than my drive to work, which you would have to add on top of my commute time. Hmmm....lots of traveling.
It was suggested that I could look for work closer but there is nothing closer that has such a strong successful business. If I'm working in at a vet clinic, then I'm in the one with the most clientele.
So we finally get to this little town and then turn onto the State Highway.
There are pick-up trucks spending by and I couldn't drive too slow. My niece thinks she sees the address on one of the mailboxes on the road. I pull over and turn around. There are 3 mailboxes. Where do they belong to? My niece points out a "driveway". Actually it's just dirt grooves and mud puddles through grass leading up to a house.
I have to maneuver around the puddles, who knows how deep they are.
Then I stop the van. My niece urges me on.
"No." I say. "It's not the house in the listing."
She replies that we can drive up and ask if they know where the house is located.
(She is too young to have ever seen the X-files.) so I say "No" again and "besides there's a big scruffy unhappy dog standing next to the house."
So I back up and zigzag through the puddles. We could not have been there even 5 minutes but as we pull out a car pulls in. I buzz down the window and tell the woman in the car -
"We are looking for a property that is listed for sale." I tell her the address as she stares intently at us. No, she has no idea where it is. So I thank her and pull out on the road again.
Suddenly there is a pick-up truck close behind us.I speed up and it drops back a bit. We come to a spot on the side of the road to turn around in. It's possible another driveway. So we pull in and turn around and I realize the truck has done the same thing. I pull out onto the road and the truck is just sitting there. I travel back from where we came and in the rear-view mirror I see it back there. It doesn't pull out. Suddenly I spy to the right a tiny little house with 2 pillars that looks like the house in the listing.
A few yards from it is another property and that has a house too. It actually looks more like a shack.I noticed that the woman has driven away but I realize that we are right across the road from the original driveway. How could she not know where this address is? It's directly across the road!
My niece says to drive up and look.
I say "No." I would have to drive the van up through grass and dirt.
And I can see the truck still sitting there in my mirror. I said that "I'm scared".
She replies that "If you're too scared to pull into a driveway, how could you ever live out here?"
I loudly say "I will NEVER live out here" and we pull away. Now the pickup truck does too.
We travel down the road and turn onto the main highway and thankfully he doesn't follow.
So I drive my niece back home and return home myself.
I call my friend.
She laughs. She thinks maybe I stumbled upon a Meth Lab! She says they are know to be scattered around the countryside in obscure farmhouses.
WHO knew this!???
Anyway I tell her that maybe I won't be moving to the country. I just had this "dream" of being OUT.
Away from things with some Alpacas (and maybe a goat).
"Alpaca's!" she replies. "Why my neighbor has some of those!"
"They can be a lot of work!" but I tell her that I read up on them and it doesn't sound so bad.
She knows my financial situation and she says that she can't see me being comfortable with animals out in an unheated barn.
She says that she knows that they are supposed to be able to tolerate the cold but she can't see me allowing it. She also remarks that she absolutely hates nothing more than bundling up and going out in a snowstorm to care for animals.
She says that she has a vision of me with Alpacas inside my house.I say nothing.
I reply that "I'm thinking."
"Maybe I don't need Alpacas and maybe not so much land."
"Maybe just a little bit more than I have.
Someplace nice and green and level. For my dogs to race around on.
and some place with no snakes of course."
She tells me that EVERY place has snakes. and I tell her that I have NONE.
She bets there's a snake or two at the bottom of my yard, down the hill where it levels out and the grass is high.
I tell her "There are NOT snakes down there!"
and she says "OK"
....."do you have snakes out your way?" I ask.
She tells me the other day she came home and there was a bull snake out front, crossing the road.
What the Hell is a BULL Snake?!?!? (I've seen Googled it and it was hard to even look at the photo.)
She says they are NOT poisonous and they usually just go the other way.
It's not like they are after you to bite you.
But I tell her I'm not worried about the BITE part, it's the "winding" part.
She says they aren't constrictors and I try to explain it's not the constricting part
"IT'S THE WINDING PART!"
She says they usually just slither away. If they don't, you can get them with a shovel.
We wrap up our conversation, I hung up and drive to Lowes.
They have trees marked down 75%. and some roses.
If I'm not moving, I need some more things for my garden.