The Pistol River is the site of our new adventure. Our new property is 160 acres of timberland about 5 miles east of the Pacific Ocean and a couple of miles north of the Pistol River. The Pistol River sits between the towns of Gold Beach and Brookings in Curry County. Referred to both as Oregon’s Banana Belt and the Wild Coast, the terrain is steep and rough with a very mild maritime climate (though very rainy.) The property lies between about 1400 and 1800 feet elevation and is anything but square. It actually has 14 corners and is mostly south sloping.
The previous owner did live on the place for 7 years, operating a small farmer’s market and restaurant vegetable and egg business, but the property is not currently permitted for a residence. Instead there are two ‘micro-cabins’ (one 8’x12′ and one 8’x16′), a composting outhouse, two greenhouses, a fenced pasture, a few young orchard plantings (mostly berries and soft fruit), a chicken house, and an innovative gravity fed water distribution system.
There is a long list of maintenance and upkeep projects on the immediate to-do list, but we definitely have time to develop the place over the longer term. The first task though was to get a caretaker in place so the property is occupied and maintained. The caretaker will start sometime in July, if all goes well. In exchange for a beautiful (if not rather rustic) place to live and plenty of free time, he will make sure we don’t have any trespassers and that basic maintenance and upkeep occurs on what limited infrastructure we have.
The one week I was on the place, this meadow was the perfect place to sit with my morning coffee and oatmeal. The bottom part of the meadow is on the neighbor’s place. The county is ‘open range’ which means that livestock are free to roam. It is up to the property owner to fence them out if they don’t want them around. So the cattle from two owners over spent a day in the meadow grazing while I was there. This photo is from the fenced part of the upper meadow – hence the much taller grass.
While Verizon service covers the property, you must walk out to a lichen covered ridge to check messages or make calls on AT&T.
I found a neglected asparagus bed (with a pot full of asparagus spears) in the overgrown terraced vegetable garden. This photo can give a sense of the slope of the place. Most of the property is this steep or steeper with only a few flat spots.
A drainage problem in a key section of road will be something the caretaker will help tackle.