This is a transcript of the diary I kept during the first years of our transition to the mountains. We had lived in Orange County, CA for the past 20 years and decided to check out property in Bass Lake, CA where we had vacationed for several years.
In the afternoon they came unto a land,
In which it seemed always afternoon.
All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
And like a downward smoke, the slender stream
Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.
Lord Alfred Tennyson
In mid-October, My husband and I drove up to Oakhurst to stay at friend Russ’s cabin on his property off Rd 620. They were going to lay out the Bass Lake 250 motorcycle ride and I was going to interview real estate agents.
We had a history with this area and had talked for several years about retiring here someday. I had come up to Yosemite with my family every year in May and had come up with the family for vacations at Bass Lake for the last 5 years. This area around Oakhurst has everything we need and we had such a good feeling about it, …enough so that when we started looking for property, it was easily found. In fact, my husband, without even seeing one place declared, “Put an offer in on it!”,… which is ultimately what we did.
Over on a cul de sac off Rd 274, between Bass Lake and the tiny town of North Fork, Lot #2 was down to the left with a view that knocked us out.
A huge mountain, Peckinpah Ridge, rose up 6000 ft and towered over the valley where Willow creek flowed by. Seven and ½ acres bordered on two sides by National Forest. We couldn’t see or hear neighbors or cars on the highway. The land was covered with oaks and pines and there was a view to the north of the high country, Shuteye Peak. The place was natural and beautiful and amazing with a spicy sage smell in the fresh October air.
I collected information on custom homes, spec homes and about Oakhurst in general from the Chamber of Commerce.
Went to the Fall Festival on my birthday. Met Bob and wife Joy and some neighbors from up on the circle, Herb and Rosemary and Don and Marcie , very nice and friendly. They showed us the waterfall on the mountain that they called ‘Morning Falls’, which could be clearly seen across the small valley.
On the last morning of our trip, we both awoke with a very good feeling-calm and easy…at 5:30 am! We decided to go ahead and get up, making it to the Mountain House when their doors opened to have breakfast , to see a few more properties and revisit Thunder Way one more time. We made the offer to real agent Geoff on the drive home.
On the drive home, we started a notebook page called, “Five Year Plan”, and when I got home, I started researching ‘deer proof’ plants, something I thought existed.