Nowhere is a place, and today I found it. Hubby and I took off first thing this morning - around 7:30 am to find what we've been calling The Wilderness House - which is supposedly a relatively new brick home, 2100 sqft heated, vaulted ceilings 3bed/2bath, with ceiling fans throughout the house and on the back patio.
So, bright and early we went over to the Wildlife/Wilderness Management Area, and tried to follow the general mapquest directions. What a backassward mess. We didn't end up lost, so much to say - we just ended up in another parish!
We basically drove from one end of the WMA to the other, and saw NOTHING. Not a highline, not a trailer, not a deerstand or a sign. The entire area is nothing but pine trees, and red clay and gravel roads. Think Deliverance. Or Wrong Turn.
We were just about to throw in the towel, turn around, and go back the way we came, when we spotted a self check-in station. (A self check-in station amounts to a large board sign that warns you it's $100,000 fine to shoot a black bear.) We passed the sign, and on a whim I threw the Jeep in reverse.
I pulled up next to the sign and told hubby to go look in the little bracket shelves to see if there was a map. Lo and behold, there was ONE map in the box. A poorly charted, Xerox copy fascimile of a map.
Not all the roads were shown on the map - not a good thing when you're driving through an area with no distinctive marks, and no street signs. Above is an actual picture of the WMA taken from my Jeep this morning. Hubby took the pic, as I was driving. I guess he did it as a bit of photographic evidence - sort of like the Blair Witch video tape footage. Just in case we came up missing, I guess. :P
After we found the map, we went on past the check-in station and basically came out of the WMA to find ourselves a highway between Arcadia and the Hodge papermill. *_* We had basically looped around BEHIND our original starting point. Since this was the case, we started the hunt over from scratch.
This time through we had the map. It helped partly, but since all the roads weren't listed, we had to guess where we were going. Finally when we came out on a well packed gravel road, we knew we were on the right track. Fifteen minutes later, and one turn around, hubby shouted, "I think I saw it!"
I backed up the Jeep - nearly into a ditch - and there it was hidden off through the trees. The now fabled Wilderness House!
There was no markers, no mailbox, no driveway indicator. We pulled into the gravel drive, and bounced our way up toward the parking patio. The two acres were a bit shabby, but not too bad. The house didn't look to bad either. Mini had fallen asleep by this point, so we left the Jeep running, and got out to go peek in the windows. Right away, I noticed dozens of red wasps buzzzzzing around the eaves of the house. *_* I walked through the breezeway and peeked in through the front doors - double glass, with redwood trim. I was very excited. The living room was white tile, with HUGE bay storm windows overlooking the back yard. You could see all the way through!
We went around and peeked into the kitchen, but it was so dark, you could hardly see anything. Next window - the bathroom. We went around the side of the house, and noticed the soil had eroded away from the foundation by about two feet. That's not good. We continued around the central air unit, and to the back yard. More wasps were swarming here. Even so, we managed to get close enough to the house to peek in the window. The room here was TORE UP. The electrical outlets were pulled from the walls, the floors were down to bare cement, and there were patches on the walls. I think my heart sank at that point. Each window after that revealed the same - unfinished walls, water damage stains, bare floors. The utility room had a large, jagged crack in the foundation.
We found the back door open, so we gave it a push and peeked inside. Talk about a heart attack! There were SWARMS of red wasps inside the house. They were dropping from the ceiling fans on the living room floor. We quickly backed out, and closed the door.
When we walked back to the Jeep, Mini was still sleeping. I climbed in and felt kind of numb. Hubby said nothing. He took over driving, and we followed the paved roads out to HWY 167 - which leads back to our hometown. I couldn't speak for a good way. I was near to tears. It was evident from the design of the house, it had been a very, very beautiful construction at one time. It's enough to make you heartsick.
I had high hopes for this one, but I can't see us having enough to pay for the house AND closing costs AND then the 20 thousand in repairs it would take to make the damn place liveable. A damn shame. Maybe next time...