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An illustrated guide to planning Retirement

Updated on November 2, 2012

Springdale WA

tent setup at the beginning of the property
tent setup at the beginning of the property
almost north/south width facing our truck from the fenceline
almost north/south width facing our truck from the fenceline
from the side of the road across the field
from the side of the road across the field
walking down Florida
walking down Florida
down Florida section of property
down Florida section of property

Starting from scratch

Heading toward our new property in Springdale Washington is quite the road trip. We live in Bellingham WA and the trip is about seven hours from our house. The first time we went to see it was a week before the property was about to close so the property was not ours yet. My husband had gone over the previous weekend to put money down on it. I trust him with our future plans but I have to admit I was still shocked and disappointed when I saw it for the first time.

The trip took forever and the weather was hot and the long ride made my back hurt. It’s been awhile since I’ve been on a long road trip. We had the entire family with us including the dog and when we arrived I did not like the property at all. I don’t know what I was expecting because I had seen pictures of it beforehand and it was pretty.

The property is bordered by trees with the middle of it being grassland. The trees are bordered on three sides of the property. We own twenty one acres. I know that seems like a lot of acreage and when we are done doing to it what we want then it might not be enough property but I still think we bought too much acreage.

We have a lot of prairie dog holes covering every inch of the ground with grass up to our knees. The whole ranch which includes our property and eight more parcels or so used to be a horse ranch and let me tell you it is quite spread out. We have about fifteen acres of forest and six acres of prairieland. It’s shaped like the state of Florida which I guess is not too bad because a lot of it you can’t see from the dirt road. There is also slight hills that aren’t noticeable till you walk it or stand in the low spots.

The second time I went to see the property my opinion of it changed. I am slowly warming up to the idea of liking it. This time we slept in a tent on our property which was nice but extremely uncomfortable. We got there about 10:30 pm on Friday night with some cushions for our sleeping bags and a smaller tent with lots of blankets and stocking caps for our heads. Unfortunately neither one of us slept because we were both uncomfortable and cold despite the hats on our heads.

On Saturday we explored the communities in the vicinity which was not done on a previous trip. We found twp hotels in Springdale. We went in two grocery stores which are small but carry the necessities with good prices and found the nearest ACE hardware and Fred Meyers. The nearest Fred Meyers is on the outskirts of Spokane and it was there that we bought an air mattress ( I couldn’t find the one we own), car outlet pump and another blanket. We were determined to make our sleeping quarters (tent) on Saturday night more comfortable than the previous night.

We found a local drive thru coffee shop called Pappy’s Coffee in Loon Lake and we asked the barista if she knew of a breakfast place in town that had good food. She told us she had not really eaten in town but had heard that the Loon Lake Saloon and Grill had good food so we decided to try it out. The food was really good and at a fair price too and it also turns out that they serve breakfast. They have really good table coffee too. Normally, restaurant coffee is bitter and you have to add a lot of cream and sugar to make it palatable. Theirs was not bitter and there was no need to add anything and I liked it black which also means the flavor was neither weak nor strong but just right.

We were tempted to go back there in the evening for entertainment but decided to hang out at our property because we were too tired to go anywhere. The Loon Lake Saloon and Grill has an old fashioned cowboy saloon look to it with a few modern conveniences like a modern jukebox, pool table, big screen TV. They also have a really nice backyard with tables set under the trees and a stage for performances which vary nightly or weekly depending on who comes to town or who decides they want to play that night. The place is bigger than it looks. One of these days we’ll check it out. Looks like our kind of place and it’s local.


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    • jpridgen profile image

      Janice Pridgen 5 years ago from Bellingham WA

      Thank you Rolly for your comment. The next step is to get a tractor and put a storage unit and our camping trailer on the property next spring so we can start putting the driveway in, have someplace to stay other than a tent and someplace to store our tools without carting them back and forth. We're looking forward to it despite the cost. We can't wait til it's done.

      Looking forward to reading more of your fireside chats. hope the weather is treating you fine so far.

      til then.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi jpridgen... what a great read and it takes me back over the years of starting out new and fresh and filled with many challenges of creating a home from nothing. In my case it was often a log home. Some simple, others challenging but they became homes to me then to others.

      Well written... and voted up...

      Hugs from Canada