We finally got the keys!! Such a fun first night camping out in the farm house. We hiked out the to the back corner of the property and into the wild BLM land to discover the most incredible wilderness, stark mountains and a dramatic canyon. Giant oak trees, both standing and fallen (and some burned out from fire years before) stud the landscape and huge hawks soar overhead.

Back on the farm, our three calves are quite shy. I think it’s going to be a little while before we can get a halter on them…..

The wind whipped itself up into a frenzy on Saturday night and got stronger throughout the day on Sunday with gusts up to 70 mph, culminating in SDGE cutting power to much of the back country late Sunday night, in an effort to mitigate the risk of explosive wildfires. We’re hoping it’ll be restored this evening (Wednesday) if the wind dies down enough.

I spent a sleepless night thinking windows would blow out and worrying about fire as the desperately dry winds pummeled the property, seemingly from all sides. The strong oaks stood steadfast and the supple younger maple trees remained resilient but with no power, the house got super cold (too dangerous to light a fire in case an ember made it through the chimney screen) and the the water stopped because there was no power to the well pump.

The painting crew dutifully arrived and agreed to start despite the tough conditions (they’ll have to take their brushes home to wash). I can’t wait to see all the walls in their calm new hues of earthy gray….. I hope the charcoal color chosen for the accent walls isn’t too dramatic!

And so the countdown to Saturday and our next journey up the mountain, with yet another carload (or two) of stuff to primp and prep for Thanksgiving and two fun nights with some of our favorite friends.


Sun Hawk Ranch

Sun Hawk is a 41 acre ranch in Wynnola, just south of Julian. Backing on to the National Forest and BLM Land, Sun Hawk Ranch is located inside the 1,200 Hoskings Ranch. The landscape consists of rolling meadows, boulders and huge looming oak trees, my favorite of which is more than two hundred years old…

It’s been used as a working cattle ranch, raising Mini Belted Galloways for the past several years….. We’re excited to restore the natural vegetation to the over-grazed land by reducing the herd to a starting number of just three calves. Hopefully with fewer head of cattle on the land, when the winter rains come, the plants will replenish themselves. Otherwise we’ll be working hard to plant it with native grassland seed.

There are Native American Metate Bowls worn into rocks, which we can’t wait to uncover by sweeping away years of leaves and dirt.

The house needs some TLC with fresh paint and some new furniture to brighten it up (whilst still maintaining a cozy, ranchy feel).

Red Tailed Hawks, coyotes, bob-cats, deer and wild turkeys are some of the local residents and will be our new neighbors….. along with  a flock of free ranging chickens, and plentiful squirrels, whom Parker our Border Terrier simply cannot wait to chase.


In Escrow….


Time spent in escrow seems to simultaneously pass SO slowly, and unbelievably quickly! We can’t wait to get the keys and have all the paperwork behind us, but also there’s an absolute ton to get done.

A gigantic sharpee’d list suspended precariously on our oven at home reminds us of all the things that need to be procured and sorted out before we can move in. I’m in charge of the former, and currently wish I had stock in Etsy as more and more boxes arrive by the day. It’s challenging to stick to only purchasing the necessaries, when there are so many pretty cabin / ranch / farmhouse things to tempt.

Ten days from now we’ll be heading up the mountain with a U-Haul hitched up to the truck (hopefully) and the dogs in the cab, to find out what all the excitement’s been about. Finally – Some land!!