Restoring Tobacco Road ..

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Restoring Tobacco Road ..

Postby TruGrit » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:03 pm

Howdy folks .. thanks for this site, great to see others that have the same thinking on life and living ..

.. well, I retired a couple years back, had finished all my projects at the house in the suburbs and quickly got bored outta my noggin' .. always wanted a piece of land so I would search the interweb dreaming and hoping .. then one day I spotted a chunk for sale and went to look, liked it, but it was too far from the house .. then spotted a dingy rental house next door .. vacant!

.. long story even longer, found out that the house sat on an acre and the folks had bad luck with renters and were tired of messing with it ... soooo, on a Friday afternoon .. I sat at home on google maps and the phone while the Mrs was in her car on the cell .. we hit up 2 owners, 2 real estate brokers and 2 banks in about 5 hours and closed the deal on both places! .. then sat back and said "what the hell just happened!" .. :)

.. the land is an old abandoned tobacco farm near Winston-Salem NC .. been sitting idle for over 40 years .. set on a fairly steep slope diving down into the valley to a creek and then rising again up the other side .. from 900 feet, down to 800, then back up to 900 again .. not very useful to most folks, but perfect for us!

.. there was remnants of a road they used to bring the tobacco up from the fields in the valley, you could see bits of it, but after 40 years of brush, brambles and deadfall, it was impassable .. my first order of business is to open that road back up ...

.. I have been filming the process all along, but thought I could post some stills here, someone may be interested and it would help keep me motivated to share the progress .. I'll have to dig back thru all the raw footage to find some shots, but I need to start organizing it anyway ..

... so it begins .. our first look at the place .. dunno, who Sal is, but he missed out ..

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.. and the house ..

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.. I'll post more as I dig them out ... planning gardens, orchards, sawmill, cabin, rebuilding the house, RMH, and a zillion other projects .. so much for being retired ...

.. thanks again for this site and thanks for watching! .. Tru
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Re: Restoring Tobacco Road ..

Postby DevilsBrew » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:29 pm

Welcome Grit!
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Re: Restoring Tobacco Road ..

Postby TruGrit » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:48 pm

.. thanks DB ..

.. I found where the road begins off the upper field .. there used to be a horse barn above, but a tree took it out and they just pushed the rubble down into the entrance, then with all the overgrowth, it was a mess .. I don't have any heavy equipment until the other house sells, so this is going to be done all by hand, scythe, loppers muscle and shears ..

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.. working on my golf swing ..

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.. we have an opening ..

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.. more soon as I get them uploaded ..
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Re: Restoring Tobacco Road ..

Postby matt walker » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:01 pm

Welcome! Man, that's some thick growth! You've definitely got your work cut out for you, can't wait to see what you do with the place.
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Re: Restoring Tobacco Road ..

Postby TruGrit » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:08 pm

... this next section was a little easier as I worked down to the "Pack House" .. this is where they sorted the tobacco before sending it off to the auction ..

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.. it seems pretty sound although the foundation needs some shoring up .. not sure what to use it for yet, maybe a woodworking shop .. there will be lots of that ..
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Re: Restoring Tobacco Road ..

Postby TruGrit » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:14 pm

.. thanks Matt, you're a big part of my showing up here, been chasing you all over the interweb .. :lol: .. really enjoyed your u-tubes .. so well presented and great info .. thx! .. Tru
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Re: Restoring Tobacco Road ..

Postby TruGrit » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:37 pm

.. right after closing, we noticed a big Whit Oak was hanging over the house and if a branch ever let go, it would easily take out half the house ... soo, she'd have to come down ..

.. I'd never cut down a tree before, so went to the hardware store, bought a chainsaw and commenced to hackin' .. how hard could it be? .. :shock:

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Re: Restoring Tobacco Road ..

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:19 pm

Welcome Truegrit, glad to have you with us. Great job felling that oak, she was a big'un you took all the right precautions and made it fall the right way. That is no simple task. ;) You will be surprised how the place comes together, one step at a time. Just keep doing a little bit each week and watch what a difference you start to see over time. I like the idea of the stream down in the hollow, gives you a lot of possibilities. Seems that you have found your little bit of Heaven right close to home. Keep us posted with your progress. :D That shed on the property is a wonderful addition, no end to the possibilities you have there. Keep a good roof on it and it should be serviceable for many years to come. The way I have heard they farmed tobacco years ago could have depleted your soil some, but having the land sit fallow for 40 years should have helped bring it back. Nature has a way of healing itself if we would just let her alone. :lol: Good Luck with your new life's work. ;)

PS I am retired too. Its nice to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning, keeps us young.
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Re: Restoring Tobacco Road ..

Postby mannytheseacow » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:06 pm

Welcome TruGrit. Looks like a beautiful spot you've got there. Your house looks a lot like mine. Good potential there with a small footprint. Be careful on those steep soils. You'll need to keep some cover and root system on there or you'll have some serious erosion issues.

Looks like a nice healthy oak you took down there. Left be it would probably outlast the whole bunch of us.
"Knowledge is power. Arm yourself."
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Re: Restoring Tobacco Road ..

Postby TruGrit » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:13 pm

... thanks Guy and Manny! ..

.. Guy, enjoyed reading 'Life on the Hill', never thought about doing flowers, but you got me thinking now .. oh, and two words - Zucchini Bread!

.. Manny, your woodworking is amazing! .. I have a chainsaw mill, but not the big chainsaw to put in it, yet .. another on the list of 'after the other house sells' ..
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