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That Thing We are doing - Borders


Our neighbor from the deep south had suggested we put up a fence to help keep the wildlife out. Unfortunately, we weren’t exactly sure of our property borders. Our one neighbor had a nice fence. That was helpful but they didn’t take it all the way to the back of their property. This was the area Tracey and Kent called ‘the jungle.’


We priced out using a professional surveyor. Sticker shocked, we determined to hunt. Each week we began setting goals. The second Saturday we planned to find our monuments. These are steel rods the county puts in the corners of the property. The problem... they had been put in fifty years ago and they usually only stick out of the ground a few inches. Still, we had a clear purpose.


Finding the monument by our neighbor’s fence was fairly easy but the metal detector we bought was useless. We walked down the road where the neighbor on the north had put in an access road, building up the dirt around the corner of the property. Jer went to work digging near one of several single green, metal fence posts. He found it several feet down, tucked around the monument. Sweet success!


We headed back to the fence and with our twenty-five foot tape measure, we began measuring again. This time we didn’t stop when we got into the jungle. It was hard to traverse with all the downed branches covered with leaves and debris. I tried not to think about what lurked below where my boots slipped through. We tripped our way through until I spotted another green metal post. The neighbor behind us had cleared most of their land of the underbrush.


Something came running at me. It was brown. It growled but stopped a few feet away from me. We found our bear. It was the neighbors dog. When I talked sweetly, she wagged her tail, but if I called her to come to me, she barked. She followed us for a bit but left us alone.


Did I mention we were trying to use a compass app on my phone to put stakes down ever so often? My phone kept recalibrating, so our line was all over the place. It made finding the last monument difficult. Finally, we saw another green fence post. Thank God for whoever put those in. We would never have found the monuments without them.


We tried to figure out a straight line to the monument back by the road. What a mess. Our line was crazy not straight and we'd been at this for hours. This is when we met our northern neighbor, Dan, who had just inherited his property. We asked how upset would he be if our fence accidentally ended up a couple feet on his property. He joked about suing us. We didn’t think it was funny.

Getting a straight line wasn’t an option. Finding our monuments saved us a couple thousand. We'd figure out a straight seven hundred foot line eventually. We were sweaty and dirty but felt like it had been a successful second day of our adventure.

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