Last weekend Steve and I rolled down to Jacksonville, Oregon to see the Tedeschi-Trucks Band at the Britt Music Festival. What a great venue, and what an awesome band! We had such a good time that I just bought tickets to see them again at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland in November, which I think will be a great way to celebrate thirteen years together. Why? Because our seats are numbers 13 and 14; thirteen years together in the year 2014. Kismet, no?
But getting back to Jacksonville- part of the reason we wanted to go was to start looking at parts of Oregon to see where we want to buy property and build a house.* This started with a trip to the local AAA office to get a bunch of county maps. The Friday of the concert we drove around Josephine county, which was really pretty, but later at dinner our waitress told us, "oh you don't want to live in Josephine county. Josephine county has no sheriff's department." It turns out that the county lost their federal funding from co-opted lumber sales during the Great Recession, and the residents didn't want to pony up a 150% increase to their property taxes, so the sheriff had no choice but to lay off his deputies. They also had to release most of the inmates of the county lockup (keeping the very worst offenders behind bars). If that weren't enough to make living there unlikely, the lack of The Law has spurred various vigilante-type posse groups. I like living in the west, but I don't want to live in the Wild West.
So we were very disappointed to learn that we wasted a whole day on a county we couldn't consider. The other day was spent looking in Jackson county, which we've decided is too dry and too spendy. Beautiful, and really reminds me of California, but not for us.
Then on the way home we got off Interstate 5 and drove out 126 to Mapleton and headed back in on 36. Both routes were really pretty and we liked them a lot- this was in Lane county. It was interesting to see the difference in maintenance the two roads receive, because the coast road (126) was in much better repair than the other.
We know we want to be on the coast side of Interstate 5, and in the rain shadow of the coast mountains, and we'll look at Washington as well. And at this point, we're just looking for what looks good- we're not searching for property (although if the right thing jumped out at us, we'd probably take the plunge).
This could be a long search. Let me know if you know of a good place to look that you would recommend if you have one.
* Our dream house does not exceed the current square footage within which we live (1400) and could wind up being a great deal less. We're also planning on building it ourselves, so it can't be too fancy. Don't want a fancy compound, just a homestead.