Didn’t even think of it in terms of homework, but I’ve already got a few of my “gonna try first” plans in place, and still mulling the rest.
Our rental land is 10 miles away. It’s 14 acres of flat grassland, down a steep ramp from the road, and it’s about 50′ below the grade of the road. So if you’re on that property but near the road, traffic is going right by you without ever knowing you’re there. We have a locking gate on the one access ramp with the all-season road, but the other gate is uncontrolled. Since that ramp is the poorer of the two, and can only be driven on in summertime, we usually don’t have a problem. But we’ve had nice weather the last week, and that side of the field has really dried out a lot. I was there last Wednesday doing some work and noticed that ramp and access road were nearly ready to drive on. When I went out Friday, I noticed someone had already beaten me to it. Without permission.
Someone had driven their 4×4 down off the road, into the tall (3′ tall in places) grass, parked well off the ramp, walked even further back in the grass, and matted down another 10’x10′ area for what must have been a very nice spot to either get drunk, get stoned or get laid. Sorry to be so graphic, but that’s almost certainly what was happening. We’ve found prior evidence of all three activities on that property in the past, but nothing so far this year. Problem is, it had happened in the last 48 hours, and it could very easily happen again even with me there working. I was not pleased. The fact that it was right by the animal pens, and we move the animals tomorrow, also had me on high alert. If someone was just being romantic, well, they probably wouldn’t have done anything obnoxious with the livestock had they been there. But alcohol and/or drug usage each dramatically increases a person’s stupid index. We now finally have insurance coverage (thank goodness THAT is finally squared away), but I really don’t want a pair of 17-year-olds testing it by playing dare with our animals. Or worse, simply cutting the fence and laughing as the animals scatter. One 300# goat up on the road, getting hit by a car, and there goes a heckuva lot of our time and money. Not to mention any human fatalities along the way.
So today, one of my tasks will be to get a heavy cable to stretch across that ramp so that folks can’t casually drive down the ramp. Having the vehicle parked up on the road is a whole lot easier to see, and more prominent for neighbors to check out. The next layer of defense, which will take some money, is to install some stout posts and hang a real gate across that ramp so that it will block not only vehicles, but casual visitors of both the two-legged and four-legged varieties. But the question of what I need to do to protect my own person down there, while working long hours, by myself, out of earshot and out of cellphone range, is a whole ‘nuther topic. It’s one my DH and I have discussed before, and one in which none of the options are particularly comfortable to consider. But I guess we need to have that discussion again.