The Red Gate

I love driving down beautiful green country roads in the springtime and looking at all of the gates along the road.   I enjoy dreaming and wondering about the lives that live beyond them.

Gee, what do you think is going on behind that gate?  They certainly don’t want anyone to know, now do they!

Unfortunately, it’s just one of the many “we-have-marijuana-plants-but-don’t-want-you-(or the code inspector)-to-know” type gates we see in our area.  Sheesh!  Only in California.

One of the first tasks we completed when we bought our property years ago was to install a gate.  Our eldest son, Stephen, took a day out of his busy schedule to help us. We bought the gate at Tractor Supply and it has served us well since then.

Ray and Stephen installing our gate more than 11 years ago.  Boy has that area changed since then!

But now we are in the process of building our new home, and needed to expand the width of our gate, otherwise a cement truck would have some trouble squeezing through. And we are going to need lots and lots of cement trucks!

This wildfire was coming up and over the ridge next to us… a bit close for comfort!                    “There but by the grace of God, go I”

We also needed to make sure a fire truck and/or other emergency vehicles could get through. We have had three wildfires very close to us this year, and had to evacuate once, so we want to make it actually INVITING for fire trucks and emergency personnel to get into our property!

Several years ago, my sister Deana gave us a few small “garden type” gates, which are actually meant to be used with a chain link fence.  But, when you have limited supplies and don’t want to spend money, you “make do”!  So, my dear hubbs and I decided to use that as a temporary fix to widen the entrance to our property.

Now our gate opening is about 14 feet wide. Look at the difference in the size of the trees from the picture above when we first put in the gate!  It doesn’t even look like the same place, but it is!

Once our new house is done, we plan to replace the gate with a prettier gate and install a solar automatic gate opener.  I found these gates below on Wayfair.com and really like the first one.  I’m not a real “frufru” type of girl, but a little bit more design than our current gate would be nice.

Since we installed that first gate more than 10 years ago, it was starting to lose some paint where we chained it to the post, and I thought that since we were widening the gate, we would update the whole kit and kaboodle.

I decided to paint both of these gates bright red – or as the paint can says – Satin Apple Red.  Why?  Because living in a forest, it isn’t always easy to see street signs, much less house numbers  So, we have to explain our property whereabouts to visitors as “turn down the lane where you see the first brown gate”.  Unfortunately, in the afternoon, our gate is in the shade, so sometimes it isn’t easy to see the gate, especially since it’s brown!  And our neighbor down the road also has a brown gate. And the neighbor below him!

So after clearing some brush and lower tree limbs, I painted both gates Rustoleum Satin Apple Red.

Doesn’t this look better?

Now, I can tell everyone that we are at the only red gate on our country road, and they can’t miss it.  At least I hope they don’t!!

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With A Little Help From Our Son….

After a month or so of clearing the cute, shady lane leading into our property from the road, we arrived one bright, early Saturday morning to see tire tracks on the lane.  Apparently it had rained a few nights before and the suspicious tracks were imprinted in the now drying mud.  I know it sounds silly, but we felt violated – like we had been visited by a burglar!   Further investigation of the tracks lead us to an area where we had previously cut through a huge fallen cedar which had blocked the lane.   A few weeks ago we had removed  the cedar with a chainsaw just to the edge of the lane so we could pass beyond it, but left the majority of the log that was not blocking our access on either side of the lane.  Whomever our stranger (burglar, trespasser, stink-face) was, he had helped himself to the rest of the cedar!  We were outraged!  How could this happen?  Our property was situated on a privately owned graveled road with signs at the head of the road saying that it was all private property, along with Neighborhood Watch signs!  We weren’t upset so much by the loss of wood, but by the feeling that we had been violated!   

Ray and Stephen digging the holes for the posts.

Ray and Stephen digging the holes for the posts.

It was then and there we decided we needed a gate and some Private Property/No Trespassing signs.  The signs were easy enough to find, but where to find a simple utility gate?  We knew that some day, when we were actually living in our new home on the property we would replace a simple gate with a nicer gate, opening and closing with a solar run gate opener.  But right now we just needed a cheap gate to keep people from actually driving into our property.  Our first thought was to search the internet and see what came up.  Much to our chagrin, one of the first listings on our search was the Tractor Supply Company.  Oh yeah, of course!  When my sons were little I used to take them down to TSC when they would get in their baby chicks and ducks.  We could easily spend an hour just watching the babies in the cute little pens they had set up inside the store.  So, knowing they were a farm supply store – to the store we went. 

Attaching the gate - almost done!

Attaching the gate – almost done!

Once there we had to make a decision of how big of a gate to buy and decided the ten footer would be sufficient, especially since the actual opening would be closer to eleven feet, and it didn’t cost too much.  Ray already had a short chain and we bought a simple padlock to secure the gate to the post when we wanted to lock it up. Along with the hinges, we bought two 4 x 4 fence posts and some sacks of cement.   

Attaching the No Tresspassing sign!

Attaching the No Tresspassing sign!

The very next weekend we enlisted our oldest son, Stephen, to help.  Luckily, Stephen had inherited a post hole digger from the house he had just purchased, which made it a lot easier to dig the two holes for the posts.  Now, when I say it made it easier, I certainly don’t mean that it was easy.  It seemed that the soil was nothing but clay!  In some places it even had clay rocks – if there is such a thing.  We spent at least 2 hours between the three of us to dig holes deep enough and wide enough to put in a couple of 4 x 4 posts with some cement.  When Ray deemed the holes sufficient (he has put up a residential fence or two) we gave a collective sigh of relief and began setting the posts.  While I held one of the posts plumb, Stephen would slowly pour in a bag of dry cement while Ray would pour in a gallon of water and munch it around to mix water and cement.  With the posts poured, we were done for that day.  We couldn’t hang the fence until the next weekend when the cement had hardened, but once we had the gate hung we ceremoniously attached a POSTED No Tresspassing  sign!                                

 

                                          

Shared at:   Wildcrafting Wednesday; Healthy2Day; Cottage Style Party

 

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