Laurel, my wife, and I are the happy recent buyers of a 1/4 share in a Black Butte Ranch house. (Scroll down for a video of what the house looks like.)
Today we went on a mid-afternoon bike ride around part of the resort property, then took the dog on a walk that started in Black Butte Ranch and ended on land outside the development.
Here's photos of our excursions.
The house is located in the part of Black Butte Ranch that was developed first. So it dates from the 1970s. It's been updated, as you can see from the video below. We like the large windows and high ceilings.
Laurel made friends with one of the horses. While on our bike ride she told me about a study that showed horses have a greater variety of facial expressions than chimpanzees. It sure seems like this horse is smiling.
There was a sign warning that horses can be unpredictable, but no outright prohibition against touching them. So this time Laurel doesn't have to worry about the Black Butte Ranch police, in contrast to what I wrote about back in 2004 in one of my favorite posts, "Police do read weblogs."
Here's how the post started out:
Sender: “Black Butte Police” Subject: “Weblogs”
This header definitely caught my eye as I scanned my Outlook inbox for new email messages. What had I done? And why was the Black Butte Police force coming after me for doing it? I skipped past the daily deluge of plaintive missives from the Kerry campaign, Democratic Party, and MoveOn.Org to click on this mysterious communication.
The message was short:
“By the way, we do read weblogs! Your citation will be forthcoming….Just joking.
Gil Zaccaro, Chief
Black Butte Ranch PD”
I want to emphasize that this being October, my jacket pockets contained a wool cap and gloves. So subtract from your mind any thought along the lines of "Geez, Brian is developing a big gut." (That may be true, but not to the extent shown in this photo.)
Since the family dog, ZuZu, was audibly pissed at not going with us on the bike ride -- I could tell from the anguished whining as I locked the door with her inside -- we made sure that we took her on a nice long dog walk later in the day.
I'm showing this sign because we now are totally legal property owners in Black Butte Ranch.
And without making any claims of guilt or innocence on our part, I feel the need to mention that I've heard from reliable sources that some people visit the Lodge for lunch or whatever and then take their bikes off of their car and enjoy a ride on the bike paths.
This sounds like fun, but again, I'm not saying that it is anything we would have done in the past. (I'm also not saying it is something we wouldn't have done).
Though neither of us are golfers -- I've played some in the past, but spent more time on the course looking for my wayward ball than hitting it -- we enjoy the open green space of the course. And the 16th tee offers a nice view of Black Butte.
One of the things we like about the Black Butte Ranch house we bought a share of is that it is close to the Fiddleneck gate that leads in and out of the Ranch. Beyond lies open Forest Service land, with some private parcels mixed in, that is good for off-leash dog walking,
When we got back I took a photo of one of my favorite features of the house, a rock outcropping off of the rear deck.
It provides privacy from houses on the other side of the outcropping (note the barely-visible roof on the right). And it reminds me a bit of the Sierra Nevada foothills I grew up in during my boyhood in Three Rivers, California, near Sequoia National Park.
Lastly, here's a video of the Black Butte Ranch house that was used by the realtor who put our share up for sale.
You Tube has informed me that the music is copyrighted, so an ad may appear in the video. Just click off the ad if it bothers you, as it probably will. I like the music, so I left it in -- even though You Tube said that if the music is removed, so will any ads.