Liberty Nature Preserve

 

So, it dawns on me that I perhaps have not paid enough homage to the springboard that put us into the Liberty project.  I'm talking about our place on the river.  When we realized that it was not going to be the right one, we cashed it out and moved on to the LNP project.  It was a tough one to walk away from.

As noted on our LNP home page, our first project was a beautiful slice of nature on the Tippecanoe River.  We found it while searching during our first attempt to locate a weekend get-away that we could develop for retirement.  It was something that we weren't even really looking for, but when we saw it and discovered that we could afford it, it took on a life of it's own.

It is a one acre parcel with 190 feet of frontage on the Tippecanoe River.  The Tippy is a narrow river, for the most part, but this particular parcel afronted the river where it was about 300 feet across.  River rats know that when a river is very wide, it is also usually pretty shallow in that area.  This was true for our section of the Tippy.  During normal water levels, I could walk across the entire river without getting much more than my knees wet.  From the stance of a view, it was absolutely stunning.  From a boating posture, it was virtually impossible.  Also, as goes all rivers, when it rains alot (particularly during the spring when the snow is melting), rivers can rise very fast.  For the couple of years that we owned this gem, we witnessed Mother Nature flexing her river muscles about 4 times.  Flooding is a blend of awe and catastrophe.

One of the many facets that attracted us to this property was the topography.  The half of the property that afronted the river was flat; about 3 feet above normal water level.  It was like a state park...absolutely gorgeous.  It also disappeared during flood events.

The back half of the property sets about 15 feet higher on a bluff.  This is where all the building structures are set.  They do not flood.  A reasonable and secure blend for this property that works well.  We know; we witnessed the testing.

The folks we purchased this property from lived here full time as their principal residence.  They purchased it some 10 years prior as a primitive parcel with an old beater mobile home.  They removed the beater and replaced it with a newer and larger beater.  He is a carpenter, and started building around this housing replacement.  It is a 14' x 70' mobile.  They poured 12 monster concrete footing piers on the edge of the bluff, blocked and chained down the new mobile home, and started refurbishing.  They pulled all the windows and replaced them with new vinyl windows.  The entrance doors were replaced, too.  The only windows they did not replace were the large bow windows on either end.  The next step is a front porch deck and a 10 x 40 deck on the river side, looking out from the bluff.  The view is to-die-for.  Next, (and this is the most unbelieveable decision) they built and attached a conventional stick-built roof to cover the entire shootin' match.  It ties right into the roof of the mobile and transforms a beater into a cottage.  The pictures don't lie.

The next project is what they called a crafter-shed.  It is 12' x 18' gambrel roof pole barn shed with a concrete floor.  It also covers the water well pit that houses the pressure tank, all below the concrete floor under a large trap door.  Very creative engineering.  It is insulated, wired for power, and heated.  It was used for her hobby, crafting.

The next project is a garage.  How about a 26' x 40' garage.  Another pole frame structure is installed.  It also has a poured concrete floor, is wired, insulated, and heated.  It also has water rough-plumbed into a bathroom area along with the necessary drain lines.  Jeesh.

Finally, they transformed this primitive parcel into a Garden of Eden.  The flowers, bushes, and peripheral landscaping is nothing short of mind-blowing.  We had all we could do just to keep up with the maintenance of the gardens....but it was well worth it.  Combine all this with the most diverse and varied location for birds of all types, and we were "over the top" sold on it.

This link leads to a photo album that we prepared for the River property.  It's worth a quick look.

 

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