After decades living in Beverly Hills, we decided to leave California for Austin Texas. This journey began when our adult kids decided that, as a family, we should say good-bye to Beverly Hills and move to Austin. After some “absolutely not” reactions to the suggestion, Gail and I decided that a visit to Austin was in order. That weekend ended with us buying a home, putting our Beverly Hills house on the market, and moving our lives to Texas over the course of a few months. Fortunately, our jobs could continue in our new adopted city. We were very ready to leave the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, its congestion, hustle-bustle, and a way of life that seemed to focus too much on money and what you did to get more of it.
A few years passes in Austin and the thought of buying some empty “land” becomes a topic of family conversation. First it was 5-10 acres. Then 50 acres or so, and ultimately we bought 178 acres in Central Texas (Dripping Springs to be exact). It was very raw land, and so overgrown with Cedar trees and brush, that we could not even tell what we were buying. We could see the beauty of Hill Country with its gorgeous views and were able to bushwhack through part of the creek on the property. Only after buying the property did we fully realize that we had 2/3 mile of a year-round creek, thanks to springs running on the property.
We then built several miles of roads, 5 miles of trails, installed 27 power poles to bring in electricity, built two houses, 70,000 gallons of rain capture tanks, a barn, a mini-cabin, and an almost finished lodge. Not to mention constructing miles of fences (which were too low for the exotic animals and the coyotes who wished to eat them-a topic for another blog), acquiring and growing what is now a herd of about 70 animals (blackbuck antelope, addax antelope, fallow deer, axis deer, and miniature donkeys), and 20 chickens, bees, and some ducks.
When COVID struck, we realized that being quarantined at the ranch would be preferable to doing so in our Austin home. So, we moved full time to the ranch, sold the Austin home, and became gentlemen “ranchers”. The animals need daily feeding and there is always something that needs repair (yet another topic for another day).
After retiring 2 months ago, I can spend my time getting Madrone Springs Ranch ready for our Bed and Breakfast ranch experience, one family or group at a time, and take care of all that we have come to love on the land. An unexpected life transition, but our move to the ranch from Beverly Hills was a journey that unfolded into a set of new and as yet unexplored possibilities
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