Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Long Beach Peninsula Redux

Yesterday we drove back to the lot I want to buy. This time I was prepared, and had on hiking boots, so I trudged into the great unknown. I got about halfway in, after almost breaking my neck several times, then decided to head back to the front of the lot at the road. Finally got almost to the edge, only to discover that I couldn't jump the trench to get out of there, so it was back through the brush. The blackberry bushes were in clumps, but had trailers all over the ground that kept tripping me and/or untying my shoes. It would take a serious-sized tractor to clear a path through that mess.

And yes, there is forest! Even a somewhat dilapidated fence separating the properties, which leaves about 40' of the lot in deep woods. Went into the woods, too, which were considerably less treacherous than the so-called "cleared" part. Forest primeval, and all that good stuff. Love it.

Then we drove all the way up Sandridge Rd. as far as it would go, then up the little access road ("lions and tigers and bears, oh my!" ran through my head) to Leadbetter Point. Where there is, amazingly, no view of anything but trees. So much for visions of sweeping ocean vistas. Great bathroom, though, which in my opinion, is a very important thing.

Then we hit the northern-most houses on the peninsula, which are on the ocean side, and drove around on the sand a bit. I just can't seem to get enough of that driving-on-sand thing. The ocean was doing its usual roaring, and the gulls and snowy plovers were scampering about following the waves. The beach was full of stranded jellyfish, and some strange rubbery plastic-looking things I've never seen before. Will take one to a local fisherman to see if he can identify them.

Then we drove south, about a block in from the beach. Last time we were in the area, about a year ago, there were a few houses. Now the place is swarming with houses. Lots that were inexpensive last year are outrageous now, and worse yet, you're supposed to pay association dues even on an empty lot. And I hate to think what will happen when the tax assessor finally catches up with those folks. Forget it!

The elusive Daisy (the seller's realtor) sent me an email saying she'd send more info about the lot yesterday, then dropped out of sight again without a peep. Got a call from my realtor this morning, and he's still checking out the info. Even HE had trouble finding it. Everything hangs on whether or not a septic system can be put in. If one can't, it's not even worth buying as an investment, he says.

He said something else interesting ... that I shouldn't count on a city sewer system for at least 20 years, if then. There's no infrastructure out there on the peninsula, and no industry aside from oystering, so therefore not much of a tax base for expensive things like sewers. In other words, it's about 50 years behind the times. Which I'm thinking is a good thing in a lot of ways, after 22 years of struggling in choked up, filthy L.A. Oh well, time will tell.

It's raining saucepans and ladles. It's raining so hard it can't even go sideways like it usually does. This does not bode well for vending at the cruise ship landing tomorrow.

Astoria Photografpix

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