I found a perfect gift for my youngest . . . . 100 Reader's Digest Magazines via a swap group. I really like the swap group; it fits well with my frugal instincts as well as my resolution to recycle.
This little adventure turned out to be utterly charming. It began with the good fortune of my being the first to request the swap for the magazines! I learned later that others were before me in the queue but unwilling to go the distance - literally! These little Reader's Digest gems were waiting for pick-up some 30 miles away in the quaint little town of Cut and Shoot, Texas.
Now, 30 miles into town is not a venture I would want to undertake. But 30 miles into the country? That is another case altogether! It just kept getting better and better . . . . .
After 25 miles into the country on a Farm to Market Road, the directions went something like this:
Turn left at Bass Lake Dr. (just beyond the Cinco Ranch fence)
Turn right after the group of mailboxes.
Cross the cattle guard* and turn right at the fallen tree.
Look for the little brown cottage behind the grove of Oak Trees on the left.
If you get to the lake you have gone too far.
What I did not expect - but felt a thrill of anticipation upon learning - was that after the group of mailboxes . . . . the road turned into a dirt road.
And it just got better. The cattle guard was set over a small stream and was fairly narrow. The width allowed for my car's girth but with no room to spare and, of course, no guard rail.
Beyond the cattle guard the road itself narrowed and took me around a bend into . . . . the woods.
I do not have a four wheel drive vehicle and I was unsure if I would be able to keep on the path if it became any more wild and untamed. My fears were unfounded. Just around the bend I found the grove of oak trees and the cottage. I found my son's Easter Basket treasure of old magazines neatly stacked in a box and waiting for me on the steps of the cottage.
I snapped a couple of pictures on my way out of the grove.
* a cattle guard is a type of obstacle used to prevent livestock (such as cattle) from passing along a road or path. It consists of a depression in the road covered by a transverse grid of bars or tubes, normally made of metal and firmly fixed to the ground on either side of the depression, such that the gaps between them are wide enough for animals' legs to fall through, but sufficiently narrow not to impede a wheeled vehicle. They rely for their effect (of barring passage to animals but not to wheeled vehicles) upon animals' reluctance to set foot upon them.
NOTE: Because this is a public blog the ranch and road names have been changed to maintain the anonymity of the exact location. :-) After all, Cut and Shoot is very small and I would hate to inadvertently give out the exact directions to this beautiful little neck of the woods! It is, after all, a private residence.