I’ve become ‘the old man on the mountain.’ Me & the dogs were walking down the hill this morning, it was the tail-end of our morning walk. The boys ran ahead and starting barking. I looked up to see three people on horses. “Good morning” they said, and I sternly replied “Mornin’.” They said nothing for a few minutes until I reached them.
Them – “Where are you going?”
Me – “Back to my house. Where are you going?”
Them – “Years ago the owners let us take our horses through here. They mowed it for us!”
Me – “Well, [there’s a new sheriff in town – I didn’t really say that, but I was thinking it] we’ve been here for five years. And I’ve actually asked my neighbors not to ride their horses on the property because the horses sh*t on the path and my dogs like to roll in it, which means I have to wash them.”
Them – “Well, if you’d like us to turn around?”
Me – “Yes I would.”
And they did.
They may have had permission once upon a time, but they’ve never asked us. I don’t like to be surprised on my own property. And I doubt the previous owners, who were in their seventies by the time they sold to us, ever mowed the paths like we do, JUST for them to take their horses through.
I’m not sure what the advantage is in posting No Trespassing signs? We’ve had several run-ins with hunters on our property. Once, we saw a hunter in the middle of the upper field aiming his gun. Scott hopped in his truck and quickly raced up to him. By the time he got up there, the hunter was walking with the gun slung over his shoulder. “Can I help you?” “Just passing through.” “Well, you best keep moving. It’s posted No Trespassing. And we do not allow hunters.” Another time, the dogs had raced ahead of me and flushed out a hunter, all camo-ed out, hiding in the bushes. The guy was obviously freaked – good boys! This time it was me who said “Can I help you?” “You’re Gloria right? [our neighbor on the back side of the hill] I have permission to hunt here.” “I am not Gloria, and you are on my property, not Gloria’s. You do not have permission to hunt on my property, and I doubt you have permission to hunt on hers if you think I am Gloria.” He left.
We also have people snow mobile through our property – always at night because they are headed to the bar at Willard Mountain – and mostly we don’t mind them passing through because they simply cross the property at the top of the hill. But one year, they started entering the property down by our house – you’d see the lights, you’d hear the revving of their engines, and they’d wake us up. We hauled trees to block their path – both at the bottom and the top – and they would just move the trees. Then I’d put them back and we played this game for awhile. We then put up posts and strung a rope across with a no trespassing sign. They went around the rope, and so we widened the span. They eventually stopped, but their revenge was to race giant circles all over the upper field.
We’ve also had four wheelers and dirt bikes, snow shoeing – but I know the snow shoeing was simply my neighbor looking for her dogs and that I understand.
We love being land-owners, and when we first arrived early 2006, we were so proud to post No Trespassing signs. I know every inch of our property because I am out there every day. I like the solitude, the peace and quiet. And I might share… but you had better ask permission.