Is That You I’m Seeing Over There?

When people talk of the Ozarks, oft times you will hear them referring to the landscape of the area as “hills and hollers.”  If you visit a local real estate brokerage and mention that you are looking for some acreage to buy, odds are that the agent will ask if you are looking for a hill, or if you prefer a holler.  We are very fortunate to have both a hill and a holler on our land.  About half of this property consists of a kidney bean shaped valley (holler), which is where our house and outbuildings, hay fields, some woods, many pastures, and most of our water sources exist.  Most all of the photographs that you may have seen on this website have been taken somewhere or another within our holler.

Today, I plan to introduce you to our hill.  For lack of a better name, we refer to this hill as the “mountain”, although that term is probably a little pretentious, as the maximum elevation of our mountain (hill, really) is only 1238′ above sea level.  There are currently no structures of any kind on the mountain, except for two gates at the base of the fire lanes that lead up the hill.  The gates (one of which is pictured below) are there to deter any intruders who might seek to disturb the peace and tranquility of the mountain in any way.

Fire lane gate

Approximately half-way up the mountain there exists a large, crescent-shaped pasture area of about 20 acres.  Additionally, the remains of an old lead-ore mining extraction operation can be found (which will be the subject of a future post).  There are a few seasonal streams to be found on the mountain, as well as two wildlife ponds (one of which is dry).

The primary value of the mountain to us is twofold.  First, it provides us with a buffer zone and sound shield against the vehicle noise that is generated along the paved road that lies about two miles from our ranch.  And second, it provides us with a wonderful location where we can relax and enjoy a grand view of the surrounding countryside.

Click here to view a large panoramic photograph of the view from atop the mountain.   (This is a 800kb file – it might take a minute to load – be sure to view it full-sized in your browser window.  It should fill the entire height of the window.)

If you take the time to load the panorama view from the mountain top, you will see that the view is too lovely to waste, so Retta and I have decided to build some type of recreational structure up at the apex of the peak.  We have not settled upon any particular plans as of yet, but we are leaning towards a large covered deck, perhaps with an outdoor fireplace and built-in stone BBQ.

Anybody out there with any other ideas?

7 thoughts on “Is That You I’m Seeing Over There?

  1. Wayne over at Niches has some ideas for building a sort of observation tower on his land. I think the architectural term is a “folly” so you might google that and see what you come up with.

  2. A lot of neighbors around our land in NW Arkansas build a raised deck of sorts. When they come for a visit on the weekends, they pull their small camper underneath the deck. They then do most of their living up on top of the deck, weather permitting. Since you are close enough to not really need a camper, a covered deck sounds just fine. Maybe a little storage shed for some chairs and other things you might not want to haul back and forth.

  3. Pablo – I looked up the term “folly” on wikipedia and found those towers to be a bit large and imposing for my hill –

    Now, perhaps if I were to build a castle to go along with the folly tower….

    Ed – The storage shed is something I hadn’t considered, and it sure seems like it is something I would want to have up there, so we will probably incorporate it into the covered deck in the planning stage. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Ed & Pablo – Maybe I should think along the lines of a folly/storage shed combination! That might be something that is ideally suited to straw-bale construction techniques, as well.

  4. Wow, what a view, Hal! Your hill puts our hill to shame (ours is only a slight incline).

    A nice neck with a built in fireplace/pit and bbq grill would be well worth it!

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