So, we are still awaiting the results of the perc test, last barrier to closing the deal on the land we are trying to buy.
Completing the application forms and other preparations for the testing took a great deal more effort and time than expected. One major problem is that the application requires a map to be drawn, showing where the test holes are in relation to... well, to a great many things, incluing the nearest boundaries of the lot. Which were not marked, nor readily apparent.
Its raw, almost untouched land, remember? and far from flat. The last survey was in 1978. There is an official surveyors section corner marker post in roughly the middle of the western boundary, where four different land survey sections meet. Actually, there are no fewer than four -- 4! -- such official markers in that general area: one on a fallen tree, one on a living tree about 4 feet north of the post marker, and one on a dead tree more than twenty feet away. So much for the impeccable accuracy of official survey markers! I arbitrarily choose the newest-looking marker as the most accurate, but who knows?
Anyway, the west boundary was flagged northward from the section-corner marker (which is not a corner of the lot), but not south of that marker, and the south part of the western boundary was what we needed to measure from. And we couldn't find the southwest corner marker, an iron rod that would have been placed during the 1978 survey. Nor was the boundary along the railroad right of way, or the boundary along the road right of way marked, and those were the other boundaries we needed to measure from.
We spent three days trying to locate the corner marker and guestimate where the boundaries were, using a metal detector, a GPS unit, the old survey map (from memory -- it is online, but our printer is packed) and a compass, with no real success. All of which involved arduous bush-wacking through thick underbrush, fallen logs, overgrown maple groves, and thickets of blackberry brambles. The GPS was virtually useless, as its error of measurement proved to be about 30 feet, one way or the other! The compass, though not a cheapy, was far from accurate or reliable enough. And a metal detector only detects metal if one gets somewhere close to metal -- and apparently we never got close enough to that elusive old iron rod. I suspect it is somewhere in the thickest part of a large area of blackberry bramble. We started seriously looking for good machetes after that. They are not easy to find, at least in our area.
(Too bad the metal detector didn't find the prescription glasses I lost somewhere on the property while we were engaged in these frustrating efforts. I've since had to pay to replace them, which wasn't cheap.)
Finally Lee and I in frustration did a combination of line of sight and average compass reading south from the section-corner marker, measured from that line, and called it good enough. Neither of us would bet so much as a dime on the accuracy of the result.
I'm told by the very experienced septic installer who dug the holes and drew the map (using the "measurements" we provided him) that the County officials absolutely require that map before they will do the test, but never use it. Think I'm annoyed???
Maybe a little... >:-(
Anyway, the applications were finally submitted and paid for (over $1000!!!), and I left for MisCon, one of the Sci-Fi Cons where I show and sell my jewelry, in Missoula. It was good to get away, and we expected from what the septic installer told me that the perc testing would be done and I'd get the results during that show or shortly after I returned. Closing date was June 11th.
I called a couple of times, and left polite messages for the inspector, but got no word back. This Monday I called, and the person there told me he had gone on vacation for one and a half weeks, and hadn't been able to do the testing before he left. He wasn't expected back in the office until yesterday (Tuesday).
Grrrr... It would have been nice if they had told me he was away, back when I was leaving those messages!
So, in all likelihood, we won't get the results for another couple of weeks. There was much "AAAaargh!"-ing and banging of heads when I emailed Scott, Shannon, Lee and Bo to let them know. We got together and had wine that evening. More than one bottle. Lee and I signed yet another addendum to the Sales Agreement last night, pushing the closing date back to July 2nd.
On another related front, Lee and I found out that the warehouse where we have been storing almost all our worldly goods has been rented out, and we must get all our stuff out of there by the 28th of this month - a little less than three weeks from now. He and I were there last evening, going through boxes, sorting, giving or throwing away and repacking, and beginning the process of schlepping.
At least it will give us something to do while we wait to hear the results of the perc testing...
'Nuff for now. Time for some excapism...