Had a routine shoot in Woodacre today - just west of Fairfax in the country. Been out there many times - it's aptly named - acres of woods, dirt roads, muddy roads, no Peet's - pioneer living at its finest.
The directions I had told me to "go to the end of the paved road" after cruising through a short stretch of unpaved, un-maintained county road. I read the words "paved road" but in my rusted brain, I heard "dirt road."
I drove the short stretch of unpaved road - muddy and full of deep ruts and thick puddles from the recent rain - and when I got to the other side where the pavement picks up again, I turned to the right as the map indicated.
It was more dirt road, and my idiot brain said "go to the end of the dirt road." I've had to get to such locations before, so this wasn't new or strange.
But this dirt road... a muddy disaster waiting to happen, was almost less than one-lane wide and had a few downed branches here & there. I drove for a few minutes, seeing *nothing* up the hill and realized I couldn't be in the right place.
Found my map and sure enough, I'd driven right by the property when I turned onto the second dirt road. There aren't any curbs or curb numbers in those parts.
Thankfully, the XC-70 had no trouble going up or down the mud slide, gently rolling over & along the ruts sort-of like how you'd walk a horse down a steep hill. Fun!
Got back down the hill and turned onto what I thought was the long, paved driveway to the house - again, not seeing any house numbers anywhere, I followed the actual directions to "the end of the paved road." This was definitely a road and it was paved and it went up the hill to two houses.
I went all the way to the end where I found an old beater car parked on one side of the road and a 4WD truck on the other. There was an old cast iron tub perched in the brush beyond the truck and other discarded items & junk strewn around the driveway.
It's not uncommon to see trash ready to be hauled away when a house is going on the market... So I started up the steps to the front deck, which had a Beware of Dog sign posted at the bottom. When I got up to the deck (about four hundred steps, with a bee trying to stab me the whole way), it was littered with dozens of empty beer bottles, lawn chairs & more junk.
I thought... This doesn't seem right... I stood there for a few minutes, wondering where the agent was. And the dog. I almost knocked, but there were no signs of life inside. It wasn't quite 11 a.m. yet - way too early to be up after drinking that much beer.
From my sky-high vantage point I could see a cute little house down below... a house that looked ready for photographs, with cleaned up landscaping and new flowers on the deck. Sure enough, I'd gone one house too far on the little narrow road.
Good thing I got there early & the realtor had no idea I was standing on the neighbor's deck yelling her name.
(the wrong house, at the end of the road and about two miles straight up the hill to the right of the white truck)
(the right house - no junk, no beer bottles - quite lovely)