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Here we are looking really fuzzy in front of the house that was on our property when we bought it. Now when I look back at this picture it cracks me up that we look so out of focus because that's exactly how we felt at the time. From the moment we made the decision to sell out and move here, our brains began to function in a different way. If we tried too hard to focus we soon became overwhelmed with what-ifs, so we opted to float along in a trance that became our new reality. Nothing we could have imagined would have prepared us for what we were experiencing. Every moment of every day felt so foreign that sometimes I had to stop and look in a mirror to see if I was the same person who had just spent 30 years being a full-time housewife and mother.

We felt a real connection to the pioneers of the American West. In the pool every night under a big black starry sky, we danced to a compilation of cowboy songs like Ghost Riders in the Sky, The Old Chisholm Trail, and Home on the Range, and laughed at how my taste in music had evolved since my days of listening to Jimi Hendrix on headphones non-stop. Sometimes I wondered if we were stretching the truth a bit in considering ourselves true pioneers because of some trappings of modern living that were still a part of our lives, but I ditched that notion when I came across this old photo:

I don't know where or when it was taken, but as you can see, this was at least one case where those old covered wagons got to ride over the river on a bridge. We may have a telephone and internet now but we're still holding our breath and driving through rivers in 2015.

This picture was taken from a spot in Javilla, about a mile away as the crow flies, soon after our house was completed. Although quite out of focus, I'm including this shot to illustrate the remote location of our house, which is the little white blob in the center of the picture. I can never take this picture again because that line of trees bordering the front pasture has grown up and the house can no longer be seen from Javilla.

Between our remote location, the rough dirt roads, and all the cows and cowboys, we felt like we'd jumped into the pages of Lonesome Dove, which, by the way, is one of my all-time favorite books. The funny thing is that when I first picked it up years ago, the subject of cowboys held no interest for me. However, Larry McMurtry did a great job of hooking me on the first page, so maybe I have him to thank for planting the seed for my adventure.

Everything here is about to change.

In February 2004, as we were preparing to leave Nosara to meet someone about property in Playa San Miguel, our hotel's manager grabbed my elbow and, lowering his voice, furtively asked who told us about San Miguel. His feeling was that we'd been let in on a big secret because San Miguel, the last sizable stretch of undeveloped coastline in southern Guanacaste, was about to become the new hot spot.

With tourist season about to begin, we're feeling this prophesy is finally about to manifest. Tourism, which declined when the economy tanked out, is picking up all over the country and, thankfully, local hotels and B and Bs are filling up with reservations. Over the years, our wish for the area to remain unspoiled forever morphed into the realization that more people mean more services and opportunites for those already here. Now that our brains are gradually clearing, an ATM, a gas station, a bank, and a medical facility less than a brutal hour and a quarter's drive away sound rather good to us.

When we moved here, there were five little restaurants scattered on miles of tranquil beach. One by one the beachfront restaurants closed, until only one at the far end of the beach remained. A German couple recently bought El Barco beachfront restaurant, which has been closed for several years, and it is now up and running, much to everyone's delight. This entire area is gorgeous and unspoiled, raising the question of which comes first, the people or the businesses. Businesses can't survive without people and most people don't want to live here without amenities.

What we need is a gang of fellow pioneers interested in starting a new colony with us. Starting a new colony can be a fun and exciting enterprise for those tired of the same old thing. If anyone is considering a major change in lifestyle, now is the time to buy here. Pioneers these days will have it

made with phone and internet service, and new bridges being built. Come join us in paradise!

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