We have no idea how it began, or what the point of it is, but we're apparently in the midst of some sort of property-feud with a neighbor we've never even met.
This pretty little road is a Lonoke County Road, paved, numbered and recorded, which runs to the rear of our property, behind and way downhill from our house. It is also the only ingress and egress to our place in inclement weather, not only for us, but for 911 Emergency personnel. We have used it exactly once, during that Wednesday night snowstorm this past winter, when we could not make it up the steep incline to our street--the street that bears our actual address and hosts our front driveway. Fortunately, this road was there for us, at the bottom of the hill, and we were able to get both our vehicles, and our family within, safely home after church.
Right in front of our rear gate (the chain-link one, on the left here), the County Road curves off to the right, and a gravel road (overgrown in fresh spring grass here) runs from it through our gate and all the way up the back hill to our house. As you can see, on the right, the owner of the neighboring property has gated the paved County Road, blocking access to anyone but himself.
We can only assume that this was done because no one was really using the road, so he thought it would go unnoticed, and that putting a gate across there was cheaper and less trouble than fencing his entire property.
Shortly after the snowstorm, when of course we'd left tracks in the snow that showed we'd been there, my husband discovered that our neighbor had installed a heavy chain and padlock on our gate, locking it from the outside. OUR gate. Which is a good two feet within our property line. This was bizarre and shocking to us, obviously. Alex cut the chain off with bolt-cutters, replaced it with another chain and lock of our own, locked from the inside, and put up a "Private Property" sign on the gate.
And then THIS happened. Personally, I can't imagine expending this much effort and time doing something to property that does not belong to you, for no apparent reason. This was just...beyond weird. What you're looking at is where the culvert that ran underneath the road was dug up, the trench left open, and the 20-foot-long rusted metal pipe laid across our gravel drive directly against our gates. Can you imagine?
This is what it looks like from our side of the fence. Keep in mind that the area where that metal pipe has been placed is OUR property. We're pretty flummoxed at this act. At this point, Alex posted a note on the gate, sealed in a Ziplock bag, giving our name and all our phone numbers, and asking our neighbor to please phone us if there was some problem that we were unaware of, and could resolve. The note was picked up, but we never got a response.
This is when Alex researched the 911 and County maps, confirmed that the road was a County Road, and an official 911 Emergency Response access to our property, and took these photos (and several others). We're going to be contacting the county about this, since we just don't know what else to do...does anyone have any advice, or even tips on which county office should be handling this?
I'll keep everyone posted on what happens. And if you recognize this road, and know the person who did this...ask him what we ever did to him to deserve this, because we've never met him, never troubled him, and are truly baffled.
What would you do? We really have no desire to be Hatfields OR McCoys, if we can avoid it, but we need fair access to our own property, which in no way interferes with anyone else's property.