Both of us are former city slickers from Chicago, but we have been happy Texans since 1971. Gary went to a conference in Arizona in January of 1970. It was 2 degrees above zero when he left Indianapolis and 75 when he arrived in Tucson. Two months later he bought a pair of boots; then in the spring we bought a horse, and moved everything to Austin in 1971. We love our Austin downtown bungalo, but wanted some country, too.
In 1983 Rancho Encantado was just 40 acres of cow pasture and farmland with a hundred-year-old house that anyone in their right mind would have torn down. Instead, we slowly rebuilt it, herding out the assorted cows and birds that had been calling it home, and we have never looked back. Actually, we even moved another turn of the century German farmhouse to the property and fixed it up, too.
Our 3 Arabian horses and the grand kid's pony/quarter horse, Tuckaho, live the good life out there. So do a large quantity of fish in the two ponds, as you can see in the above photo with son Damon and Grandson Weston, who doesn't seem aware that Scout, their Weimaraner, is also interested in his catch.
With Austin as home and the ranch as our peaceful respite, we have the best of both worlds. You can, too, when you stay there.
Kathy Borich purchased this farmhouse in 1983
The ranch is just far enough away from Austin to be a different rural world, but it is close enough to take advantage of everything that great city has to offer. The rolling hills and deep blackland remind me of the Midwest where I grew up. We actually grow corn, wheat, cotton, hay, and maize there. I love waking up to the birds chirping. The sunrise on the little lake is a golden moment and so is the sunset against the tree-lined back pasture. Nothing beats breakfast at the gazebo, unless it's cocktails on the Fishing Rocks or a toast at the veranda's wine bar.
So much of the hectic growth and traffic is west of Austin. This is the undiscovered side where people still farm their land and wave at you from their pickup trucks. The adjoining little towns of Elgin, Taylor, and Bastrop are like time in a bottle, back to a different era of front porch swings, city squares, and friendly faces of people who have all the time in the world to just enjoy life.