I posted the story of this red ranch on a couple of my other blogs (http://deserthorses.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-morningthe-end-of-era-for-red-ranch.html) and (http://southwestbarns.blogspot.com/2010/02/update-re-red-ranch-022710.html). But, I also wanted to post it here and tell its story. I first spotted this ranch last spring. I take Interstate 10, through Palm Springs and Indio, to school every day. I've traveled this freeway for over 20 years now, on my way to work. But, I never spotted this ranch until I glanced over at it one day over a year ago! My children went to school in Palm Desert and hubby and I have lived here for over 34 years, and I never even knew it was there! Either I had tunnel vision or I was just too busy raising my family or ... ??? Who knows? But, anyway, I never saw it until it sat there, alone and deserted. Can you imagine what this would have looked like in its prime? It sat just off the Cook Street exit in Palm Desert, next to a large golf course. I don't know what is planned in its place. There is now a private college-prep, Xavier school, but the street where the ranch was on still has other, working, liveable ranches on it. So, like I said, WHO KNOWS what will be built on its place. But, for me, even though I only knew of this ranch for about a year, its demise was the end of an era. When I drove by yesterday morning, after a visit to our daughter's house in Indio for a cup of coffee, it was GONE! Yes, GONE! There was an empty space that I caught out of the corner of my eye as I approached its exit, so I got off the freeway to investigate. All I saw was rubble. Rubble of the house, rubble of the barn, rubble of a tree pulled out by its roots...rubble, rubble, rubble. Memories long gone, but a little boy's tricycle stuck out from the debris. I remember stopping by there at least three times...once last spring, once in December, when I took the storm photos, and once yesterday, although I did get off the freeway several other times just to view it. I knew its days were numbered. It sat empty and deserted, forgotten (I hoped). I never saw anyone there and I could freely explore its secrets. There was a grand fireplace in the house and a lovely staircase. I marveled at the interior of the house and what it must have looked like in its prime. The house itself was HUGE, but there was also a little shack/shed and a large garage. Mature trees dotted the boundaries and on one visit, a hawk took off from one of them and soared over me. Alas, he will now have to rethink his territory. Look, I realize that progress has to come, but...at what price? This was somebody's HOME. This was their pride and joy. Now, it is piles of junk and dirt and uprooted trees. I wonder what the neighbors think. I hope that whatever it built in its place is worth it. NOTE: I did NOT want to end this ranch's story with the ugly, "after" photos from yesterday, so I stuck them in the middle. Rather, I chose to begin it or end it with the beautiful photos I took of it last December, on a stormy day in the desert. I now find it ironic that on this visit to the ranch, a beautiful rainbow appeared as I was taking photos of it. Perhaps this was a sign?