The first time I went down that road, I was 16 and with my friends, heading back to the mountains in the very early morning after a weekend in the city. My most memorable time on that road was the summer I was 19, driving through the deep dark of the night on this empty road on the back of a motorcycle. In recent years, it's been the quickest route to get out to my parent's house.
Before the suburbs spread and encroached, that back area was ranching country. A small dairy - and offshoot of another dairy the other side of the city - was there and very popular. Now, I don't know when they closed this branch of the dairy, but just this last year, Karl's closed its doors for good. Some of my oldest friends drove by this dairy every day; myself, I drove past it at least once a month the last three years. I imagined what could be done with the building, what it would take to buy the dairy building, etc. Of course, I was never in a position to do so, nor was I inclined to live that close to the city again.
Nearby was a creek - a needed water source for a dairy - with huge cottonwoods along the bank, and a small beautiful blue house. No one has lived in it for at least two years. Around the corner were some really unique houses - one had a greenhouse/sun room along the front, and the next one down the street emulated the style. They'd been there since the 1970s, and I never saw one of them empty, until today.
Today, I saw this:
All those lovely trees - gone! You can see them in piles here on the ground. Before, you could barely see the little blue house, because it was in the grove of trees.
We could not stop on the way out, but I stopped on the way back. The fields behind have been graded, all traces of the fences and runs and everything that made up the back side of the dairy was gone. Even the dairy itself had been gutted.
Holes purposefully put in the walls, the roof, windows broken out - even when no one lived or worked there, there'd been no vandalism like this. Even if you bought the property today, there would be no way to reclaim these buildings. What a waste.
To make it worse, I was getting the evil eye from the bulldozer driver that was there, so I pulled over onto the next road, the other side of the creek, only to find the amazing houses on the next block looked like this:
Now, I hadn't been down that road since the end of November 2012, but at that time, the houses were in much better shape, lived in and decorated for the holidays. Just four months later, weather, corporate vandalism, and no residents leave them looking like the pictures above. I'm sure they're part of the plan to scrape the area to make it more sellable.
Such a waste. I know all things change, but it is often NOT for the better.
By this time next year, a subdivision of matching houses with postage stamp yards will likely cram that space, losing the uniqueness and individuality for all time.