It is that time of year again when we Americans show our gratitude for the abundance with which we live through a glorious display of gluttony and greed. First we gorge ourselves on a disgraceful amount of food and then we trample each other for discounted electronics that we cannot afford anyway; seriously, every year the news is chock full of footage of people injuring (sometimes killing) their fellow human beings to get a TV/cell phone/video game console with built-in obsolescence. Can you tell that I am a bit of a humbug when it comes to the contemporary holiday tradition? Having worked in retail for many seasons, I like to count my blessings as far away from shopping malls as possible. The furthest locale for my kind of gratitude is the desert and the places that remind me to be grateful for all that I have are the decaying, abandoned houses along the highway.
There comes a moment in every fervent search for a very particular abandoned, desert house when one realizes that in the search, one has driven past a hundred abandoned, desert houses - all worthy of exploration. As it turns out, the desert isn't just untamed winds and prehistoric flora, it is a vast frontier of never ending opportunities for exploring abandoned properties. The combination of the feeling that you're doing something naughty with the opportunity you have to make up a history for the property and its former occupants turns what is really an innocuous activity into something very exciting. So, with reckless abandon we set out to explore these abandoned wrecks.
|"Danny was here"|
Our first stop was this abandoned house in Yucca Valley, Twenty Nine Palms??? Wherever it was, it was a sweet little house. Based on the remaining fixtures and the style, the house appears to have been built in the late 1940's/early 1950's.
|You know those times when you jokingly pretend you're modeling and|
the result is a super-uncomfortable photograph that you insist on sharing
with the world anyway? This is not that...obviously.
|Decorating by paintball - interesting choice.|
The scalloped trim and the radius shelves made we want to move
in and save this place.
|A large service porch had a sink and room for washer,|
dryer, ironing board, and storage. Is it weird that I have turned
this into real estate shopping rather than a gritty examination
of this abandoned, and undoubtedly haunted, shack?
|Speaking of all things haunted - even in the full light of day,|
the house was a little spooky and came complete with the obligatory
disembodied doll arm.
|The landscaping and lawn ornaments were atmospheric|
but all in all they left something to be desired.
I did bring a souvenir home - the Frigidaire name plate.
|The climbing tree was pretty awesome though|
|And then there was the fiberglass go kart body |
parked in the breakfast nook and another on the side yard.
It is hard to find logic in an abandoned desert home but we just couldn't get over the go karts; why were they there? Were the previous residents professionals on the international go kart circuit? Were they working on a fossil-fuel-free transportation system for city residents? Were these rejects from Autopia that Disneyland was stashing in the desert? The answer came a short while later when we followed the lighthouse in the distance.
Even in a defunct state, this stately architecture lit our way to our next abandoned location - a family fun center!
|Mr. Tiny had the bright idea to bring a bit of the lighthouse|
home but what does one do with a gable full of termites and
|Man, oh man, would I like this for the backyard though.|
You know I love a good water feature.
|A short but challenging course.|
Smith's Ranch, while technically not abandoned, fell into the "abandoned" category because it was desolate when we found it; the dusty floor of this primitive drive-in theater combined with the fierce winds definitely lent a feeling that no one had populated its grounds in many years.
|Smith's Ranch plays up-to-date pictures|
|While there are still plenty of flickers yet to be played at Smith's Ranch, |
it seemed like a screening of The Last Picture Show would be entirely apropos.
We were feeling so high on our abandoned adventures that we thought nothing could bring us down...
|And then Mary was taken out by a giant arrow.|
Whether your celebrations find you heading to the middle of the desert or to the comfort of your family home, we wish you a functioning wacky wagon, a roadside filled with wonder, and a very Happy Thanksgiving - you turkeys!!!
We have much to be thankful for and while we are in a thankful frame of mind, we must again thank you for all of your support! Thanks for following along and thanks especially for your wonderful comments. In our next post, we will have an exciting announcement and an opportunity to show our gratitude with a GIVEAWAY!