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Story of RedBuck

30212 North 154th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85262

Story of RedBuck Ranch

The story of RedBuck Ranch began in 1993, with a dance between a "grizzly-looking, campfire smoke-smelling" cowboy, named Johnny West, and a proper "citified" girl, named Billie Shepherd. By the end of the dance she not only knew "his" story, but also the names of his horses. "Red" was an aging sorrel, and "Buck" was a beautiful buckskin with tiger eyes. After the dance, she rode off into the "way-past sunset" February night in her beloved Mustang convertible, leaving the cowboy without anything but her name, and a "maybe" chance meeting again.

The first date was the traditional dinner and a movie. It consisted of a trip to Safeway for her to pick out a frozen dinner and a video of her choice--to be viewed at his place. This set the tone for the simplicity of their relationship, with their next date being dinner and a movie at her home. Only this time, it was a home cooked dinner and a movie he selected from her video library, and viewed on her "52" big-screen TV!

Johnny and Billie spent the next six months learning about their differences, enjoying their common areas of family and friends, and laughing at Billie's inexperience with "the cowboy way"! It was decided by Billie that she should leave the cul-de-sac existence that had been a way of life for the past twenty-three years. Her home was decorated in all shades of white, necessitating the cowboy head immediately for the shower upon every arrival. It was decided this was not going to be a place to bring Johnny, and "Red", and "Buck" to live happily forever after!

Johnny spent that summer of 1993, painting cabins at Stoneman Lake, with Billie roaring up the highway in the little red convertible every Friday night.  The two of them would sit under the trees, peering at the lake, dreaming of a place they could call their own--where the horses would be there, too. They discussed many names: "Billie/Buck" Ranch, "Billie The Kid's" Ranch, "Wild West" Ranch, and when they came upon "RedBuck" Ranch, in honor of Johnny's two horses, it seemed like the most natural name in the whole wide world!

By March of 1994, after many months of Johnny driving around looking for the perfect place to show Billie on the weekends, he finally remembered the incredible place he used to ride "Red". It was located in the middle of the desert, near the Tonto National Forest. It was instant "love of the land" the minute Billie saw it. The five acres was purchased that same day, a late Sunday afternoon, as she demanded he drive straight to the realty office. The agent was stunned to have such an adamant buyer for such a desolate piece of desert property, as nothing else existed for miles around.

November 1994, Johnny and Billie sold her cul-de-sac home, convinced her children she really was moving to the desert--with a cowboy--to live in a horse trailer, until the dream could be built. The horse trailer, a "cowboy motor home" was comfortable with a queen-size bed, hot running water, a shower in the back (once the horses and "droppings" were removed), and equipped with "old-time" cookboxes on the outside of the trailer.  What more could a girl want, besides a comfortable bed, a warm campfire dinner every night, a truly magnificent desert setting, and a devoted cowboy who would build their dream!

The horse trailer was shortly replaced with a "luxurious" fifth-wheel trailer which would be home until the next November, when the grand two-story, Santa-Fe style home would be completed by Johnny's unwavering persistence to provide Billie their dream. At the same time, Billie's convertible was also replaced with a small, sensible utility vehicle, as the desert roads were too hard on the beautiful little sports car, and Billie was too accessible to the many open-range cattle, including Brahma bulls, who actually charged the "little red" Mustang with the top down, one fine Day!

They had been there less than a week when they celebrated their first Thanksgiving "on the land". Sixteen family members were invited, and most of them were unsure how Billie, who had traditional ways of doing things, would adjust to the lack of conveniences this new way of life presented.  However, they also saw the beauty of the land around them, and they trusted her to know what she wanted. They were proud of her commitment to the dream and to the cowboy. The first Christmas was welcomed with simple pleasures of a crisp morning campfire. The trailer was unadorned with neither a tree nor a Christmas light, but Johnny and Billie didn't miss any of the traditional trappings. They had given each other the best Christmas yet--a dream of things to come.

They cleared their own land, mostly by hand, dug their own trenches, and laid conduit for their electricity and telephone, and still they waited a full three years for the luxury of a telephone. Meanwhile a 455ft. well had to be dug for water. The day the well "came in" was celebrated as if it had been an oil well! And all the while, Billie made the seventy-four mile round-trip to work in the city each day, while Johnny faithfully ramroded the building of the dream.
Meanwhile, "Red" and "Buck" stood patiently in their corral waiting for the infrequent rides into the beautiful surrounding desert.  They were the namesake of this dream, and all who came to visit RedBuck Ranch were made aware of their unequaled importance.

The next Christmas, 1995, was celebrated in the new home, and heralded the beginning of new traditions for the combined families of Shepherd and West.  The children, all adults, finally saw RedBuck Ranch as the new home where "their" children would learn the "cowboy way", and now also--the "cowgirl way"!  

Then in March of 1997, Billie said "it's time to build again", and Johnny said, "so soon"? Tired, I think--he wanted her to re-evaluate this decision; but determination was her way of  life, and he knew it was useless to protest. The addition began in May, and so began the "Hideout" at RedBuck Ranch. It wasn't called the "Hideout" from the beginning; however, when a friend mentioned this was the perfect location to "getaway from it all", the "Hideout" bed/breakfast was born! It was to be another major undertaking for the cowboy, as his impetuous cowgirl now also wanted to add a beautiful pool, spa, and waterfalls to their already "oasis" of a desert. 

Sadly, during the middle of construction, one hot  summer night, the beloved "Red" staggered uncontrollably, making one valiant attempt after another to right himself. Anguished cries came from both Johnny and Billie. By early morning's light, the fight was almost over for this gentle, thirty-two year old namesake of RedBuck Ranch. He was buried in the pasture under the RedBuck Ranch entry sign which greets all visitors.  The budget was another sad, but not as dramatic matter. What started out to be a "bunkhouse" concept evolved into a luxurious, private retreat with more amenities than this cowboy or cowgirl had ever experienced. It was to be a place where adults could come to "play like children", and still revel in adult luxuries--like the "candy-apple" red clawfoot tub, which she begged him the "Hideout" needed!  Finally, in October 1997, the "Hideout " at RedBuck Ranch was completed, awaiting the guests who would come and experience the best that RedBuck Ranch and the "Hideout" had to offer, including the spectacular views surrounding this desert "oasis". Johnny and Billie would become the chief bottle washers, maids, chefs, host and hostess. It had been the cowboy's and cowgirl's dream, and now they wanted others to "come see the dream, and come share the dream"!

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