Last weekend, we picked Nick up after a birthday party sleepover at a friend's house. They live in Centennial which is only a couple exits from Mt Charleston, we thought it would be nice to escape the heat for a bit, enjoy nature, crisp air and whatever else unfolded. I think it's been about two years since I've been to Mt Charleston. Our last visit was definitely before the improvements. Pulling over for photo opportunities and walks to lookouts are now easier than ever with wide paved turnouts, designated parking and paved trails.
We took Nick before when he was much younger, but he doesn't recall it. He's at the age, where he has little interest in things not involving video games, you tube, pokemon or music. So, it was refreshing to see him enjoy time outside and he seemed to genuinely have interest in the desert once being covered by ocean, the test site and various mountain ranges. We made our best guesses at how low the temperature would go as we climbed elevation - it was about 30 degrees cooler than Vegas. It was fun to see who ended up closest - Nick, I believe.
Oddly enough, not once the whole summer did I hear that Lee Canyon offers all sorts fun all summer long over the weekends. The chair lifts are open for scenic rides, there is a disc golf course, and Bristle Cone Bar & Grill. You can play corn hole, tether ball, horseshoes, etc. There is also a skate ramp that the kids had a ball running on. The season ends Sept 5. Had we known of it sooner, Frank would definitely like to play a round of disc golf, and I'd like to enjoy some beers on the patio. At least, we were able to take a ride on the chair lift ($12 adults, 12 & under, $6). Every other seat has seat belt, it takes you up to 9,300 ft. You can hop off to soak in the view, hike or walk down, but you can also stay put for a leisurely ride.
We hopped off, it was beautiful from the top, but also very steep if you tried to go higher. Many were successful, but not I, I'm afraid. My ankle isn't quite there. I made it a little ways up to check out the snow machines, which was a feat that would've been impossible a year ago, so I was pleased (and a bit sore the next day). Apparently, girls get wild up on the mountain, the trees were littered with bras and mardi gras beads. Nick was puzzled, and I'm not quite sure how it started, but it didn't keep us from keeping count and trying to spot as many as we could. The ride up, we had no seat belt. It was a bit sketchy, especially when we neared the top and they stopped the lift for those who need more time to exit. I thought it was wonderfully scenic, but my palms were sweaty. I'm never afraid of heights, but when I'm responsible for my sister's kids - Man, I sweat bullets. Nick requested we ride down with a seat belt, I wasn't about to argue. I admit, I was far less nervous on the way down. We needed to get back, and the resort area would be closing soon so we headed for home, but it was a great time. When I woke Sunday morning, I never guessed I'd be at 9,300 ft later that day, but that's just what the day had in store. I love making memories like these.