Happy Valentine’s Day

Here’s a Valentine’s Day greeting from Logan.

Come at me bro

What’s up ladies? Looking for some loving?

A little assist

With our weeknight schedules being so tight, Cameron and I knew we wouldn’t have any time for something special tonight. It’s a shame, but that’s one of the challenges of being a parent. To make up for it, I planned a picnic lunch adventure at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.

Spring Mountain Ranch

Spring Mountain Ranch is inside the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, just west of Las Vegas. The ranch has a colorful history as a way point on the Old Spanish Trail and was the base camp for several well known outlaw raids. Sitting directly under the eastern cliffs of the Wilson Range, the ranch sports a number of natural springs for which it was named. Sitting at 3800 feet above sea level, the ranch is well above most of the rest of the Las Vegas valley in elevation, and the result is a significantly cooler local climate.

Spring Mountain Ranch

A number of historic buildings are preserved on the ranch and are home to living history programs that feature costumed guides, demonstrations and reenactments of historic events. In the summer the ranch hosts a night time theater program that’s having it’s 35 season this year.

Picnic lunch

I’ve lived in Las Vegas for seventeen years now, and I’ve never been.

Spring Mountain Ranch

So I raided the pantry and packed a picnic kit with the essentials. Some nice crackers, bits of cheese, olives, salami, roast pork medallions and a bottle of Pinot Noir. We would head out as soon as Logan was done with his nap, cutting it a bit short to accommodate for the day’s adventures. To start the morning off though, we ran some essential errands. And that’s where things started to go wrong.

Picking out new tools

Things went well at the hardware store. I got what was on the list, and Logan picked out a cordless reciprocating saw. He was disappointed that I wouldn’t let him keep it, but was instantly mollified when we let him play with a yard stick.

Story time

A trip to Barnes and Noble to use a gift card was in order, and while Logan got some new books that he seems to enjoy, the Starbucks wouldn’t take my gift card, and I got so irritated by the long line at check out that I forgot to use the gift card for the books. The long line also meant we were off schedule to get back home in time for nap, which meant nap ran long.

Always so serious

The drive out to the Ranch also took longer than expected, closer to an hour than the half hour I had estimated. We puled into the ranch at 3:20. Closing time at this time of the year is… 4:30.

Exploring Spring Mountain Ranch

We rushed out the picnic area and made the best of it, trying to take in the mountains and the clean air while Logan did his level best to step in all the food. The wine helped.

Picnic lunch

We let him wander in the grassy meadow for a bit. Not straying far, he would occasionally return with an interesting looking treasure; a stick, a rock, a discarded cigarette butt, some horse manure. He seemed to enjoy himself, but eventually, and too soon, the park was closing and he had to be reined in.

Overalls are also an effective handle

On the way out we stopped at nearby Bonnie Springs. Bonnie Springs was another way stop on the Old Spanish Trail, now gussied up as an old western town and petting zoo. I hear they stage gunfights in the street and have regular hangings. We seemed to show up just as everything was closing down. We had just enough time to wander around a bit, let Logan fall into a merry go round and bust his lip, and then get locked up in the city jail.

Locked up at Bonnie Springs

The adjacent petting zoo featured the largest number of free range peacocks I’ve ever seen. Wandering the grounds, perching on vehicles and scratching in the dirt for seeds, they were something of mystery to Logan. He spent a good deal of time point at them, softly exclaiming his toddler word for bird and making them nervous.

Spring Mountain Ranch

I was a little disappointed that the trip didn’t go off as planned, but such is life. We can’t plan for everything, only try and mitigate the disasters as they occur. So we stopped at Havana Grill on the way back into town for Cuban food. Roast pork will cure any ill.

Picnic lunch

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