Thursday, September 29, 2016

Now You Have It!

Hello Luvs,

Poetry in a nutshell is a way of opening up and showing your vulnerability whether positive or negative. Naked and bared souls jotted down on paper, spoken out loud, or typed on a keyboard. To allow others to take a peek inside and witness a moment in which you falter yet grow. Putting yourself on display with one click....'send'. You keep the struggle at bay, because now it is out there whether others like it or not. Even while writing this and expressing possible downsides of opening up yourself I still feel as if it can be meditative...freeing...and therapeutic. Join me as I let go and remove the tint screen of reservation.

With the side glance you made
I still fell the hatred inside
Picking apart the choices I've made
On my own then paired with fate
I can easily remember the name
Bracing for the coming tide....
Of something I never wanted to play
Opted to sit on the sideline
Watching the years go by
Still my heart remains the same
Longing for promises later beaten down
Born out of rage
Rage not uncommon for someone like me
Who took in these hands my destiny
Meditating to calm this wandering mind
Then realizing that this may be the best kind
Of freedom no longer in a plastic bag
But instead put out with the garbage I had
No regrets for the passion I lit
Now you have it
So come and and embrace what I give

*Follow the blog to make sure you never miss a poem shared, free activity for your family, or quick and easy meals.


Til next time,

Kat

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Always FREE Hiking Destination- Red Springs

Hello Luvs,


Clouds...clouds all
around!
If you live in the Summerlin/Vegas area you probably know about Red Springs. It is not too far from Red Rock and just as beautiful if not more (in my humble opinion). It is even closer to our Airbnb by about 15 minutes. That made it a no-brainer when deciding where to go today. There is clear signage so it was easy to find.


Hubster and Baby Boy being silly and
 re-enacting a scene from 'Lion King'.
I had been there before years ago when the kiddos were little and the Hubster's father met us in Vegas. It was an opportunity to enjoy a new spot and get outside. I was struck immediately by the beauty of the mountains, how far off you can see, and the condition of the boardwalk that was arranged in a loop. That was back then. Today was a different story.

When we arrived we noticed a beautiful Cadillac in the parking area that had fuzzy pink dice hanging from the mirror. Our excitement must have been noticeable because a woman who had just finished hiking mentioned that an Elvis impersonator was further up and performing a wedding. We had no idea that they held weddings there. They let you schedule them here: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=weddings+at+red+springs+nv 
                                                                                                       
Because I could not whittle down enough to fit in the blog I had to do another slideshow....forgive me.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B56MAMcz57roWXlsMjFkb2N0OTA/view?usp=drivesdk
                                                                                                                     
Wait for me....!
                                                                 
Gotta Luv it!!!!
We drank our water and grabbed the necessaries and were on our way. The Hubster and I were married at The Little Chapel of the West (not far from the original Welcome to Las Vegas sign). It was small...just the way we wanted it. Watching what others had selected made all of us curious. Making our way up the boardwalk we started to hear music. As we got closer we knew it was 'Viva Las Vegas'. The wedding party was singing and dancing while it was being documented on film. All of us were kind of torn. This is/was a place where you communed with nature, Keeping sounds at a normal level and not over the top. They were excited because of their special occasion which was understandable. They probably schedule weddings there to raise revenue. So how do you keep it balanced...where groups can enjoy their time, and visitors can go about undisturbed? What do you think? Should someone go there...find out that their walk/hike will not be what they expected and come back even though they had to drive (sure others drove further than us) to get there?
One of the many areas we came across.
These have been there
too long!
                                                            What is wild is that the further we went the further in disrepair the boardwalk was. Broken railing, missing plank(s), actual open spots, and construction cones ripped to jagged edges were all along the way. To make things worse there are signs that ask visitors to keep the meadow in it's natural state by staying on the boardwalk. Not only did we observe two different groups doing a fashion shoot in the meadow (one right by the sign asking you not to), but the wedding party went well into it. One of the reasons I believe they ask us not to go there is because of the numerous living things that need a sustainable environment. We had one of the bunnies come right up to us. Pretty sure they are being fed by visitors. That in itself is deadly. They need to know how to survive through their natural instincts. They are picked off as it is. To have a false sense of security will end their lives sooner.
Kiddos thought my shirt matched.

If this cave could talk.

We can't be the only ones who feel that Humanity has become too 'me' focused. Taking care of our environment and the many wonders it houses is the responsibility of all of us. I know ya hear me! 

Now the rating for Red Springs.: Rated 1-5 (with 0 being the lowest)



Convenience- 5 We were able to reach the Center in fifteen minutes.
Price- 5 Free works for any budget. If we did pay we would have been upset.
Staff- N/A No staff was on-site.
Trails- 2 Both the boardwalk and trails need significant work/maintenance. 
Kid-friendly- 3.5 The loose rocks are challenging going up and down so attention has to be focused on where you step.                  
Nature has a way of recharging us all.

*To make sure that you never miss an update, food vlog, or our adventures follow this blog along with the social sites to the right. Just click to get started!


Til next time,

Kat  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Always....

Always....
The overhang at the Visitor's
 Center Red Rock

If it never ends
I will remain silent
Deciding what has never been
Tarnishing my armor
To blame it on the rain that falls
Realizing the truth of it all
Because the strain I feel inside
Is more than just mine
It is the character that falls
Swaying back from the riptide
Salt and sand filling my eyes
Blinding me the sun rising again
So maybe if it never ends
I will truly be whole again
The person hidden well within
Always remaining silent....
                                      ~Kat L. Wilson

Laying in bed this came to mind, so I thought I'd share. Others tag their poetry as original. What I share on this blog is always mine unless I identify another as the poet/writer.

Til next time,

Kat

Monday, September 26, 2016

Decisions...Decisions....Decisions!

Hello Luvs,

Very excited about where we are right now in terms of our RV decision. It has taken us a minute (ok...so more than a minute) to really circle in on the type that suits us as a family. Should we do a tiny house on wheels (and be grounded in a certain locale for half the year), buy a more traditional RV (with something that most likely will not hold it's value and be made from materials that are questionable), or buy a bus (already converted or freshly stripped and starting with a clean slate)? Those were some big questions, and we kept going back and forth with what we wanted. When you can't make up your mind regarding just what you are looking for it can be daunting.

So, the Hubster and I went to various RV shops (can you tell I worked retail for a while?...I mean dealers) yesterday. It was our date night and we thought that we would take advantage of the time and go to a few places. He went online and checked ratings for the local dealers. There was one that received a high rating while the others were around 1's or 2's (out of 5). That made the choice easy and we popped by. When we started to look we did not see many that offered any potential. It might have been because they not have very many (used, right layout, price). The only one we had interest in had a hold on it. So glad it did! You will find out what I mean when you keep reading.
2004 Airstream Land Yacht  30
Pic courtesy of airstreamsforsale.org

We then went to the local Winnebago dealer and looked at a few. The rating they receive online is right on the money. There were salesmen walking right by us without as much as a hello. We decided after a few minutes walking around that we would go. As the car was started and we were ready to go one of the salesmen came up (who the only one occupied with a couple he was working with) and offered to show us some items. Our interaction with him was surreal. We learned about his injuries (he received while drunk) from a bird his mother owned and his home purchased that was bank-owned that supposedly had a Bentley hidden under some boxes in the garage. It was unprofessional to say the least, but shined a light on the fact that he has had some issue to work through. We listened as long as we could and had to rip ourselves from his cold dead hands to leave. To top things off he started going on about my attractiveness. It was uncomfortable and loudly signaled the get out of dodge alarm. 

After we left we started discussing the fact that going the traditional RV route was not us. We would pay a certain amount then have to adjust to a proper layout that worked. That brought us to the decision that we should buy a bus that was gutted and start from scratch. We could make the layout what we needed, work on some portions ourselves, and hire a professional for the things we could not do. Once we agreed we made our way to find something to eat. 

The first place no longer had the special that the Hubster wanted, and the one I was going to get did not use a very good cut of meat (the server told us this). Off we went to our second place. It was considerably busier than the first place. It was actually bustling! That was a good sign. After waiting to be seated the hostess who kept touching her face and nose (with the menus no less!) sat us. She gave us our menus...mine had an orange greasy substance all over it, and the Hubster's menu had a dark greasy substance all over it. We looked at each other and said yep....let's go.
I know....it looks like a spaceship!!!!
This is a 1995 Airstream Classic 36 Diesel that was for sale on ebay.

Once we got to the car we giggled about what a disaster the date was. The backward then forward regarding the RVs and the issues at both restaurants. I told him that maybe this was happening because we just can't do a date night without the kiddos. We missed them, and knew that our meals out together exploring new foods is a highlight. We decided to grab chicken (plus sides) at a local restaurant that received high ratings. The kiddos loved it, and we enjoyed our meal all together.

There was one last change that happened last night. While searching for buses we kept coming across Airstream Land Yachts. Those in turn brought us to another model (the 300 Series). We are in love with both and FINALLY know what we are looking for!!! 

Now is the time when I'll start periscoping. We know the one we are looking for is waiting for us to discover it. Here's to the search....and the future that is now!

Til next time,

Kat 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Free Activities for the Family Can Be Just As Fun As Pricey Ones....

Hello Luvs,
Checking out the jackrabbits
and quails.

These past few days have found the family doing two free activities that offered just as much enjoyment (I would argue even more) as paying. I say this because some people feel that free activities will not offer as much as when you pay. Our experience has been the opposite. I want to share the things that we did which offered history, wonderful architecture, and the beauty of nature right at our feet.
Water left it's mark,

The first was the Hoover Dam area. When traveling from Arizona to Nevada you have an option of avoiding the slower moving traffic that follows the winding road across the Hoover Dam.  You can do this by taking the new bridge (there are signs well before that give you the option) that bypasses it. We typically do that, however we decided on Friday (since we were grabbing our mail nearby) to take the scenic route. We have yet to do the tour and might do that in the future. Instead we parked in the free lot and walked down to the central part.
The bridge that enables you to
cross the dam area quicker.

As we traveled down we noticed a couple of things right away. The first being the fact that there were many many hats that were at the bottom of the dried out section. More than likely a gust of wind blew the hats off of different visitors. Since going down to retrieve it is not an option their hats were now part of the site-seeing tour. The other thing was that we passed a place where there are cement pillars that reminded us of a submarine. Found out later that there used to be water in that section. Anyone can note the remains of water no longer there on the rocks that surround the area.
Art deco goodness!
                                                                    

So what offers value to this visit when not being guided. Well, the architecture for one. It is Art Deco goodness personified. All the cooper, cement, steel, mirrored glass, and other materials shined and reminded us of just how beautiful they could be. Reading the various signs along the way educated us about anything from the dog Nig who carried his lunch with him everyday while the workers were constructing it to the number of men (100) who lost their lives 'To ensure that the desert would bloom' as the plaque reads. We will for sure visit again and take the tour. Until then, check out some of the pictures taken while there.

Look Ma...I'm standing
on the Moon!!!!

Our stop yesterday was at the Red Rock National Park. While the Hubster did live close to the area (and visited it on several occasions) it was the 1st time there for the kiddos and the 2nd time for me. Once a year they offer FREE admittance into the area. There was a pretty good turn out still remaining when we arrived at 3:00. The first thing that struck us was the visitor's center. 


Pretty sure I couldn't fit!
There is a section that tells you more about it's history with an area that shows a film. But the outside is what really stole the show! We delayed seeing it because Baby Girl was not feeling well. After some time sitting and a water she felt better.

There was not a lot of time left to see the outside (since they closed at 4:30) but we made the best of it. Outside, the installations they have focus on Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. There are many things that are hands on for kids and art that makes the adults happy. While out reading about Fire and its relevance to the area we noticed a jackrabbit under a bush. Being in the desert offers a different variation of animals. Since we arrived later in the day (purposeful to avoid the most potent sun block of time) we drove around the scenic loop which is 13 miles in length. We searched for a good place to take a hike, and after a couple of stops we found a trail that looked interesting. 
The entrance and installations on the
front side of the Center
                                                                                                                           
The view was stunning! 

The trails name is Lost Creek-Children's Discovery. Several families were already there, and it offered two different options in which to come and go. Along the trail there were searches for scat, animals, birds, cool rocks, petroglyphs, and interesting plants/vegetation. Take about the perfect outside classroom!  I managed to capture many that caught our eyes. That is why there are a few collages. I could not cut anymore! Sometimes I feel as if I could take non-stop pics, however I wanted to be as interactive with the kiddos as possible. It was funny to find scat on the top of rocks (and dead center on top of that) over and over again. By the end of the hike the kiddos began singing a scat (inspired by the Hubster) every time they found some. Pretty sure others were wondering just what we were going. I have included a portion of what we came across throughout the blog.
Installations exploring water, air,
fire, and earth.

The entrance to  our trail and
beautiful mountains and rocks
we came across.

So why do I think that the value of a free event is just as fun and educational? Well, first off is the fact that different people go about things at their own pace. It is not a one approach fits all type of world. Being able to go about exploring in a way that suits your family lends itself to a more enjoyable time. Being on a tour finds you spending more or less time at a spot than many would like. It also offers you the opportunity to stay in your entertainment, educational, physical activity perimeters. More people can take part because having the money to visit is not an issue. Make sense?

Now that I have offered my two cents what do you think? Are you a tour kind of person, or are you the type that likes to blaze their own trail (staying on the actual trail though vs. destroying and/or disturbing a protected area...just sayin'). I would love to know!
There was also amazing vegetation
and petroglyphs.
Of course I had to pose in this little opening
and document our departure!














*To make sure that you never miss a post about family activities that are FREE or LOW COST, EASY food recipe, or fashion/music blog please follow now. Then go and friend/follow me on any of the social sites to the right. Just Click to get started!

Til next time,

Kat

Friday, September 23, 2016

Suggestions When Booking an Airbnb

Look good? Keep reading til the end!

Hello Luvs,

Happy almost weekend. This week has been full of outside activities, art, and lots of swimming. If I could swim everyday I would be in kat heaven. That is one thing that has been a perk while doing airbnbs. As a family we have been able to center ourselves around cultural and outdoors places. No matter where you are, seeking out those locales helps you decide pretty quickly whether or not you will return.

This blog covers a few of the things I have learned so far. It is important that everyone starts off on the right foot and leave a positive impression. Hopefully it will help those thinking about booking an airbnb and the hosts who currently share/book their places.

At the start of our airbnb (solely) experience that began in February we were definitely at a place that was overpriced even by the locations measure. Because we were newbies with only one stay under our belt we didn't realize that we had options. Not that anything was done in a bad way, but simply by the way of our upfront communication. Checking out what else is available is a big deal! Dealing with a place that rings false than it's listing is even bigger. In a blog down the line I will share how we have dealt with those situations in more detail for you.

We have learned that you can't see a place, go ga-ga over it and immediately book. If money is not a problem for you then more power to you. But for us, we (like many people in the country and around the world) live within a certain means). It could be because of a negative circumstance or by choice. Either way, throwing money away should be something that we all agree is a bit silly. By reaching out beforehand and following the step of introduction (telling the host a little bit about yourself) you can usually get a reduced amount. If you can set your visit at one week that opens up discounts on some locations if not all that you reach out to. We have saved a significant amount by doing this...they could always say no and you could decide whether or not it truly is a value to you. There is never any harm in asking. The host knows what still brings them profit and they will most likely consider that when responding.

Once you have booked you place make sure to read any material left by the host. Skipping this step can help you avoid questions that might arise. It could be anything from wi-fi password, how to get the television to work (we've had a couple where there are three remotes!), to temperature control. Most places charge a cleaning fee. Yes, that means someone should come by and clean it before you arrive and after you depart in preparation for the next visitor. However, follow their instructions (ex. strip the bed, take out the garbage, place towels on the floor in the bathroom, dispose of any perishables you brought with you). Some hosts will leave things like soup or pasta sauce among other things and say please use whatever you like. In turn you can use the items, but make sure to not leave the cupboard bare. Buy some items to pay it forward to the nest guest. Doing these things will help insure that the host leaves you a positive rating which comes in handy when booking your net place.

Speaking of your rating, you should make sure to leave a rating for the host. When doing this there are a few questions they ask you (especially what you liked about the place/stay). There is a timeline for doing so so make sure that you leave it before the time expires. If there are things that needed addressing immediately communicating with the host during your stay is imperative. Always be cordial and have all the specifics regarding the issue before you reach out. If the items are smaller (like one window not opening all the way or the shower being slow to drain) do not leave those in the public rating. Instead you should reach out to them directly. Trust me, they will appreciate it. Once either of you have left a rating you will receive a prompt from airbnb. The guest or hosts review will not show until both have left it. 

These things might seem like small things, but they go a long way. You will find some places more user friendly regarding shopping and amenities. Just like you, the host(s) might have a different approach to how they do things. Give them feedback helps them to improve their system/set-up for the next guest. Pretty sure that they would want to know. Because if they book and receive high ratings over and over they become 'Super Hosts' which is pretty cool.

I hope my advice will help you before, during, and after your stay. If you have yet to try one I say go for it. Feeling at home and relaxed is the goal of most hosts. Being able to cook, swim, lounge (if you wish) is priceless. I love cooking while staying at places. Found myself making just a few kitchen items turn our some delicious meals. Below is what we had a couple of days ago. It is a simple dish which requires few items. Leftovers rock the next day (if there are any!). Please let me know how your turns out if you decide to make it.
The lettuce provides the right
amount of crunch....

The meat is wonderfully
spicy and tender!












BBQ Shredded Chicken Sliders

2 chicken breast sliced lengthwise then sauteed in vegetable oil/salt/pepper. While meat is cooking you start the bbq sauce.

BBQ Sauce: I do by sight, but I believe this is pretty close. Combine ingredients in a saucepan and warm on low-medium.

b 2 cups ketchup
3 tbsp. spicy mustard
1 tsp. raw cane sugar
3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. pepper

After chicken is cooked shred with 2 forks and mix chicken with sauce in bowl or saucepan....more steps are in slideshow. ENJOY!



If unable to watch video please click the following link: 
https://goo.gl/photos/T2TdUTtNaYzZGbi76


To make sure that you never miss a post or recipe follow or friend me at the social sites to the right.


Til next time,

Kat



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

When the Wind Is On Your Back.......

Hello Luvs,

Today was a much needed day to stay in. We tackled homeschooling subjects, swam, and I practiced Janis. I am working on some songs...not yet complete to my liking (not sure that I ever really feel that way) but if I am diggin' what comes about I might share on instagram, twitter, and/or facebook soon. So, be sure that you are following me via one of those social sites. All you have to do is click the respective icon and click follow or like.
The wind flows through the leaves...
whistling a sweet and melodic dream.

In the meantime I thought I would share some poetry. After this mornings walk a phrase/sentence came to me. Let's see what a free-flowing stream of thought brings. Hope you like it!

When the Wind Is On Your Back....

It might seem like a simple thing
To recognize what your Love
Will bring
Open arms signaling a gentle being
One that spies an opening in this
Broken thing....my heart
When you've armed yourself with words of choice
Words then actions convey your 
Inner Grace
The wind gently blowing on your back
Because I know compassion is not what
You lack
You have all the LOVE I am able to give
For your smile and kisses are why
I LIVE

Til next time,

Kat

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

All You Need Is Art.....Art is ALL You Need!

Hello Luvs,

Today reminded me of the good that can be done when a person/organization/institution makes a choice. Yep, we did find another free excursion, but I wanted to share another wonderful thing we came across while going to see The Beatles Art Exhibit.

Can you find the Easter eggs?

Mind blissfully blown!
Sir George...
The Spring Valley Library (located about 20 minutes from our Airbnb) not only hosted the collection, but in addition looks out for it's own. They have a program where children from 0-18 can receive three square meals from 3:30-4:30 Monday thru Thursday. On our way to see the paintings we kept seeing parents and children go into a room next to where the art was hung. Then I saw the sign advertising what was going on. -------->>>>>

To see such a wonderful community program housed at a LIBRARY....WHAT! That makes the heart jump from the chest! Then to observe (at a distance) the kids eating their meals and socializing, to me, took away any stigma. There were those who were making sure that their children had the fuel to carry them through their school days. The students would not be able to concentrate because being hungry was not at the forefront of their mind.
Tell me which work this
is on???

And at once my mind was
calmed.....!
I remember like yesterday the struggles I went through in my youth. Not having enough food on my plate (for at least half of the month) and occasionally receiving $.35 to buy something for lunch. Many times it ended up being a cherry cinnamon roll 2 pack (which of course had no nutritional value). Of course we did qualified for assistance. Once we had it I did occasionally used it. The physical act of walking up and handing it to the lunch lady was hard because I already stood out. Large glasses broken in the middle (with tape barely holding them together), a hairstyle that really didn't fit me, and a shyness that left me locked in place. Singing and acting out scenes from movies finally became my way to pass the time and express my feelings. I wasn't comfortable enough to do so in front of others. It was saved for my room in front of the mirror with the hairbrush playing the role of a mic. It is wild how all of it comes back. Maybe because I am not sure whether or not I would be brave enough (like these families) to go in.... Well, that was until I saw the smiles on their faces. To have others accepting your circumstance and actually building a community while doing so. True Village Mentality in the best way possible.....!

Luv the painting and
the song!
'Mr. Roberts'
Now...the Art Collection  was in their Gallery. It is a small space....kind of like a hallway which was all that was needed. The Collection is titled 'The Hit List' by Fernando Reyes. He is a muralist and an artist who also works on signs. His outside work can be seen around Las Vegas. His work has also been in galleries in Las Vegas and in Los Angeles. The pieces were inspired by the music of The Beatles, and he left little Easter eggs in a few of them. If you stop by you should let me know what you found. We went around them a couple of times to make sure that we didn't miss anything. To learn more about the Library and find out how you can help them continue to do good please click the following link: http://www.lvccld.org/about/branch_info.cfm?id=7

'Lovely Rita'...can you
spy something that is
mislabeled?
You can probably guess the
title of this one!?!
You will not be disappointed if you do pop in! To be able to see works of Art for free is invaluable. Not only do you get to see someone pay homage to one of your favorite bands, but you get the chance to pop a squat and read a book in a Library that is wonderfully utilized. It was wonderful to see so many people coming and going.

I have included some of the pictures I snapped while there (and placed them throughout the blog). If you are unable to see them in person you won't be left out. If you are in the area....you should get on that. The installation will be there until the 20th of November.
This one is wonderfully cooky!


*To make sure that you never miss my recommendations on activities that are free or low cost be sure to follow the blog. You can also follow/friend me on twitter, instagram, and facebook. All you have to do is click the necessary icon on the right to get started!
Look closely....!





Til next time,

Kat

                                             


                                     



                                                               

Monday, September 19, 2016

Third Trek for the Family in Just As Many Days!


Our view on the way to our hike adventure!
This way too large house really stuck
out surrounded by desert.


Layered mountains all around us!










Hello Luvs,

So....yes....I am bringing you another blog already! Ya might have thought that I would take some time off since it is the weekend, and I had a crazy hike today. I had layer upon layer of dirt on me afterward. So much that my kiddos kept bringing it up. No, I do not get special treatment from them. Even if I am the one who makes sure they have yumminess prepared and placed in front of them. Or that I am the one who kisses and takes care of their boo-boos! 
Can you see the bike
chain pulls?

This center's bldg. is a work of art...!

If you are new to the blog the goal is to share with you many things. One of those is letting you know about great family friendly activities in the areas we visit. Since our family is tackling a roadschooling more nomadic lifestyle and you, my Luvs, get to experience them through reading HPWT. This additional blog is coming so soon because I couldn't wait to share with you the place we visited today.



With the special polarized plastic.
Art installation before looking
through special plastic.
In the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area is Mount Charleston. Traveling to where locals spend their time avoids (90% of the time) dealing with things like higher prices, serious pedestrian congestion, and helps find areas that tend to be taken care of just a little better.  We do try to follow this in whichever state we venture. Today proved that when doing this the reward is amazing. 
Baby Girl decided to take
a pic!



A visitor inside the bldg.
The visit started off with a trip to the Welcome Center. There are several interactive items for visitors along with tons of information on how they try to make the most of the natural elements/resources around them. As we fluttered around inside we saw bobcats, butterflies, beautiful bluebirds, and owls all of which were not alive (except for our friend the grasshopper <---) but still glorious to look at. The kiddos liked watching the videos about the area. The Hubster noticed that their automated windows had what looked like bike chains as the material that reels them in. There is so much to take in even thought the Center is fairly small. To learn more about it please go to this link: http://www.gomtcharleston.com.
These markers led to the
area below.
The use of natural resources
was amazingly beautiful!


After about forty minutes there we headed up to the Cathedral Trail. We were very happy to find that everything was easy to get to. This trail had folks on it but was manageable. The only little hiccup was that THE ROCKS were NOT ATTACHED TO THE GROUND! Of course they would not be embedded...but these were different than the ones we normally come across. They were not large enough to step on when ascending or descending, but too big to make any type of even surface. We were slipping and sliding just a bit. When there was an ooh or aah moment you had to be careful to watch where you were stepping so that you didn't slide to the side or loose footing. Other than that....the trees changing colors, the sun shading the sides of the mountains, and the natural vegetation were awe inspiring and begged to be photographed. So you will have to forgive me for the crazy amount you will have thrown at you throughout the blog. One thing that we were shocked about was that the area is not classified as a National Park. We have been to our fair share of National Parks and Mount Charleston holds tight with them. Oh, and getting up to the Cathedral takes about an 1.5 hours each way. Make sure to bring a hat (they have a filling station right outside the Center) and water along with wearing good walking shoes. 
Coyote prints were placed
in different areas.
This was part of the circle
installation honoring
Native Tribes.

Speaking of shoes....there is a Lad (@ASmartLad that is!) on twitter who has the best recommendations for trekking, climbing, clothing (including hoodies), backpacks, and shoes/boots among other things. Most of the time they are listed by in Top 3 which makes a decision easier than say a Top 10 list. He reviews the items and gives valuable feedback which takes out the guesswork. There are so many times I read or hear about that sound too good to be true. Then you turn around and discover after purchase that there was a little something that was not right and in fact it was....say it with me....TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! By popping online you can read about his experience (or ask him to review your item) and not buy it blindly. How awesome is that! If you are an already active person/family or wish to get out and explore nature you should definitely hop online and read what he has to say: thesmartlad.com
Always enjoy watching the
kids learn about a new area.
Off we went to explore the mountain.
                                                          
Now the rating for S.M.N.R.A.: Rated 1-5 (with 1 being the lowest)


Convenience- 5 We were able to reach the Center in thirty minutes with well maintained roads all the way.
Staff- 4 The gentlemen answered questions when asked. One was having a conversation with another visitor(?) and some profanity was spoken.
Trails- 3.8 Would have been higher if not for those pesky rocks. This might be an issue for older visitors or those who have an issue with agility.
Kid-friendly- 4 Children will come across so many things to look at, but parents should be mindful because of the rocks. The incline is gradual which is wonderful. Taking a quick break every 15-20 minutes should help with stamina on everyone's part.

Spots of yellow were throughout.
Natural vegetation at it's loveliest.

Taking advantage of National Parks and Recreation Areas is a way to get outside (one of my constant hashtags), enjoy family time, and see just how amazing the world around us is. Maybe doing this will inspire more to take even greater care of this precious world we all share.



Til next time,

Kat