A Family First at Lee Canyon

“Hi, we’re from Georgia and we’ve never been skiing before.” That’s how we explained ourselves as we walked into the ski lodge at Lee Canyon on Mount Charleston near Las Vegas, NV dressed in our best winter attire, falling miles short of what everyone else was wearing. It was March 3, 2016, my 34th birthday, and this trip was a definite family first. Yes, we’re pretty athletic, but you wouldn’t know it by the way we ice skate, so I have to admit, I was a little nervous about how the day would go, but as we strapped on our rental gear and headed to the slopes, we quickly warmed up to the experience, and I lost nearly all of the nerves (except for in regards to putting my little guys on the ski lift). The boys took snowboarding lessons with a very talented “Coach Anthony,” and us old folks, too nervous to try snowboards on our first visit, took skiing lessons with Phil. Within minutes, Matthew and I were swooping down the bunny slopes with ease. Elijah wasn’t too far behind, and I was impressed at how quickly he learned. After several more lessons, Malachi followed in step, and it turns out, became the fastest down the mountain and the first one of us to land a cool board trick, which of course, Elijah outdid only minutes later.

It was one of the best days of my life, and certainly one of those family firsts I hope none of us ever forgets. It truly is a special thing to experience something for the first time with your children. Seeing their wonder and exhilaration happens pretty often as we travel and is a huge part of why we do what we do, but experiencing the same level of wonder and exhilaration right along with them makes for a real red-letter day and serves as a big reminder of why we travel together during this season in our life.

And for those who are wondering how we scored 80 degree days close to Las Vegas and a sweet ski trip with plenty of snow just 50 minutes away, here are the details: We stayed at Clark County Shooting Complex, about 45 minutes north of the Las Vegas strip. It was warm, peaceful, civilized, a far cry from the Vegas craziness, just $20/night for full hookups, and pretty quiet (except for the weekend range fire from 9am-10pm).

Las Vegas, you were far from our favorite place to visit, but Lee Canyon was a definite highlight of the year! We  absolutely loved skiing and snowboarding, and are making plans to enjoy the slopes again soon…Now if only we can find a camphosting gig that pays in ski gear and lift passes. (Ideas welcome in the comment section.)

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