Good morning. Tina here. I am a bit late due to my usual "living out in the boonies" computer problems.
Last week we weren't out in the boonies, we were in Las Vegas, Nevada for a birthday party, and we took a little side trip the next day.
Only about a half an hour's drive west of Vegas is this wonderful state park, Spring Mountain Ranch.
An oasis in the desert.
Over the years the ranch house developed from a small cabin to this lovely brick structure that is so homey I just wanted to move in and start Christmas dinner.
The tall, hatted, handsome ranger who manned the ranch house told me he had Thanksgiving dinner here, and cooked the turkey himself in one of these ovens. I could imagine the savory scents wafting their way upstairs, no need to call the guests to the table!
If I was a ranger or docent here I would somehow manage to spend at least one night here, reading by the fireplace into the late evening, and snuggling in one of the bedrooms to wake with a view of the mountains, the new sun lighting the rocks as it rises.
The ranch has quite a history, which I am not going to relate here. A couple of interesting tidbits, the original owner adopted two brothers who were native americans and they inherited the ranch. One of those gentlemen helped locate the plane wreck on Table Mountain when Carole Lombard was killed. There are at least four springs located on the ranch. Howard Hughes once owned the ranch, although it is not known if he ever visited here. The last owner was a former actress who was quite a cattlewoman.
We were lucky to see some beautiful fall color although it was already early December. The weather was cool but very nice for a bit of a walk.
The mountains to the west are very stark compared to what we are used to seeing in the Sierra foothills, no trees, or at least very few, many-colored rock, lots of strata, some red rock, the interest and color comes from the minerals rather than the growth of flora.
We didn't have a lot of time to explore, there are many trails to follow, springs to visit. One day we will be back, we have family close by after all.
One last photo of the bell which hangs above the ranch house. What a great way to call everyone to the big Christmas dinner I am making in my imagination!