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Stupid is as government does

With reports of snow flurries in the Las Vegas valley on New Year’s Eve, it was only natural to assume there was significant accumulation up on Mt. Charleston, about a 45 minute drive from downtown. As such, I loaded the kids in the van yesterday morning, stopped at Big 5 Sporting Goods to pick up a couple of new sleds, and headed for Lee Canyon.

The first thing I noticed was cars parked on both sides of the road right around where the snow line began…well before the Lee Meadows roadside area where folks usually pull off for their kids to do some free sledding. WELL before. I’ve never seen the area so crowded.

I mean, this place was packed with families and kids tramping through the snow and looking for anyplace with enough of a clearing and gravitational slope to accommodate a sled, no matter how short of a ride. I even saw kids trying to sled down embankments that ended up directly in the road if they didn’t stop and hop off in time!

In fact, the ONLY area where families and kids were not sledding was…

The Foxtail Snow Play area which has been specifically cleared for sledding!

That’s right. In the infinite wisdom of the geniuses at the U.S. Forest Service, it’s OK for people to sled pretty much anywhere in the Lee Canyon area, no matter how tree-filled and dangerous, except the area specifically set up for…sledding.

I know this because my kids and I walked into the Foxtail area – even though the parking lot had been plowed, the gate remained closed – and began having a blast sledding down the cleared sledding hills, far and safely away from the roadside traffic, only to be confronted by a woman shortly thereafter who informed us the sledding area was…duh…closed to sledding.

Apparently, according to the Einsteins running the Forest service, it’s not “safe” to sled in 9 inches of snow in the sledding area; only 12 inches of snow or more. So although it was perfectly OK for people to sled everywhere else in the area, it was not OK to sled in the sledding area.

Forrest Gump would be so proud!

Fortunately, during the course of our conversation about the stupidity of not opening the sledding area for sledding while people were sledding everywhere else except the sledding area, I came to understand that while the woman had the responsibility to inform us that the sledding area was closed, she did not have the authority to make us leave.

Guess who’s kids had a blast sledding in the sledding area, all to themselves, for a couple hours yesterday afternoon?