Bryan Lange stands next to his motorcycle and waves at the passersby in the parking lot of The Resort at Mount Charleston.
It’s a red 2009 Honda Goldwing that Lange drives up to the mountain every two weeks. He loves his bike. He loves life. And he loves Mount Charleston.
“This is my mountain,” he said Monday. “I connect with nature on this mountain.”
Lange, 62, moved to Las Vegas from Montana 13 years ago, and has been riding up to the mountain since he bought his bike in 2002.
Mount Charleston has experienced two severe rain storms in the last two weeks. On Sunday, heavy rain in the Spring Mountains caused severe flooding on Mount Charleston and along Kyle Canyon Road. The National Weather Service measured 0.96 inches of rainfall in its Kyle Canyon gauge Sunday night. The Brownstone Canyon gauge, about 2.5 miles northwest of the Red Rock Canyon detention basin, had received 1.42 inches.
State routes were closed as mud collected on the roads, an outgrowth of the Carpenter 1 Fire six weeks ago. People had to be rescued from their cars, and several residents had to be relocated as heavy rain damaged their homes.
Lange said he’s used to violent storms.
“We had worse storms than this in Montana,” said Lange, who grew up on a ranch. “Our only real fear in life should be nature.”
Lange’s wife of 25 years died of leukemia two years ago. They used to ride up to the mountain and enjoy the scenic view that many enjoy on a daily basis.
He said the storms won’t stop him from returning to the mountain.
“It makes that green stuff grow faster down there,” he said. “I’ll keep coming up here as long as I can get this thing off the stand.”
Lange loves life. He’s learning to play the blues on his guitar and talks about how he discovers new things every time he comes up to Mount Charleston.
“I come up here and think about life,” he said. “I think about my exes, my 11 siblings, the rest of my family. This is where I go to church.”
He points at a couple walking around the resort’s front lawn and smiles.
“That’s the beauty of life right there,” he said.
Lange said he loves the rain and gets a lot of it near his house by Santa Fe Station. When he does ride up to the mountain, he enjoys the view with a cup of tea or coffee.
Beth Hardouin doesn’t come up as often, but she enjoys the drive up, away from the lights of Las Vegas.
“It’s like getting away from the city without driving very far,” she said.
Like Lange, Hardouin said the severity of the recent thunderstorms wouldn’t affect how often she came to the mountain.
“I would still come up here. I’d brave the water before I braved the fire,” she joked.
Hardouin’s friend, Sister Dede Bruns, is visiting from Rhode Island.
“When we come up here all the bad stuff goes away,” Bruns said softly. “It’s just beautiful.”
Contact reporter Steven Slivka at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0264.