Outdoors, natural beauty and a sense of adventure in Henderson

Adventure awaits the willing around this place I call home. Henderson may not be Vegas bright or Sedona red, but Nevada’s No. 2 city makes up for that with a sense of community that supports fitness goals, artistic endeavors and adventure seeking. Muted beauty and much fun are to be found here, whether passions bring you outdoors or keep you inside.

Henderson is within easy reach of webs of hiking trails waiting to be explored in and around Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The city boasts so many bike paths, it took this cyclist the bulk of one summer to check off half of them. Swimming facilities allow for affordable training, if you have a long-term goal of swimming with turtles in Maui’s reefs or you just want to get in shape.

Inexpensive classes allow wannabe artists or chefs to gain technique and satisfaction; exciting opportunities await artists who wish to take their talents to the next level. Henderson has a downtown gaining in quaintness.

In its neighborhoods, sport can be made of discovering the best breakfast, ice cream or mojitos. This monthly column will be Henderson-centric, a spot where I’ll share my impressions, tips and opinions about adventure and beauty, mostly in nature and art. Because art and beauty are endlessly interpretative, a wide range of topics may include things such as volunteer work, gardening, high school performing arts and bird watching. There will never be a column about adventures in potty training, although ultimate beauty is found there after a painful journey. Likewise, this column will not get political. I consider myself an informed citizen, but enough political opinions already get expressed.

What I will tap into are my times hiking, biking and enjoying people’s creativity and company in Southern Nevada for the past 28 years. Seventeen of those years I’ve lived in Henderson, where my husband and I are raising two sons. I’m in my 14th year of teaching English in the Clark County School District, and I was a journalist for 13 years before that (11 of those as a Review-Journal reporter). During the past decade, I have made a priority of getting outdoors, and that commitment has helped me maintain a balanced, adventurous life.

Beauty can be found everywhere, when you’re looking for the signs. I’ve found beauty along Pittman Wash, where the Sacred Datura blooms and regular walkers and bicyclists smile and say hello to you 90 percent of the time. Sunrises look stunning from Cornerstone Park; brilliant sunsets are best viewed from Anthem Hills Park. Thousands of ducks and geese winter every year at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve and Wetlands Park. Some come all the way from the Arctic to temporarily call Henderson home. Our Mojave Desert springs bring fuchsia Beavertail cactus blooms and loads of lizards to Lake Mead and Sloan Canyon. Yes, our summers are scorchers, and that’s when it’s best to get moving early in the morning, when you might glimpse foraging Gambel’s quail.

Adventure also will be a constant undercurrent in this space, although it will usually be of the middle-aged, middle-income variety. I’m not training to participate in the Ironman or to climb Mount Everest. I want to stay fit enough to easily hike five miles and ride my bike for 10, but I’ll be writing and including ideas to encourage as many willing participants as possible to enjoy Henderson as much as I do. Feel free to share ideas via email sent to nvburt@gmail.com.

Natalie Burt, a former news reporter at the Review-Journal for 11 years, spends as much of her free time as possible enjoying Southern Nevada’s outdoors. She’s now a teacher and has lived in Henderson for 17 years. Email her at nvburt@gmail.com.

Clark County Wetlands promotes 2019 Wetland Walker Program
This year the park will be celebrating the Northern Flicker. The program is designed to teach about that bird, and encourage people to visit the Wetlands and walk the same distance the bird migrates each year.
Poet’s Walk Henderson introduces storytelling
Residents enjoy a storytelling activity.
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
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Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
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