Snow and Ice – The Best Bush Walk Ever! – Ben Lomond

I don't like the idea of this Mum! I wouldn't mind it if you took me home now!

I don’t like the idea of this Mum! I wouldn’t mind it if you took me home now!

Two-year-old “I want Mummy!”

Dad “We are just going for a little walk up the mountain not far.”

Two-year-old “No I don’t want to go up. Me want to go home with Mummy!”

Hmmmm was this a good sign or what? (Yes she does speak that well!). With a sigh and no expectations about getting further than a few hundred meters we move on.

Dad had packed all the coats and nibbles in his hiking pack and THIS TIME, 2 year old got her way and got to sit on Dad’s shoulders for 95% of the walk. Rather than sitting in the toddler backpack. The walk took 4.5 hours!

This is where I'm meant to be on a bush walk!

This is where I’m meant to be on a bush walk!

Now the Ben Lomond Carr Villa track is meant to be a 3-4 hours return journey and for others and in summertime it would be just that but our girls decided they hadn’t been ice skating for AGES and as most of the track was ice, they had a lovely time. Skating on the way up. Breaking ice on the way down. And when they weren’t preoccupied with ice (and snow) they were photographing it! Daughter number one actually put Mummy to shame this trip! She was very trigger happy! I am yet to see her shots, but look forward to them.

Amazing crystal formations in the snow here and my camera has run out of memory! Argh!

Amazing crystal formations in the snow here and my camera has run out of memory! Argh!

Look guys a heart shape in the ice!

Look guys a heart shape in the ice!

The first section which takes about half an hour consists of walking on scree through the low shrubs. This of course is unstable underfoot and hence the early realisation that toddler was a bit scared and was better on the shoulders. No convincing someone this stubborn without experience, so Dad resigns to the fact its time to carry her. I’m not much help after surgery in December. I’m not up to carrying anything much other than my camera and rather large lens. So until I’m fit again it’s up to Dad to carry the heavy stuff!

"I want to get down and skate on the ice for a bit Daddy!"

“I want to get down and skate on the ice for a bit Daddy!”

We had a short drink stop at the top of the big opening and then continued to find ice appear on the track as the track started to flattern out. This is when the trip slowed down. We were following the snow pole line which leads up at a distance, past Misery Bluff 1500m.

We then hit a boulder field where the girls were fascinated with the ice crystals in the snow.

Plains of Heaven

Plains of Heaven – following the snow pole line

Amazing how these sturdy highland plants withstand the weight of the ice and snow.

Amazing how these sturdy highland plants withstand the weight of the ice and snow.

Once on the Plains of Heaven we skated ourselves along the flat to the summit pass 1518m and this is where we stopped and had some vegimite sandwiches and a thermos full of tinned spagetti. The sky was so blue. Just a cool breeze and a lot of snow and ice to keep us amused. That was all we needed!

After an icy snowball fight and several damp bottoms from skating accidents it was time to head back down the mountain. The toddler was really into it now and was happy to walk holding our hands for a bit giving “Power Horse”, “Super Dad” a bit of a rest.

Check out this ice guys!

Check out this ice guys!

No hiccups on the way down other than a little reminder to daughter number two that she has to carry her own coat! I wish I could say this was advice accepted with ‘grace’ but it wasn’t to be. Hence Dad with toddler on the shoulders and big girl scooted on ahead while I worked on getting daughter number two down and in a happy mood!

Slipper up hill bit to the pass

Slipper up hill bit to the pass

Time to head back down now. "But we haven't made a snowman yet!"

Time to head back down now. “But we haven’t made a snowman yet!”

All that done we arrived back at the Scout Hut to sleeping two year old and Tim-Tams to share.

Very successful day. But you can never plan for a good day. If it works out that way then it’s when we get lucky! And we got lucky yesterday at Ben Lomond. It was a glorious day with number two admitting it was her favourite bush walk EVER!……. Just on the quiet…….she says that every time! (Very cute!)

Enjoy these crisp, cold, bright, winter days!

Nomewome

3pm and the ice is still stuck hard to the snow pole!

3pm and the ice is still stuck hard to the snow pole!

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The Cataract Gorge Reserve – Duck Reach Power Station Circuit and a Toddler Backpack!


Other side of the creek from theDaffodil Walk

Walking from home. What a great autumn day! We haven’t tried this walk for a few years as a family! Certainly not with number 3!

The day started well with lots of skipping and smiling faces. An interesting creature or coloured tree every few steps. I actually let myself be truly happy for a little bit! The big girls are seasoned walkers now but the crazy toddler decided she was a big kid too. Run 20 paces up hill then drop the shoulders and the lip…”Me worned out now!” She exclaimed. Well this went on for a bit until we really had to put her in the carry pack! “Hard work Mumma!”

There was a reasonable climb up over rocks that a shorty girl would have trouble conquering! It would only take 10-15 minutes for the rest of us. Just a short trip in the backpack. There was nothing for it but to get her in there…. But “NO!” was our answer every which-way we explained it. No bribing with milk, no after demonstrations from big sissies! Hahaha! Number two will not be happy I shared! …..

A Heavy Load!

So we strapped her in kicking and screaming hoping that she would ‘Get over it” in a few minutes…..

No! Not today! So the 10-15 minutes was devoid of usual wildlife and really quite disturbing!… Nevermind! Big hugs all round. Mummy to the rescue and then she was off again racing the big girls for a bit. Walking with a stick for a cane and holding it well away from herself when she ran! (Worked that one out herself!), until she was “Bit tired, carry me!”…..

Solution

Stuffed giraffe had the cushy seat! Toddler chose the shoulders with built in head rest! She was also high enough away from Dad’s pockets with leeches onboard! Two big suckers we found!

Pocket Leech!

So after all these dramas we made it down to Duck Reach Power Station and were disappointed with all the blackberry and broken glass down under the bridge. That made it hard to rock-hop. So deciding not to linger we took the main path from Duck Reach to the Gorge, counting down the numbered 2k walk by the signs on the ground every 100 metres. Then back to the Gorge Restaurant for a bucket of hot chips and a run around with the peacocks before we set off home.

All in all the walk took us 3+ hours. It was a lovely day! But next time we have decided to take a proper backpack with some proper supplies other than just water. Fruit!As for the toddler backpack filled with stuffed animals (and Monster High dolls), It has served us well over the past 10 years! But it might be time to hang it up for good!…. But she’s only 2!…. The more you have, it is true what they say… The faster they grow!

Enjoy your week!

Nomewome
You just gotta laugh!

Overnight Camp a Big Success at the Beach: Part Two, Welcome to the Camping Club!

Coles Bay central.

Coles Bay central from our patch of beach.

Drama number two unfolded as hubby decided to add more fuel to the trangia while it was still alight. Not an idea I would recommend. Thankfully he had prepared a couple of pots with water for a cuppa later which were used to douce the flames before they engulfed the entire dinner area. It was a bit of excitement for a few minutes. Girls were a bit amazed at the hole in the tea towel but the snags were just perfect.

Our view from the Camp site in the National Park

Our view from the Camp site in the National Park

The day had been overcast and still and really just perfect. Next we thought it was time for roasting marshmellows on the beach followed by a spot of fishing! Nothing serious. Only seaweed caught on our lines.

Roasting Marshmellows on the beach.

Roasting Marshmellows on the beach.

She was so cautious with the flames. One contented little girl.

Marshmellow Roasting

Pretending to fish. We did lose a lot of bate though so something must have been happy. Pretending to fish. We did lose a lot of bate though so something must have been happy.

Forgot to mention the many many unfriendly little inhabitants of our campsite! Jack Jumpers and Bull ants/Inchmen?  On a previous camping trip we started out with number two being bitten on her foot. It swelled up far past her ankle and she cried all night. Thankfully, this trip, amazingly saw no one bitten. The picture bellow is a little out of focus. I haven’t got a micro lens.

Camp enemy number 1. Pictured here with bird poo! Jack Jumpers are nasty, nasty little creatures.

Camp enemy number 1. Pictured here with bird poo! Jack Jumpers are nasty, nasty little creatures.

The night fell around us and as we finally bunked down for the evening it started to rain. How pleasant it was. The toddler who NEVER sleeps all night happened to be the ONLY person who did sleep all night.

Running to the luxury flushing toilet block at 3:30am with a headlight was very interesting in the rain. It was like running in a blizzard without all the cold wind.

We encountered a very tame possum who had rearranged our camp table for us ready for breakfast????? Upon rising in the morning we were sorry to see that the pleasant nightime rain had continued. It was shaping up to be a wet pack-up.

Early morning view from our camp.

Early morning view from our camp.

Big girls decided to skip pack-up and head down to the beach while toddler helped us deflate boats and pack up tent poles, all the while acting as go-between from beach to camp…. not impressed! Hmmm. Note for next time: Must remedy lazy girl syndrome!

Evidence of a tiny helper. In the rain and all!

Evidence of a tiny helper. In the rain and all!

Apart from the rain and the few tiny dramas, the girls got to paddle, fish, fossick and discover. Run free and cook on the beach. They had a ball! So did we.

I must mention though that we were revisiting the exact same beach where the milkshake episode had occurred. (See Part One!) The spot where years earlier we had packed up in the rain only to have the car refuse to turn over. That thankfully did not happen and now the little one has been initiated into the camping club!

A successful camp indeed!

Cheers

Nomewome

Nomewome+

Nomewome+

Overnight Camp a Big Success at the Beach: Part One

Twilight frolicking beneath the Hazard Mountains at Coles Bay

Twilight frolicking beneath the Hazard Mountains at Coles Bay

Long weekend and never a dull moment in our household. Between dancing and sporting activities, parties and daytime naps there never seems enough time in the year to have a guilt free night away.

But night away we did have. Nappies and all!

Hubby had been hinting for quite sometime now that instead of just taking big kids he would like me to start coming again on these amazing experiences. Of course, sleep depraved and irritable there was no way I could be convinced of staying in a tent with all its discomforts until I was feeling up to it.

I have been there and done that for 6 months hardcore through Europe with him! Locally we have braved it with the other two. I love it don’t get me wrong. But there are certain things that hubby has made clear that he does without the rest of us if he is given an inch!

One example being that if we are anywhere near a mountain, he is up at 4am to climb it. One trip I realised upon finally arising at 7am with a vomiting 4 year old and two year old of whom I had been trying to keep quiet since 4am due to her Father’s unsuccessful quiet departure from the campsite. (He pipped the horn!) That he had left me without water and transport. It was too early for our neighbours and too early for the camp operators that had their shop at the entrance at least a kilometre away! And yes I did run down to check!

Another time it pelted with rain on pack-up shortly after our beach walk to a cafe that had ended with the 3 year old throwing strawberry milkshake all over herself until she was so wet that at first glance anyone on the beach may have thought we had thrown her in the ocean! Of course come a little closer and she smelt of sore strawberry milk! The rain on this day was drenching and cold! Then the car wouldn’t start!

Anyway there has been other instances too but I wont elaborate as I feel this will deflate my argument somewhat by ‘over doing-it a bit’.

Now you may say “oh that’s all the fun of it”. True! But I can limit the fun thanks. When I have the energy to deal with it all …… and the washing!

But this weekend we were all good to go!……….

We did have to revise how we catered for the big girls though. The $10 boogie boards were not going to cut-the-mustard in the bay, so we brought $15 blow-up boats from Kmart! We looked at $400 kayaks and the like and decided the girls needed to see whether it was likely to be something they enjoyed first. Then maybe they might need to talk to Santa?

….And so we set ourselves up for the first drama! Second child fitted 2 oars and decided when Mum said it was time to turn around and row back in the opposite direction, that she would panic and start to float away…. Sigh…. Super Dad to the rescue! Not without a lot of screaming and tears mind you! Of which continued as the ‘flavour of the moment’ for at LEAST half and hour afterwards!….. Get my drift??? (Pardon the pun!)

Enjoying a peaceful paddle before number two decided to panic and start "very slowly" to drift away!

Enjoying a peaceful paddle before number two decided to panic and start “very slowly” to drift away!

That sorted, we moved on to beach combing. We found an octopus in the sand. It was definitely a highlight. We moved him into the ocean as he was at risk of being trodden on in the sand where he was hiding! He was amazing to watch and as he was quite keen to wrap his tentacles around anything. We found two big chunky pieces of wood to move him with. He wasn’t a blue-ringed octopus but we have read that all octopus are venomous. We weren’t taking ANY chances. Toddler was very cautious and followed her big sisters lead in this situation! That was pleasing to see.

We cartwheeled our way back to camp and thought about cooking dinner.

But I will have to continue tomorrow………….

Until then

Nomewome

With two sticks we moved him back into the ocean and watched him swim off.

With two sticks we moved him back into the ocean and watched him swim off.

Tamar Island Wetlands Reserve! I can count to 10!

The flat field area is great for kids with balls and kites and for general running around.

The flat field area is great for kids with balls and kites and for general running around.

Looking back at the experience we had some years ago, it is a great walk with kids. It is all duck boarded to the island. It does take about half and hour to walk to the island by the time you look about and count the different kinds of wildlife on display. A perfect amount of time for littlies, plus it’s pram friendly!

Lots of birds frequent the wetlands and an obvious trail left behind of where they like to be when there are no people walking the track!

There are reeds that line the track and bridges. The Tamar is tidal so the mud flats are exposed at certain times. This just gives a different perspective to the wildlife. I love seeing small water birds foot prints in the mud.

There’s dragon flies and cicadas and no doubt snakes too. But we haven’t seen any. Plus a BBQ area on the island that is placed on an open field of grass. This is great for ball games or flying kites. Plus public toilets with built-in swallow nests!

There is a great interpretation centre with stuffed Tasmanian animals which the kids love to cuddle!

On this particular trip I remember our eldest counting to 10 unprompted, for the first time climbing up the hill on the island! It did take her a few months more before she could perform this achievement again without a little encouragement mind! But it made the walk a memorable one.

Parks and Wildlife Services have a nice little website with more information about the area.

Have a great weekend!

Nomewome

Don't wear your shoes inside the house after a trip to Tamar Island

Don’t wear your shoes inside the house after a trip to Tamar Island

The remnants of a path from when the island inhabited by humans

The remnants of a path from when the island inhabited by humans

The roof of an old shed on the island.

The roof of an old shed on the island.

A happy Butterfly.

A happy Butterfly.

Cradle Mountain in Autumn with Toddlers

For the love of the great outdoors!

For the love of the great outdoors!

This shot was taken a few autumns ago when life was slightly different to what it is now. It was before dragging kids off to school! Simple some might say, but busy in a physical way. So having the energy to go for a bush walk was not as it once was but soon recovered once on the track.

Walking with toddlers is a challenge. You have to be fit enough and know your limitations as to how far you can walk carrying a child. Sometimes they will want to walk a bit. Sometimes not! Plus other times they will sleep. So we found the backpack a great investment. Someone carries the food and coats and the other the baby-backpack.

Having kids has certainly limited the amount of places we can go and how long we go for but we love that they love it! There are years that one will decide it’s all a bit too much and so we have no end of headaches for the first hour, but after that it is all smooth sailing and becomes an adventure that surprisingly not many other kids seem to have! We find our contented happy faces out in the wild!

Nappy changing in the freezing winds is a bit of a hassle. Also you must remember that if you are walking in ice-cold winds and a child is sitting in a backpack that they are warmed in the body by you but their little limbs soon turn very, very cold and also if they sit too long they get pins and needles that hurt very much when they try and stand.

Keeping it short and sweet is my motto at the moment but would love to hear from others experiences in the great outdoors! Please feel free to share and leave a comment!

So excited about being autumn again. Cradle we will be heading you way again soon!

Have a great day!

Nomewome

Toddler and small child on the shoulders! What a man!

Toddler and small child on the shoulders! What a man!

A Perfect Day on the Beach for the Family at Bridport

Bridport, North East Coast, Tasmania

Bridport, North East Coast, Tasmania

Lazy Sunday Afternoon!
AAAHHHHHHhhh! What can a say! Nothing seems to beat a perfect day on the beach! That is exactly what you would call yesterday at Bridport Beach here in Tassie!

It was hot, but not so hot that it was unbearable. I made sure everyone was sufficiently covered in sunscreen as I can’t stand sunburn. We fared well after 4 hours in the hot midday sun.

There was a slight breeze, but nothing that pushed the sand around. Just nice enough to keep you cool. Happy Kids are happy parents and after packing the boot in preparation for any kind of weather we were amazed to find we didn’t need even our spring-suits. They stayed safely packed away with the raincoats this trip.

Also it’s always a bit dicey as to whether we can please both age groups, but the toddler was happy amusing herself in the sand. She was quiet horrified with the tiny waves chasing her. Big kids on their almost outgrown boogie boards were contented catching the almost non-exsistent waves. But they did catch them…… that was the fun of it!

March it seems is usually a beautiful time of the year. No wind and warm days. The nights are starting to get longer and there is a chill in the air first thing. But I love this time of the year.

Refreshing!

Enjoy your week guys!

Nome

P.S. Boris is wearing a organic cotton Catapult Earth Tee! Have to mention it!

Buckets of Fun!

Buckets of Fun!


Boogie Boarding

Boogie Boarding

Living with Catapult Earth Merino Tees

Catapult Earth bubble business

Catapult Earth bubble business

It has been a LONG time since I first started fiddling with this blog site! I so ‘DO’ want to have my own blog but because of a hectic life with children that demand attention day and night I haven’t had the chance to really work this thing out! I WILL! But you will have to bare with the fact I’m on a ‘go slow’. I want to get our business out there and explain a bit about who we are along the way! Oh, time is short…. time to serve up the snags and salad for dinner…. Gotta love that scraped on lipgloss from concerned toddler just now! Smells like strawberries, yum!