Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
I come from a temperate part of coastal Australia with rainforest and where it never snows so it fills me with joy to see and play with snow. On the first Wednesday of the school holidays we packed our snow gear into the car and drove to Cooma where we hired toboggans and chains and bought goggles for the 4 of us (our children are 7 and 5). We were conflicted about buying goggles but they proved to be an excellent purchase due to the absolute protection from glare and driving snow but also the warmth they provide.
We drove towards Mount Selwyn intending to toboggan there but we were only about halfway when we needed to stop and put the chains on the tyres. It was our first time with chains and we knelt in the snow, with fresh snow falling on us and thought our fingers would freeze as we struggled to clip the chains. The driver side chain promptly came undone and I briefly lost control of the car but fortunately managed to stop the car with the handbrake without hitting anything. After an adjustment I successfully drove off very slowly and with considerable residual anxiety.
When we saw snow covered hills, no fences, another family beginning to toboggan and a small pull-off bay on the side of the road at the sign for Kiandra Goldfields, we decided to stop there rather than continue driving for another hour. We donned our gear and dragged our toboggans to the top of the hill for the first of our thrilling toboggan rides across the fresh powdery snow. It was our first time tobogganing and it was not only great fun but good exercise for all of us as we ran back up to the top of the hill. We have now spent several hundreds of dollars on snow gear that we only use a couple of times a year. For us with our Manifesto for Strategic Consumption this is unusual and difficult to explain but our apres snow boots, jackets, pants, gloves, and goggles all worked marvelously well to keep us snug and dry.
It snowed steadily on us all day and at times we could barely see anything at all but it cleared a little at times and we even saw the sun for a few minutes. There were a few other people at the same spot but we went for 2 hikes and were completely alone in the lovely white wilderness. We discovered that the landscape is covered in tiny streams that are partly snowed over but managed not to fall in as we slipped and slid along. We delighted in eating fresh snow and watching birds, rabbits, hares and a fox going about their business in the snow.
I watched with dismay as a poor fellow stooped beside his car trying to refit his chains for over 1o minutes as we ran and slid, ran and slid. I finally hiked over to him, falling into the deep snow and climbing back out, taking an inordinately long time to reach him. He had driven over his chain and damaged the hook so badly that we were unable to fit it properly so he drove on without chains and I made my long trudging trek back to my family.
We spent the final part of the day tobogganing completely alone on a nearby hillside with a much longer run than the first hill. My husband and I had a great time tobogganing, laughing, running and chatting while our children got precious uninterrupted time to play in the snow and collect ice crystals. We made a snowman together, did some family tobogganing and were sad to leave as the light began to fade. It was a perfect end to a lovely family day in the snow.