With Jenny and Rachael on a cruise in the Pacific somewhere, I decided that a road trip was in order and the South East was the spot.
We crossed the Coorong at Tea Tree Crossing which had low water at this time of year. There were a couple of caches near the campsite to be found and going to one, there might have been a momentary loss of traction in the mud but it was soon remedied by letting down the tyres.
It was time to head over the dunes and along the beach to a new Earthcache (Wild Dog Island) that we had hoped to find as a “First to Find” but having been unfound for almost 12 months, it was found 2 days ago.
We were a little behind time but it didn’t stop us finding geocaches further south along the Coorong at 32 Mile Crossing then at Kingston SE, Cape Jaffa, Robe (with a stop for some fish and chips) and finally Millicent before finally getting to Mt Gambier.
Not bad – a journey that should take 4 hours took us 15 hours.
With overcast conditions and low temperatures this morning including a little fog, it looked like it may not have been a good day on the slopes at Falls Creek. It was good that everyone else was thinking that as there were hardly anyone on the slopes.
Started on the Summit on some nice groomed runs where I managed to make my own tracks up until 10:30 am when the ski schools descended. Made our way back over the mountain but couldn’t quite find runs that would top the ones from this morning.
Around lunchtime the clouds parted and we had blue skies which was unexpected. Then the temperature dropped and the snow crusted up followed by snowfalls.
After doing 55 kms for the day it was time to call it quits today and head back to the Schuss Lodge.
We were never going to get another day like yesterday. Even though the skies were clear and it was sort of warm (8C), there was a wind that dropped the wind chill down to -5C. Also as the temperature didn’t drop below zero last night, the slopes didn’t start the day as well as previous days.
But you make do with what you have and we headed out a little earlier than other days to enjoy another spring day of skiing at Falls Creek. The plan was to start over on the Summit and move across the mountain finishing up at Main Street. This seemed to work yesterday well.
The plan changed slightly once we got to the top of the mountain. Rachael needed some video for a school project so a few runs down Main Street before heading to the Summit.
We made it over to the Summit earlier than yesterday but the conditions weren’t the same as they never groomed the mountain so it was very similar to what was left yesterday afternoon. A couple of runs here then we headed over to Ruined Castle and Scotts. This seemed to be the pick today.
Eventually the wind won and I headed back to the Schuss Lodge while Rachael went for her second snowboard lesson while Jenny pottered around with a Blackwood Mum who was on the mountain as well.
Tomorrow looks like it may have some fresh snow falling – I guess the sunny days couldn’t last forever but it has been a great week so far. That’s it for the September 12 of 12 …. with a bonus video
For our 2nd day in the snow, again it was a typical spring day with warmish weather (11C), clear skies and no wind.
We headed over to the Summit for the morning before spending the afternoon over at Scotts and Ruined Castle.
The snow held up a lot better today than yesterday and you could find somewhere to ski with reasonable snow up to around 3:00. A big day distance wise with 66kms on runs and lifts.
Rachael decided to try out snow boarding and it looks like that some more lessons are required.
Well after a 2 day drive, we have made it back to the snow at Falls Creek – and there is plenty of it. It has been said that it is the best in 8 years and I would have to concur it is pretty good for this late in the season. There is plenty of snow on the sides of the road coming up and the roads in the village are still covered. It has been quite a while that we haven’t been able to drive to our accommodation.
It is probably lucky that the roads are covered as the Lift company replaced all the Oversnow vehicles so they needed to recoup their outlay. I just wasn’t expecting to have to allow them to recoup their cost in the first year. They charged me for Rachael as an adult as they thought she looked older than 15. Not happy Jan
We arrived at our accommodation to find a lot of familiar faces staying in the lodge. We are almost becoming part of the furniture at Schuss Lodge. It has a great atmosphere and is a friendly lodge. One day we may even become members.
Today was our first day on the slopes and there was certainly a lot of snow. There were a lot of brown patches but it was not the dirt coming through but dust that blew over last week with the storms.
No matter what slope you chose the conditions were good but unfortunately the weather was warm (12C) so the snow became slushy around 1:30. Still managed to get in around 42 km of runs and lifts for the day so wasn’t too bad.
Another good day is in store for tomorrow.
Prior to leaving Alice Springs, I checked for any new cache listings since I had left South Australia. What luck, there was a new one at Glendambo - only 940 kilometres away. And at this time no one had made a find on it. The cache is Dam Glenbo.
It is only 10 hours driving away. Sounds like a good spot to stay tonight and maybe grab a FTF as well.
Today was uneventful, however, it was getting cooler the more I headed south. There were clear skies all the way to Coober Pedy and then there were some rain clouds heading over from the west. It is probably a good decision not taking the Oodnadatta Track as I wouldn’t want to get stuck there (or would I )
I arrived at Glendambo just after dark, negotiated a few tracks to find a tree on the edge of town.
Out with a torch, found the cache, opened the cache to find a virgin log book – Yay, another long distance “First to Find”.
Another big drive tomorrow across to Loxton.
Today was a “rest” day of sorts. This meant that no long distance driving but take in some of the sights around Alice Springs.
I started at the northern end of town and drove what is left of the old Stuart Highway into the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve. One of the popular spots for the locals is Wigleys Waterhole but there was no-one there today.
It was interesting that the track alongside the old rail line was in better condition than the Old South Road. Also managed to take in some of the track used by the Finke Desert Race.
Tomorrow is a 940 kilometre drive to Glendambo.
It was a cool start today for the big drive with overcast skies and a few drops of rain but this was short lived with clear skies for most of the day.
I didn’t make too many stops today as there was a mission of getting to Mataranka and a soak in the thermal pool – a drive of 1065 kilometres which was achieved in 11 hours with fuel stops.
The fuel gauge went down a little quicker in the first leg to Tennant Creek as I sat on 125 kph (the speed limit up here is 130 kph). For the second leg I dropped it back to 115 as the roos were starting to appear but they are only little ones.
Tomorrow is an easy drive of 400 km into Darwin.
What a great day for travelling – clear skies and not too warm and no wind (although there was a little cloud around Coober Pedy). Today was another big day on the road with a 700 km drive from Coober Pedy to Alice Springs.
After filling up and a quick drive around town it was time to head north. The landscape around here is a bit of a moonscape with all the diggings – you wouldn’t want to stumble around here in the dark.
Made the diversion to the Breakaways and was surprised to see no-one else out there.
The further north I went you could see the results of the good rains over the last few years with plenty of growth in both the trees and the grasses. The colour of the soil also changes to a deep red.
While at Marla, I checked wotif.com as I knew that accommodation would be scarce in Alice Springs including the caravan parks due to the Finke Desert Race having just finished. Although there were a lot of cars and bike returning south, the locals were cleaning up with their rates and minimum stays. I managed to book a room in a B&B for only $10 more than what the caravan parks were asking for an unpowered site. My digs tonight would be the B & B Pathdorf.
I had filled the tanks at Coober Pedy thinking that I had plenty of fuel to get through to Alice Springs. From previous experience, when the low fuel light came on there was about 10 litres of fuel left which equated to 80 kilometres travel. At about 80 kms out from Alice Springs, the low fuel light came on. I slowed it up a bit and took it easy into Alice Springs.
After arriving in Alice Springs, it was a struggle to find a petrol station that was open and eventually found one with only 4 litres of fuel remaining.
Through Facebook, I found that a work colleague was in Alice Springs as well so we met up in town and had some steaks at Bojangles Saloon – this place would look right at home in the Wild West and the meals were good too.
That is it for today. Tomorrow will be a bigger day as I have 1000 km to drive to get to Mataranka.
Another below zero start to the day and once again the Clare Caravan Park’s power system overloaded and our power went off (we had been lucky to miss out all weekend).
This meant that we packed up to keep warm in the cold conditions. The final event for the weekend was the Riesling Trail Recovery Ride but unfortunately I had to hit the road for Coober Pedy. After getting a few photos of the riders and waving them off I started north through the Bundaleer Valley grabbing caches along the way.
One of the caches was at the Bundaleer Aqueduct. This was constructed back in 1903 and is some amazing engineering for the time. If it wasnt for geocaching, I probably wouldnt have found this.