Today was a bit of an adventure. We hadn't taken the boys to the snow since Noah was a baby and heard there were fresh snowfalls (and you could also feel it) so thought we would head to the snow today. It was actually a bit of a disaster but in the end the boys had some fun, and that is what matters.
We thought we would avoid the crowds and head to Mt Barrow instead of Ben Lomond. Big mistake - we got as far as the BBQ area and there was a sign saying that the road was closed to all vehicles except 4WD. I don't think our van classes as that just yet, and we didn't want to risk it and decided to turn around. On the way the boys kept complaining that they felt car sick! Talk about fun. When Jay realised that we probably weren't going to see some snow he got very upset (anyone who knows Jay, knows that he can be VERY dramatic!).
We had spent the morning finding warm clothes, packing the car and even buying new gloves so there was no way I was going home without seeing a little bit of snow!! We had read in the paper that there was a lot of snow at Ben Lomond but that you needed snow chains fitted to go right to the lodge. We weren't sure if that meant there was no snow at all down lower, but thought it was worth risking. We could have driven down to Hobart in the time that it took to go to both places! Luckily Harri slept in the car for about half an hour. Noah was loving the drive - smiling the whole time.
Finally we get to the entrance to the Ben Lomond National Park and the woman tells us it is $20 to get in (we hadn't planned on that!) and also that we couldn't go any further than the rangers station which was only 500 metres up the road, unless we had snow chains. I tried to give her a sob story but she scared me by telling me that it was at our own risk and it was very dangerous, so I decided against attempting to drive up there in the van. She did say there was a shuttle bus that could take us up and then back to our car. I thought that was great - a good service to have, but when we got to where you park your car there was a sign saying that it was $20 per person! No way was I spending $100 to get up there! Jalen said we should go home and buy a 4WD!
We were very disappointed. There was no way we were going to spend that much money to get up higher, but the boys were more than happy with the little bit of snow where you could park your car. They had a great time having snow fights. Harri of course, refused to put a jacket, hat or gloves on but after his first couple of throws he realised how cold it was, and then put the gloves on.
Noah spent most of the time in the van with a big smile on his face, but we got him out for a little bit, so he could have a stretch and feel the fresh air. It actually wasn't that cold which was good.
Harri started complaining after about 15 mins as he got muddy and wet and had enough. Lucky we had some hot milo in the van and a change of clothes, so after he got changed and had a drink he was much happier.
I gave our sob story to the lady back at the office where you pay to get into the national park about how we couldn't take the shuttle bus as it was too expensive and also how we had a wheelchair which couldn't go on the bus, so she gave us back our money! I told her we only had a little play in the snow where we parked the car and there wasn't much snow and she obviously felt sorry for us :) She must have seen the stress on my face after such a long trip to find just a little bit of snow!!