Lockdown Hike 2

27 Jul

Distance: 8.4 km

Elevation gain: 118 m

Location: Mount Waverley

Pack weight: 10kg

Lockdown 5 since the COVID-19 pandemic started allows us to be outdoors for exercise for up to 2 hours within a 5 km radius of home. Last Sunday we went for a ‘hike’ north along the Gardiners Creek trail and some linear parks including Damper Creek to make a 10km loop. Today we went south to meet up with the Scotchmans Creek trail and through Waverley Valley where we stopped to have lunch and test out some of the dried food we want to try. Stay tuned for our food reviews, complete with the kids’ thumbs up or down assessment.

The Grand Plan

23 Jul

Overland Track, here we come! All booked for departure on 10/4/2022. We have the maps and guide book, we have some old camping and hiking gear and we will also need to invest in some new gear.

The whole Easter school holidays next year is booked for a trip in Tasmania. Nathan and I will hike the Overland Track (weather and COVID permitting) while Andrew and Toby do some mountain biking around Derby. When we meet up again we’ll spend a few days in Strahan before coming home.

Toby says he is looking forward to doing really big jumps while mountain biking.

Nathan is looking forward to the whole Overland Track experience.

Andrew is looking forward to riding the Atlas track at Blue Derby and some quality time with Toby.

I just have all my fingers and toes crossed that we will get to Tasmania and that the weather will allow us to do the hike.

There is a lot to organise. Also a lot of gear to get and test. Fun times ahead!

The Pain of Analgesics

01 Mar


Three or four years ago, when Toby was a toddler, he had a fever. In general I don’t give analgesics to the kids simply to reduce a fever, but I will give it to them if they are miserable and feeling awful, to help them feel a little better when they are sick. This particular time when Toby was sick I offered him (for the first time) some liquid Panadol (for babies) which he took and very soon afterwards he vomited it up. Andrew went to a pharmacy to get a different analgesic, one we hoped he would keep down, but since that day, until yesterday, I had been unable to get any analgesic past his lips. He would clamp his mouth shut, turn his head away and bury his head in the couch or into me so that I couldn’t get the medicine into his mouth. Since that day Toby has suffered through fevers and colds without any way of relieving pain or the fevers. When he has been particularly miserable he has agreed to take some medication, but as soon as it got near his lips he baulked and refused it. Whenever I have taken him to the doctor because he has been sick, they always say “and relieve pain with Panadol” or similar, and none of the doctors ever understood that I couldn’t get him to take any medication.

Yesterday (and the night before) Toby was complaining of a sick tummy. He was in pain. He couldn’t rest, his pain made him moan and pace through the house, stopping where he wanted to rest for a moment (bed, couch, floor) and lying down, but unable to find a comfortable spot he was quickly back on his feet and pacing the house again. When he did manage to lie down he kept twisting and turning on the bed, and his legs made the walking action. He was completely miserable and agreed to take some Panadol. I tried to disguise the medicine in some apple/carrot/ginger juice (which is how we got some antibiotics into him last year when he had an ear infection). It took about 15 minutes to drink the lot, but then 15 minutes later he vomited it all up again. I took him to the doctor who thought he probably should go to the hospital, but he did suggest that we take him home for a couple of hours, give him some pain relief and keep an eye on him first just to see if he improved given a little time. I asked what pain relief I can give, explained the situation, and then he decided we should just go to hospital and told me that they can give him pain relief there. Hmmm…

OK, so we head to the hospital. As far as hospital visits go, it was most pleasant. We didn’t have to wait in the waiting room, were immediately given a bed (though Toby preferred to lie and moan on the ground for a bit before getting onto the bed) and a lovely doctor and nurse came to see Toby. The doctor gave him something for his nausea/sick feeling in the tummy (a dissolving tablet that went under his tongue) and some Panadol as a liquid suspension. I was quite surprised that Toby took the syringe and drank the fluid, but immediately he said he was going to be sick and vomited it all back up. We were asked if we’d tried giving him a tablet, or other analgesic suspensions, and I explained we hadn’t tried a tablet but we had never been successful getting him to take any other analgesic so we didn’t know if he could keep them down. She was amazed and asked how we dealt with fevers! Yep, nothing, nada, just rode it out. So a bit later we tried half a tablet. Toby swallowed it, though he went a little red in the face doing it. And then vomited that back up. The doctor was wanting to send us home (Toby not, in reality, being sick enough to be at the hospital), but she didn’t want us to go if we couldn’t find him some relief! I don’t think she’d ever come across a child that couldn’t keep an analgesic down, and she felt really sorry for him. She told us some parents came with chewable Panadol but they didn’t have any or sell any at the hospital, so we finally took Toby home and made a stop on the way to pick up the chewable version of the analgesic. The pharmacist’s only other suggestion was a suppository, but I figured the chewable Panadol is worth a try before having to go that option. So far Toby hasn’t tried it. He fell asleep as soon as we got home and he seems ok this morning.

I’ve never felt like a doctor believe me with my inability to give Toby any analgesics, but the doctor yesterday saw and really sympathised. It was nice to be understood, finally. Now that Toby is older he might be more accommodating to see if other brands of analgesics work for him, but hopefully we won’t have to test them out for a long while.


31 Jul

A few days ago while out driving (we happened to pass a Subway…place..), Toby advised us that he was looking forward to school next year so he could get to try Subway (Subways can be ordered for the last day of term). Apparently he’s missing out by not being allowed to eat fast food. Not really how I see it. 😀

Tooth gone!

28 Jan

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Nathan spent the last half of last year wishing for a wobbly tooth since several of the kids at school had lost a tooth, so it was a very excited Nathan who realised in December that his tooth was loose! However, it also caused him a bit of pain. It was a dead tooth, one that had bled too many times as a toddler who face planted the ground at playgrounds on too many occasions. There was a big red lump on his gum when the tooth first became loose, but it wasn’t bothering him too much at that time so I just decided to wait and watch what happened with it (the dentist had told me to visit if the dead tooth looked like it was becoming an abscess). The red swelling went down but his tooth did bother him quite a bit on occasions.

The loose tooth became a distraction for Toby when he was upset. If Toby was crying, Nathan would just walk up to Toby and open his mouth. Toby would wobble the tooth with his finger, and then giggle, whatever was upsetting him forgotten for a moment.

Nathan was so excited, though, about the tooth falling out. He had all sorts of plans, like looking at it under the microscope and keeping it in his special collection. So yesterday, after lunch, it was a completely devastated little boy who discovered that his tooth was gone and he didn’t have it.

Charlotte Pass/Mount Perrisher

01 Jan

Andrew wanted to do Mount Perrisher for his next SOTA summit. It looked to be a short but steep walk up the mountain from the main road. We decided to think about it a bit and went on to Charlotte Pass for our annual photograph with the Charlotte Pass sign and a wander along the boardwalk to the lookout.

We stopped at a picnic area just off the road on the way back from Charlotte Pass for lunch and then went for a second look at Mount Perrisher. We parked the car and decided to give it a go, so loaded up with water and a bit of food we set off. It was steep, really steep! The track followed the ski lift up, and it was a rough track at best. I was worried about getting down again on the loose gravelly ground, but it wasn’t too bad really, particularly if we walked on the grass beside the track. Toby would have slid down the track a few times if I hadn’t been holding his hand to help steady his feet. The walk was 1.7 km each way with a rise in altitude of around 300 metres. I wouldn’t have been surprised if I couldn’t walk the next day, but I’m happy to report that I had no stiffness but I did feel a bit tired physically.

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View from Charlotte Pass lookout

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Snowy River

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View from Mount Perrisher

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Climbing up the hard way

Bobs Ridge

30 Dec

On Boxing Day we went for a walk so that Andrew could work another SOTA summit. We started at Dead Horse Gap and followed the walking track towards the Cascades Hut. The distance was unknown and Andrew thought it was going to be a relatively easy and relatively short walk, but it proved quite steep, particularly for the last ~1 km, and again I had to wear Toby on my back. The walk ended up being 5.3 km each way with an elevation of ~250 metres from our starting point.

At the top we found a spot on the ridge where Andrew could set up his antenna, and the kids had fun climbing on the rocks around. The whole time we were there we could hear thunder rumbling and I kept an eye on some very dark clouds in the distance. Both kids managed to rip their shorts in exactly the same spot by sliding on their bums down the rocks.

We walked back to the car (Toby got another ride on my back most of the way downhill) with the storm clouds getting ever closer and the rumble of thunder our constant companion. It really was a lovely walk, but we were happy to see the car before the rain started. Toby was very excited to be back and ran full pelt at the gate across the track. He and Nathan had been running under the bottom beam before we started the walk, so Toby thought he could run under it again. Unfortunately for him, though, the bar was closer to the ground at the other end of the gate. He hit his forehead really hard which produced a big egg on his head…not a good end to an otherwise lovely day.

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Walking beside the Thredbo River

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It’s fun to play in water

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Having lunch at the top

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Andrew playing radios

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Playing on the rocks where they ripped their pants

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Approaching storm

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Christmas in the Mountains

30 Dec

We had a lovely, relaxing Christmas. The day was warm and we did very little. The kids opened their presents after lunch and the little microscope Andrew got them was a real hit. They found a few things to look at including muddy water, pebbles and grass seeds. The microscope has a dissecting/confocal option as well as light microscopy. It also came with some prepared slides to look at, like salt crystals, mouth smear and pollen. In the afternoon we also used up 3 over ripe bananas and made a banana cake from scratch and had roast beef for dinner with roasted vegetables. Both kids enjoyed the Bon Bon crackers and wearing the paper crowns and toys that came out of them.

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Mount Kosciuszko Summit

25 Dec

Yesterday we decided to try for the top of Mount Kosciuszko from the top of the Thredbo chairlift. We hadn’t been further than the lookout, just 2 km from the chairlift, for several years. We knew that Nathan would manage the 13 km return walk but we weren’t sure that Toby would. He often stands infront of me with his arms up saying “carry me” and this walk wasn’t any different. Even though it has been at least two years since Toby has been in the mei tai (with the exception of a few weeks ago when he was sick and he tolerated 10 minutes on my back) we took it along with us.

We arrived at the Thredbo top station at 9:45 am and started walking the track. It took us about 45 minutes to walk the 2 km to the first lookout where we had a ‘rest’. The boys didn’t really rest though, they just climbed the rocks. After a drink and a snack we kept walking. It got harder and harder with Nathan complaining and Toby telling me he had sore feet and wanting to be carried. Toby wanted to stop and look at all the little streams of water that we went past, and because he was looking he was the first to see tiny native fish in some of the creeks.

Rawson Pass has changed a lot since I was there last. It used to be a flat area that had gravel off over it and a row of portaloos. Now there is a toilet block, paved footpaths and some signs to read. It is quite a beautiful spot now. Toby was tired and went onto my back at Rawson Pass and then we set off for the final 1.4 km uphill trek to the top of Mount Kosciuszko. Andrew took off ahead of the kids and me so that he could get to the top and set up his radio and antenna for SOTA (summits of the air).

Toby was upset that I wouldn’t let him down when we got to a patch of snow on the side of the track, and I told him that he could walk down on the way back and play in the snow then. We finally got to the top, had the obligatory photo at the stone marker, and sat down for some lunch. We watched Andrew make his first contacts, the boys climbed the rocks (again, instead of resting) and at 1:15 we set off down the mountain, leaving Andrew to finish working on his radio contacts and pack up.

It took us over an hour to get back to Rawson Pass. The boys wanted to walk on the rocks beside the walking track instead of on the walking track, and then they played on both of the patches of snow. At Rawson Pass Toby went back on my back for a while, and it was not far from the Kosciuszko lookout that Andrew caught up with us after leaving the top of the mountain at 2:15 pm. We made it back to the chairlift at 3:45 pm, so we had plenty of time to spare before the chairlift stopped at 4:30 pm ( we had been a bit worried about making it back in time).

It was a great day, perfect weather for a long walk, and as always I adored the views from the top of Australia.

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No running

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Walking with Daddy

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At the lookout….resting….

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Another lookout, near Rawson Pass

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We made it!

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We ALL made it!

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Highest boy in Australia

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Andrew playing on the radio

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Heading down the mountain

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Walking on the rocks beside the track

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Little native fish

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Chairlift back to Thredbo

Bullocks Hut track

23 Dec

We’ve been on the bullocks hut track a couple of times, but yesterday we made it the whole way to the hut. It’s amazing how slow we can be when the kids are on bikes. Toby doesn’t like pedaling uphill and makes me push him, there were a couple of crashes on the loose gravel, it was hot and we had to stop every few minutes for rests and drinks, Toby was constantly “a bit hungry”, and generally it was a frustrating experience for Andrew and me. Still, it was a nice walk.

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