Cold, wet and happy.

Today, along with three other families from Albury Apex, we left the glorious sunshine which had finally made its way to the Dave from Albury compound and headed to Falls Creek. We’re not regular visitors to the snow, in fact this was the first time that Mrsdave has been since well before she fell pregnant with Buster Boy, and my only recreational visit was last year’s Apex trip when we took a group of African refugees to Mt Buffalo.

Buster Boy and the Troll Princess had been excitedly looking forward to the trip, Buster Boy because of his memories of last year’s trip, the Troll Princess because Dora rescued a snow princess once (actually it’s been dozens of times, DVD repetition is the bane of a parent’s life). We hired some gear in Mount Beauty and headed up the mountain, trying all of the usual distractions that you throw out when trying to avoid the kids feeling queasy on a windy road. As we passed the sign marking ten kilometres from the village I switched to ‘who can see the first snow?’ as I knew we were nearing the area where we’d start to see it on the road side.

Well, I thought I knew. Higher and higher we drove, with no sign of snow on the roadsides or in the nearby scrub. In fact we drove all the way into the village before we saw any real piles of snow anywhere. We made our way to the aptly named Windy Corner, where the toboggan slope is located, and braved the icy squalls and grey skies. To our delight, all of the kids took to the slope with gusto, although they were far less keen on dragging their sleds back up the hill.

After plenty of trips down the hill, including all of the Dads, and then Mums, racing each other (Mrsdave won, I disgraced our family) we retired to the nearby shelter for some lunch. It was great to be out of the wind and snow for a while, and there is something sublime about communal food.

We headed out again to build some snow men, but the entire enterprise soon devolved into a snowball fight. We didn’t have long though, as the wind picked up even further, chasing us back to our cars. After a relaxing drive back down the mountain we reconvened at the Dederang Pub for a few quiet ales before going our separate ways. All in all, a fantastic day, made even better by sharing the experience with good friends.

Albury Apex goes to the snow.

Last December the Apex Club of Albury hosted four refugee families who had recently settled in Albury at our family Christmas party. It was a fantastic day where we were able to welcome the new settlers to our community and the members of the Club were enriched by hearing their stories.

A few months ago I turned my thoughts to finding something else that the Club could do for this community. The program co-ordinator from Vinnies was really grateful to hear from the Club again and when I asked her what we could do to help out she responded, “Well they’ve never seen the snow”. This wasn’t a particularly surprising observation, given that the bulk of the families were from Sudan, but it seemed like the sort of challenge that our Club could handle.

After a few logistical setbacks, today we managed to take thirty new settlers to Mount Buffalo to see snow for the first time in their lives. I don’t think that I can really express what it was like to share the joy that they felt, but I do know that the deep sense of satisfaction that I have right now will certainly carry me for some time. Photos of the trip over the fold. Continue reading “Albury Apex goes to the snow.”