Yay we're off again.

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Yay we're off again.

Postby Fonty » Thu May 17, 2007 7:56 pm

Beren needs a break from his studies.. boy it's hard being a 4 year old at homeschool! Not. :armsup

So we're off camping again this weekend. I just did a whip-round at Anaconda grabbing a couple of extra things we need like an extra blow-up pillow and camp-mat for him. I also went for the cheap hiking tent rather than taking my slightly bigger and heavier one, and they had -5 degree rated sleeping bags in smaller size for only $39.. which I didn't really need but will for the older girls whenever they come camping again.. And a map of the area too.. So- crossing my fingers it all goes in the packs tomorrow- we're ready! Yay!

Beren doesn't mind the rain so the showers that are forecast shouldn't hurt us, he has raincoat and pants to keep him dry even if everything else gets wet. It'll be his first actual hike so I'm allowing plenty of time to get to a camping spot.

Weeeee, I'm very excited. :lol:
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Postby Blue Bravo » Thu May 17, 2007 8:42 pm

Have fun. Damn you can spend money in those camping places eh 8)
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Postby mytribe » Fri May 18, 2007 8:24 am

Where are you off to Fonty?

God you're brave going camping if the current weather keeps up. :grin:
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Postby Komodo » Fri May 18, 2007 10:50 am

Sounds good Fonty.

I'm spewing as this weekend the boys from the fishing club are heading up big river. But im in Ballarat judging a Car Audio competition :(
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Postby Scolers » Fri May 18, 2007 11:33 am

Have fun!!

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Postby Fonty » Fri May 18, 2007 11:38 am

Sounds like fun komodo but I think I'll stick with the camping trip. ::() I've just bought a new cd player off eBay, I'll be having enough fun getting my untechie mind around the install after I pick it up next week! :--?

We're going back to Lerderderg Gorge mytribe, last time I went up that way I just turned around and drove on coz we couldn't camp near the car but now I'm all geared up we will be able to walk through the gorge a bit and find a camping spot. Explore one of the big mines on the way out too if we have time. :)

Both my young kids love the water in any form it comes. They have just as much fun outside on a rainy day as on a sunny day.. maybe more coz I'm not nagging at them to wear a hat. 8) And showers with a bit of a downpour here and there shouldn't be a problem if our kit stands up to it and keeps us dry and happy. Wet forests are a different world most don't get to experience.

Well I guess most don't want to but I'm one that does. :armsup
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Postby Ozzycamperboy » Fri May 18, 2007 2:57 pm

8)

I'd hike through the rain, but I'd bring liquid fire to warm up.

Had to work in the rain today, that was most unpleasant.

Have fun dude :armsup
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Postby Fonty » Mon May 21, 2007 11:45 am

It was a disaster! We were prepared for rain and it was a clear and mostly sunny warm day! We were totally unprepared for nice weather! :shock:

Okay so it was great. :armsup The short version is it was a great first hike for Beren in some beautiful wilderness. And a great getaway for the weekend for me.

Here is the longwinded story for the bored:

We headed out on Saturday morning for our first hiking trip, leaving just before 10am. I had mostly packed the packs but had to do the perishables in the morning before we left and a few other final touches this being our first actual hiking trip together.

We were all petrolled up so we got to the Gorge without any stops, a few missed turns and swearing about lack of signage was about all. Smile We got there just after 11am.

Now it was time for final-final adjustments of our packs and we headed off. Yay! About 50 metres down the track Beren was christened by slipping in some mud from the day before.. it spread all the way across the field so it was hard to avoid. Coming back the next day I noticed it was an overflow from a little drainage ditch that hadn't been cleared for some time.

Beren had a muddy bum and legs after that but despite the weather predictions the sun was out and it was warm enough that I knew it would dry easy enough- we went on.

He dawdled a bit on the hike out, and we had a couple of standing breaks and one or two where I let him have his pack off.. maybe only one of them. He was ready for one when I recognised that we were close to our destination. The hike was only 1.6 kms.- a good start for him.

We stopped at what they called a dam on the map, which was just a pool of muddy water. I remember taking a friend there once and having a swim in it- not today!

We unhooked out packs and rested then I scouted around and found a decent camping spot. Still on the original river bed but well above any possible flooding that the gorge could have in store. The fire circle was a bit lower down maybe 20 or 30 metres from the tent but I didn't want to pollute the place with a second fireplace and was just as happy not to have the smoke from the fire invade our tent for a change. :)

It was a fairly relaxed day after that, we had lunch first then I built a fire but didn't light it right away, and put up the tent. Beren had a few games to play so I joined him in them as well, and lay back on the soft river sand a few times for some nice cat naps. Smile A few day walkers wandered back and forward during the afternoon, not that many.

There were two water puddles below our camp on the stones, one was murky, the other I was almost tempted to try.. it was clear as a bell and I figured it was just rainwater from the downpours we'd just had. The only thing that stopped me was that I was responsible for Beren so I figured best to play it safe. :)

Mid to late afternoon after our exploring was done I lit the fire.. and though it was a lovely day the downpours had had their effect and it was a bit of a pain to light.. the wood looked dry enough but even some of the thistles I was starting it with were still wet enough to resist combustion. However the problem was far from insurmountable and once I realised it needed a bit more car we had a nice blaze going.

I had not watch or any other way to tell the time in a civilised way so waited for the sun to fall behind the not-too-high hill behind us to start thinking about dinner. Beren just had a pastie I'd brought with us and I cooked up some veggie sausages. A very yummy meal. :)

Beren was keen to get to bed not long after dusk so I zipped our -8 degree sleeping bags together and then we got in and I read him some more of "The Hobbit" which we'd recently started. Then it was toilet time and I pointed out the Southern Cross to him, which was shining brightly into the front of our tent by then. :)

This was a first run for the hiking tent and the sleeping bags too. I soon unzipped my sleeping bag so as to avoid being cooked by the morning. Smile The tent seemed fine I didn't bother rolling down the front while the stars were visible.. however later in the night clouds rolled over and I heard some drizzling rain on the tent so I zipped up.

Bad move that one, that was the only rain we had and the fly must have started getting wet with condensation right away.. Beren's breathing also got effected quickly after that though I didn't realise how bad it was till later.. Closer to dawn I threw the zipped up front of the fly back over the top of the tent behind us and slept the rest of the night with it open.

We were up with the dawn or not long after. Didn't bother too much with the fire though Beren got a couple of blazes out of it as we wandered around doing different things. It was cold-ish, but not too bad. I was warm enough after doing my Early Morning Stretch and Beren after chopping a few miscreant branches with the hand-axe.

Everything packed away very easily though I had to towel dry the tent before stowing that due to the dew that was over most of the inside of the fly and the tent too where I'd thrown the fly over it. Having to dry a tent when we'd had no rain as such was more than a bit annoying. I am thinking this may be one of the reasons I always used to stick with a basic fly for shelter in the past rather than lugging a full on tent around with me. The packing was soon done though, and everything went back in both packs easily enough which is always a relief. :)

Beren was a reall trooper on the way out, doing the hike with only one break about halfway, which I called to check out one of the old gold mine caves above the track. It was a crawl in mine, most are.. Beren tried to go in but was a bit scared so didn't get far. I went in a bit and saw that in got bigger inside but didn't go far either as Beren didn't want to. From there again no breaks all the way back to the car.

From there we headed back to Melbourne but not home, we had an appointment at Scienceworks at 5.30pm to get to. So we stopped at Melton on the way. I was just thinking we'd hit the shopping centre and clean up in there but really wanted a shower. On the way off the freeway I saw a sign for a Swimming Centre so we went there instead and swam for about an hour and a half, even got a couple of minutes of waves to play in and I got to stretch after the hike and a 20 minute spa while Beren played on his own as well!

Then we got a proper shower as a bonus of course, then went to the shopping centre for lunch. We found a place that did pancakes and nachoes so we ordered that. Beren loved it all as you could imagine, and actually used the knife and fork on the pancakes. He nearly destroyed the clothes I'd planned for him to go to Scienceworks in though, so we had to clean up once again in the shopping centre loo's!

It was still early by this time, so we headed up to Scienceworks to have a visit before the Invite show began. I decided it would be a good chance to take Beren to the Planetarium for the first time too. They had a show made with the local aboriginal tribe which he enjoyed in spite of being desperate for a wee at the time. ;)

After dinner we returned and did more at Scienceworks, Beren getting the most out of his time there.

All in all a great weekend. :)
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Postby Fonty » Mon May 21, 2007 11:48 am

Oh and I prefer solid fuel arguments to help light a fire in dire need, less dramatic but lighter and less bulky to carry. :)

Besides, the only liquids I bring are to be drunk, and if I was without kids and had a combustible drink with me it would be too hard a decision whether to waste it on the fire rather than pour it down my throat. :beer
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Postby Ozzycamperboy » Mon May 21, 2007 4:50 pm

Fonty wrote:

Besides, the only liquids I bring are to be drunk,


Thats what I meant, bring me my firewater cheif :armsup :lol:

I'll read your long winded version later, looks fun
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Postby Blue Bravo » Mon May 21, 2007 9:24 pm

Sounds like you have a happy camper there. Great father son weekend :+
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Postby Troyk » Mon May 21, 2007 11:57 pm

Well done Fonty. You definetly know how to get a lot of a weekend.
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Postby jollyroger » Fri May 25, 2007 2:11 pm

I read that with much envy!
Sounded great.

But alas we are off camping over the June long weekend. I've managed to scam four days off.
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Postby mummeee74 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:14 am

Brilliant weekend Fonty!! My 4yo would love that too
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