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Driving to the snow over the years

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by pegasusSki, May 22, 2020.

  1. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki One of Us

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    How do people cope with the logistics of regular drives to the snow, especially with M-F work and kids? What resort do people go to - and routes. How often do people go?

    For me, coming from the SE it can be a pain to get on to highways, and I hate Black Spur on the way to Mansfield (etc) so often take Yarra Glen.

    Work is OK to get on the Hume. Can get the hrs behind me before I even have to think which exit I am talking..

    Part of the difficulty is kids - not so much taking them, but organising around, and looking at schedules etc if taking them out of activities, (or indeed childcare, or standins to take to sports). At least singles can take off and be back - then recuperate.

    *How often did you make tjhe trip when at your most regular?
    *Starting point, resort destination of choice - did starting point make a difference
    *Dealing with the drive - stops etc
    *'Long' weekend strategies
    *Tip and tricks
    *What you hate / what you like
     
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  2. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Grandpa oh and computer programmer too.
    Ah memories. My main hate is those adventures are now but a distant memory. Great stuff @pegasusSki , have fond memories down the track!
     
  3. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    My eldest turned 4 in March, and the other one made her appearance last week, so up until now it's been a relative doddle - he worked around our schedule.

    I can image that it will all get more complicated as they enter schooling years. At present the choice of resort has been determined by his desire to follow my lead and snowboard. Perisher is the only place that allows kids <7 years old to do all day snowboarding lessons. As he gets older, it will be a cost game I think, but I have been eyeing off a lodge at Dinner Plain to provide a base, especially once he is past the point of lessons being an essential thing.
     
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  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates One of Us

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    We'd do Sydney to Falls twice a year when the kids were in preschool - once for 2 weeks, then again late season for a third week.

    All day Snowclub - kids learnt black runs at 4½ (they were taken down St Elmo's).

    When they were in school, we were restricted to 3 weeks school holidays. By the time they were in Yr 7, they were getting a bit difficult to get out of the apartment for more than a few hours so we've given the last couple of years a miss. I was hopeful of a return this year.

    The breaks became fewer over the years (South Gundagai, Tarcutta, Holbrook, Albury, Mt Beauty) to Tarcutta or Holbrook then alpine diesel at Albury or Mt Beauty.

    Food - apartment living, so we took most of it with from Sydney but now more like an Aldi stop at Wodonga or Arnolds (have used Vegitation but they no longer deliver for apartments). Perishables are topped up from Foodworks.

    Edit: road has improved markedly over the years with several by-passes on the Hume. The trip was 10-11 hrs with breaks. Now it's more like 7 including stops and fuel If we're fully loaded the night before. Often a 7am start with a 2 pm arrival to the apartment (including Oversnow & parking).
     
    #4 Scott No Mates, May 23, 2020
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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  5. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    We do a late leave for least amount of traffic on the road. Makes for a relaxing trip that is as fast as possible. Kid home from school and Mrs home from work at 5pm. Leave the car packed as much as possible. Have dinner in town (dubbo) and then leave around 7pm. Get to Thredbo around 0130. Ladies . generally Sleep after 10pm and I drive . First lifts and ski all day Saturday. Eat quickly before kid loses it at the end of the day. Back in van by 7pm and we all sleep early and wake early. First lifts to about 3 or 4pm and then bail. Home by 10-11pm. Knackered but heaps of coffee on Monday.

    Sleeping in the van saves heaps of transfer time. Would not work for us otherwise.
     
  6. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    When the offspring was under 8 we knew every public toilet and playground between Sydney and the Tube.

    2 words - talking books.
     
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  7. Belly

    Belly A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm still a year off this, but I'm also <2hrs to Jindy so no real issue. For snowplay we've just left home at a reasonable hour, say 8ish and depart the snow area no later than 3pm'ish.

    There was a good related thread last year (I think) where a Vic ski.commer was discussing the family logistics of a nsw ski road trip.
     
  8. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I stopped driving down to Jindy after work following one of those microsleep episodes depicted so vividly in the tv road safety ads
    better to be scared half to death than squashed on the front of a semi or up a tree
     
  9. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    When my little one was say under 3...maybe 4...we skipped weekend trips and just did one or two 7 or 9 day blocks for the season. We generally drove in the day time from Sydney to Goulburn, then something to eat and a play in the park, then down to either Queanbeyan or Cooma for an overnight in a motel, and then down to the lodge for the week.

    As she got older we just reverted to the two stop trip - one in either Goulburn (by the highway) or Queanbeyan Maccas and a driver change, and then a petrol top up and driver change in Cooma. There may also be a supermarket shop if stopping in Qby or Cooma, if it’s a week long trip.

    Either leave around 4pm and get in somewhere between 10.30 and 11pm, or at 6pm and get in around 11.30pm-12pm.
     
  10. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    That was probably either me or @Tanuki
     
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  11. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    I refused to participate in the Friday night Sunday night Mad Max road trip scenario and left Thursday arvo, back Sunday morning.

    Kids liked that much better also.

    Lots of driving, lots of chatting, just me and the two boys. Load up and away we go, snacks, iPods, books, staring out the window.

    The boys where 5 and 3 for their first ski trip, then divorce so just me and them after that. Luckily we had Jindy friend to stay home with and he had a young son as well.

    Took them to Chamonix when they where 8 and 6. That was awesome, 8 kids and 4 adults in a two bed loft apartment in Argentierre.
     
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  12. kaegee

    kaegee One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    We started to include the trip as part of the 7 day holiday. With a Sunday change over we left at leisurely mid day ish Saturday ,staying at a Cooma Motel or Oz Pub by 5 . Rythym shop if needed ,dinner, breakfast ,shop and be in Thredbo for an afternoon ski . If you booked multiple days online the afternoon before is free ...or have season pass . Warm up the daughter before Ski School Mon . Sunday arv is quiet . Just one busy Sat. Leisurely 10/11 drive home Sun . Though this is the family trip not my own snow dependant flurries with a bud . Anything goes there. Speed doesn’t always kill...kidding !!!
     
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  13. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver A Local

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    Gold Coast to Thredbo every year.

    Take off Thursday afternoon after my wife finishes at school. Brown bag it for dinner so we can keep the pedal to the metal. Stop at Taree for the night. Breakfast at Olivers in Bulahdela, lunch at Olivers, Goulburn. Then straight through to Thredbo. Kids now 12 & 14. They're used to it but they do need some form of entertainment. Books, ipads with movies and series etc.
     
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  14. Xwing

    Xwing One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Can recall from here it was the motorway to Hornsby, then down to Canterbury Road or Old Canterbury Road. Through the traffic until at last arriving at Liverpool where the motorway south commenced. Still many old sections most of the way - bits of the Hume I saw become reality are now getting old - over 30 years. Through Berrima (the Mittagong bypass was not built and so Mittagong was the first stop), then all the way through Goulburn often stopping at a cafe there (they used to see a lot of business back then), then along the old highway past Lake George when water came up to the edge. Through Queanbeyan and then onto the Monaro Hwy for the still familiar trek to Cooma and then on to Jindabyne. There was a CB radio - no phones or pads. Back home was always a burger stop in Queanbeyan.

    When my son was old enough, I did a few trips leaving his place at Ulladulla around 4am for the drive straight to the snow - a full day of lessons for him and skiing etc, then back to the motel. Repeat same for next two days, then back home. Only took him on one weekend jaunt and he mastered it....but I think the pay TV at the motel kept him motivated. He is adult now so those days are already behind us...so soon, so quickly.
     
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  15. Stick

    Stick Addicted

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    We are really lucky.. Prior to daughter wife would leave work early hit the road and miss most of the outbound traffic in Melbourne, i would catch train to Seymour, pub dinner then continue to drive up the freeway.. Either head to Inlaws place in Yarrawonga or drive to Mt Beauty. Friends have a house in Mt Beauty that we use or if we are really lucky another friend has a house at Falls. I find that getting out of the city is the hardest part & if you can leave early enough you avoid most of the headaches..

    Now its pick up daughter from daycare and plan stops & food along the way.. She is too young for ipad etc
     
  16. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I used to do the weekend warrior thing for about 6 years.

    Played around with various departure times, 12noon clearing sydney was good. if you couldn't do that then the least stressful time was 6pm (from inner sydney so traffic had cleared -ish)

    When we were planning on doing it with a child in tow i would have aimed for either an early start (take the day off) or a 6pm departure. having feed the family before getting in the car. Hoping said child would sleep most of the way (dim lights, soft music etc)

    I played around with the return journey, again for me i found it better to eat before departing (i worked on the sunday so full day on hill)

    Always stop for fuel in Canberra. even though we didn't need it, it meant not needing to do it in jindy. The timing just worked best.

    I have done the trip with kids and its just a nightmare getting them back in the car after stopping. so aiming for sleeping or nap time in the car seemed a winner.

    SYD - Jindy trips
     
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  17. xuěboarder

    xuěboarder One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Victoria, buller bred but have done the drive for all.
    I've day tripped all the Vic resorts and overnighted at the majors.
    Buller:
    Predominantly the hume to Broadford, yea. I'm northern suburbs so this is alot quicker (3h from accom to home is the record) but I've also done the kinglake way. Take your pick for risks - broadford to yea is animal paradise but I'd rather that than the god awful early morning fog on the kinglake route.
    From experience, animals much worse the broadford way at night. Have seen pretty much all but no issues yet (touch wood).
    You also avoid the traffic this way on a friday night until yea.
    Falls and hotham:
    Straight up the hume, rest stop at glenny maccas. GAR can be sketchy at night but not bad. Have seen more than enough deer around to be cautious.
     
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  18. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I've found that unless you can round everyone up and leave at or before 4pm sharp, don't bother leaving until 7pm. It's not worth leaving at 5, to then be stuck in traffic and decide you want to do the pub at 6:30 for dinner. Might as well eat while the traffic is bad, then leave town. If fortunate to have gotten away at 4, you can make Milawa, Myrtleford or Bright for a (lateish) dinner.
    Observation based on Melbourne to Hotham trips.
     
  19. Izzy

    Izzy One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    We have done Sawtell (near Coffs Harbour) to Thredbo or Perisher for the last 5 years - kids are now 8 and 10. We leave Saturday morning earlyish for the ~8 hour slog to Goulburn. Overnight in Goulburn, and then through to Thredbo/Perisher, arriving around lunchtime for a 7 night stay. On the way home we normally smash it out all in one hit, which is around 11 hours, so it makes for a big day. This year we are (Covid dependent!) thinking of just doing 5 nights on snow, stay in Canberra on the Friday/Saturday nights, Questacon etc on Saturday, and then the 9 hour drive back on the Sunday. We take the kids out of school too - no way am I paying those rates or dealing with those crowds.
     
  20. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Brunswick to hotham (mostly)

    Smaller kids (say youngest = 5) - week blocks, drive up in the day, drive the GAR in the daylight up / down. Look at weather to decide if via omeo

    Older kids, weekend warriors, but often long weekends, leave at 6am, ski friday arvo. Leaving melbourne at 4pm can be a nigjtmare but yes we have done it. Off the mountain 2pm sunday

    Lesson with small kids - dont 'break the drive' by staying somewhere overnight. Just more shenanigans

    Kids sport and friends - it just gets harder so be prepared to go alone with one kid and one of their friends

    Now we have teens i tend to take a friend more often than the whole family
     
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  21. Cam Slee

    Cam Slee One of Us

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    Only takes me 30 minutes to get to Falls Creek from home,
    1 1/2 hours to Hotham if there's snow on the Great Alpine Road.
     
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  22. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Bundoora start for me, so that cuts out around 30 mins on the northbound journey.

    For our trips to Perisher, the choice is whether we take a long relaxed day driving, pull into the accommodation and then hit the snow the next day, or stop somewhere just outside the range of the resorts, have an early start the next day and get a full day of snow. I favour the latter, as it means we aren't paying for a night of on-snow accommodation that isn't really used.
     
  23. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    yeah we went to perisher last year, left 7pm, daggy hotel in wodonga at 10.30, then skiing early arvo
     
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  24. W0nkey D0nkey

    W0nkey D0nkey One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Finish work at 1:30 pm every friday
    Van is already packed or not even unpacked from the weekend before.
    Leave Wollongong at 2pm, beers at the Banj by 7pm
     
  25. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    My plans this year are subject to change, but currently it's home to Khancoban on Sat, up at sparrow's on Sunday to get the skitube up so Mr 4 can go into snowboard-school for the day, solo riding until late lunch, then skitube down, grab luggage, back up, collect small person and head to lodge.

    It's just the two of us this year, so my riding time is limited to when he's in care of some form basically.
     
  26. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    There is a lot of pleasure to be had sliding with your child, whatever the terrain.
     
  27. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Even 3 is getting dicey, for me this is for Buller but I tend to go up the Hume quite often so for the same reasons.

    As mentioned elsewhere for Buller it depends on where in Melbourne you're leaving from and at what time, from work in Prahran I tend to favour going up the Hume via Kingsway, I think we've done this more often over the last couple of years as we have had a sleeping child and we've found that even though the Hume is 30km further the fact that you're not stopping means less chance of waking up compared with the stretch between the end of the Ringwood Bypass and turning off the Maroondah at Chirnside Park. Also we've found ourselves leaving at about 6:30 - 7pm just for the sleep reason, you can arrive at Buller and get her in to bed without much waking up and disruption.

    If I do go via Yarra Glen I find myself crossing the river at the MacRobertson bridge at Burnley and then going north on Power St through Kew Junction, then get on the Eastern Fwy at Chandler Hwy. Straight up Punt Rd to the Eastern is suicide at most times of the day.

    We rarely come home via the Hume.

    This is the route I'd take via Yarra Glen: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/2+G...430a05470!2m2!1d146.4489704!2d-37.1467949!3e0

    This is the route I'd take via the Hume, not much rocket science there just get off at Broadford and cut off the corner to Yea via Strath Creek: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/2+G...05470!2m2!1d146.4489704!2d-37.1467949!3e0!5i1

    The one secret to leaving Buller is to leave late, even have dinner there if you can, or in Mansfield. The skiing on a Sunday afternoon can be glorious, and if you're pulling out of Mansfield at 7:30ish it's generally a pretty smooth run. I do laugh sometimes at the people who race off the hill and cut their ski day short at say 2pm 'to beat the traffic' - they don't realise it but they ARE the traffic!

    Stops - only stop on the way home for Alpine Diesel every second trip.
     
  28. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Very true, but at age 4 there is a lot more frustration. I look forward to laying some foundation skills down with him this year and him smoking me on runs within 4 years.
     
  29. Chaeron

    Chaeron Ski-Hike-Blade-Bike-Kayak Ski Pass: Gold

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    Have done multiple one-day returns out of Melbourne to Falls.

    Go to bed early, Leave early enough to be on the mountain by 8. Finish by 4. Drive back. Stupid!

    The micro-sleep - fatal - and frightening.

    The solution - feel sleepy, pull over, sleep for 25 minutes, drive, feel sleepy, pull over - as often as needed.

    Coffee, open windows, pumping road trip playlist- no point.

    Moved to doing overnight trips wherever possible. And a decent meal stop on the way home.Benalla.
     
  30. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Why do you get frustrated? It is not your job to teach. You are paying someone in a uniform a lot of money to do that. Your job is to follow him (and he will take you to some weird and wonderful places through which you cannot fit) and make admiring noises.
     
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  31. Arne

    Arne One of Us

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    I do the Sydney(Northern Beaches)-Thredbo run maybe 20 times a year. Love skiing, love mtb.
    Got it down to a fine art making it easy for ourselves. Cars are always winter/distance prepared.
    About 12 trips in winter, the rest in summer.
    In winter never fri-sun. So Thurs-sun or fri-mon, or longer trips. I cut grass for a living so flexible in winter. We always leave both Sydney and Thredbo lunchtime 1pm to get ahead of traffic.
    Allow 6 hour drive for 520kms but often only a 5hr 30min run. Was 8 hours in early 1980s.
    I'll do maybe 10-15 trips solo or with friends so only 5 trips with the family. Met my wife skiing, got married in the snow. I think the kids were conceived in the snow. Prep is key. Food, drink, pillows blankets, I pad, DVD, music for the family. Even a sunshade for the setting sun. They're used to it.
    Just food and music when driving solo.
    Stop at Pheasants Nest and Lake George for driver swap. Or punch out the big one when driving solo.
    Run Waze for GPS speed and stick it in cruise. Booked for speeding only once since 1990.
    Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate.
    I've seen it all. Other drivers are scary. Unfortunately hit about 5 animals in 35years. But no cars...
     
  32. skull

    skull One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    • Every weekend once the lifts are spinning up to closing weekend (might be a couple weekends I miss due to work)
    • Starting point Canberra, to Thredbo, yes.
    • Usually no stops as it is only 2.5 hours from door to car park. Might do toilet breaks at bredbo, cooma, and berridale.
    • This also applies to Sunday during peak. Either leave late, or have dinner there (including Jindy or Cooma) to avoid traffic mayhem or leave by lunch.
    • Car is packed Thursday night, fuelled, snacks positioned. I would leave work at 1530 and we are on the road by 1600.
    • Driving early morning as wombats are suicidal and dh drivers overtaking dangerously.
     
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  33. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Because he's learning to snowboard, so at the moment it's still just heelside side-slipping. I eagerly await the day that he has the confidence to point the board straight and can link some turns.
     
  34. Peanut

    Peanut One of Us

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    There were a couple of years when I did a day on the snow with the boys. Hubby wasn't prepared to do all the driving for one day on the snow. I was teaching at Bulahdelah at the time, so I'd jump in the pre-loaded car at around 3:30pm on Friday afternoon and meet up with hubby at Heatherbrae to collect the kids. From there I'd keep driving to either the twin servos on the M1 or Maccas at Thornleigh for dinner, then continue driving to my mum's place at Queanbeyan. I'd arrive somewhere between 9:30-10pm and make sure everyone was showered before going to bed. I'd then wake up at 4:45pm, get my thermals and ski pants on, get the kids up and into their thermals, then hit the road. We'd stop at Cooma for breakfast, then continue on to either Selwyn or the ski tube. We'd start moving for the return trip by around 4pm and get back to Queanbeyan for dinner by about 7pm.

    Last year I decided I didn't want to do the drive by myself and decided to go on a three day Port Stephens Coaches trip to Perisher. The rest of the family decided they wanted to join me, so we all went. Sleeping on the bus overnight is not the most comfortable thing, but it sure beats solo driving. We're thinking of driving down for a 5 day trip late in the season this year.
     
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  35. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Best we ever got out of my daughter was about 3hours. The few times we got a 4hour travel window i got a nice surprise when lifting her out of the car seat. A hand full of runny poo. These events are still talked about. We refer to a bad poo as a "Gatton Exit" or a "Bell River special".

    "Gatton Exit" poo is characterised by poo being contained within the clothing but being smeared from thigh to mid torso. Horrendous gut curdling stench that causes both parents to dry reach and be forced to leave the scene to recompose periodically. Poo so named from the location of the event. Pushing to get to the goldie the crying infant forced us to pull into the Gatton Exit from the Toowoomba to Brisbane freeway.

    "Bell River" poo is characterised by yellow brown ooze filling the nappy and lower regions of the car seat. Thank christ there was a river there so we could do a rough wash of the car seat cushions so we could get home. Occured at the Bell River bridge at Neurie.

    The "Canobolas" is also remembered occasionally. Trip up there for snow play and we got a poo that was so bad we exhausted all the wipes and had to sacrifice some clothing to make good.
     
  36. Peanut

    Peanut One of Us

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    Hubby had to deal with a couple of those types of incidents years ago when I was doing a degree by distance ed and had to attend residential schools. We had travelled to Rockhampton and hubby took our older son for a walk in his stroller. I got a rather panicked phone call because our then 8 month old had managed a poo-splosion that went from his neck to his knees. I told hubby to get in the shower with him fully clothed, then strip him off under the water. I think the stroller cover got rinsed off in the shower before being put through the washing machine.

    Funnily enough, the very worst of those incidents always happened to hubby when I wasn’t around.
     
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  37. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki One of Us

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    hey mate - maybe lose the address in the google directions? Thanks for the tip - I often take the B300 up north but not for the snow, yet.
     
  38. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki One of Us

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    Ahhhh- the old glenny maccas. I always note the difference between the locals, (and not so locals) and the skiers/outdoor crowd in dress-sense.

    Keep them coming folks!
     
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  39. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hahaha!

    I'm guessing it's the shop (free advertising!)
     
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  40. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thanks for the concern but everyone knows where I work. And if they don’t they should!!!
     
  41. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Vermillion
     
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  42. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Until the boys where toilet trained we stayed pretty close to home with a few solo ski trips from Adelaide to Jindy for me only.
     
  43. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Buller drive of approx 3h15m moving time unless you’re leaving the city at some sort of suicidal peak hour definitely helps, Little Miss has done it since she was 4 weeks old, probably done it 20+ times already, we often do the trip non-stop and if we do it’s rarely because of her. No poonamis.....yet.......
     
  44. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    We've had to stop at a shopping center (Chadstone of all places) and go shopping for a new outfit, the result was that bad once. Literally just threw every piece of clothing out and I held my daughter in a blanket (after using half a box of wipes) while my wife went and found a new outfit from Target.

    My son never did shit like that.
     
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  45. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    If it's not an explosion and contained within the bag then they can deal with it for a while and that will teach them to hold on in the future. I aint stopping for that.
     
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  46. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki One of Us

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    Gee - none of my kids ever pooed that much, and not one of them - there were 3! - ever projectile vomited. In 7 years it was a nappy change - that was it. And there was never any dramas about burping them - it wasn't necessary. That seemed an enforced drama some people seemed to go through the motions with - like they had seen the trick somewhere and thought it was a thing?
     
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  47. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    CG is woefully underprepared for an event like this, when I’m in charge I feel like I bring enough supplies to cope with a catastrophe. It’s going to happen one day and i’m just going to stand there and say ‘I told you so!’*


    *may or may not be how this plays out in reality.
     
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  48. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki One of Us

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    I do now - might have to pay a visit. It worked!
     
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  49. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    My daughter is some sort of a food eating machine. I've never seen anything like it.
     
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  50. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki One of Us

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    Yup, sometimes the "I told you so!" is best unvoiced*

    *I don't claim to be an expert in these things as things HAVE played out where I did voice something and then regretted it
     
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