A chilly day in Canberra today. The front moving across fresh from a sellout tour of Antarctica has dumped snow and frigid temperatures right across the south and eastern states of Australia. Some areas have seen snow for the first time in 20 years. And not just a sprinkle, we are talking serious snowman (snow-person?) construction. We are talking make a sled out of anything you can find at hand and get busy with it. We are talking snowballs incoming.
Although curtains of freezing wind and thick sleety rain (Ill call it as proto-snow) moved across us during the day, not really enough to stick.
We woke to find a fresh frosting of snow across much of the Brindabella mountain range and quickly joined the many other people on pilgrimage seeking higher elevations to access the snow or to find vantage spots to check it out.
We decided to avoid the icy roads and instead drove up Mount Stromlo (770 metres) for a better view.
My friends and I used to regularly ride our bikes up Stromlo when we were kids. We used to pack lunches and head off for the day to check out the multiple telescope observatories (we were sort of nerds), manufacture audacious adventures, and eventually just sit eating our sandwiches, unfolding long conversations inspired by the valley views.
Of course, there was always a hell-for-leather race back down again. Sketchy bikes, no helmets, brakes marginal.
I have no idea how we survived puberty.
On 18th of January 2003 five of the telescopes, as well as workshops and seven homes on Stromlo were destroyed by the Canberra Firestorm (you can read about my experiences at this time here).
Despite the devastation caused by the fire the place really hasn’t changed all that much since back then when we used to call it ours.
Today, Juno Kelly and I walked around checking out the place amidst icy flurries of proto snows and a wind chill in the negative digits.
Insane amounts of kangaroo scat had all frozen into a field of brown ball-bearings making moving around unexpectedly treacherous for us, but a smorgasbord of chewy poopsicles to be sampled for Juno.
Across the valley some serious dumps were snagging up against the Brindabellas. It was way cool.
Eventually, we all retreated back to the warmth of the car to sit looking out across the valley and unfold our own view inspired conversations.