Lake Mountain

For whatever reason the place is called such, no lake can be found up there. It’s a mountain, yes. But as far as a body of water is concerned, there is none.

It snows there during winter, though. Which was why we drove there in the first place. Also because it’s the closest one from home. About an hour and a half to two hours of travel from where we live, depending on how good your phone provider’s GPS signal is because once you lose it in a forest of towering gum trees that grow alongside a narrow and winding two-way mountain road to Marysville, you may as well take out your pendulum to show you the way.

Getting there was such a scenic drive. What made it more beautiful was the fact that it didn’t rain on that August day, something that I was a bit worried about because rain means slush and slush means melted snow. I didn’t want Raven’s first snow experience to be that of jumping in muddy puddles. Something that could’ve easily been prevented if I had not booked tickets when winter was almost finished but, well, there we were.

Better late than never.

By the time we got to Lake Mountain Visitor Centre where we were to catch the 10:00am shuttle that was to take us to the top, we had some time to spare. The little town centre that sat on the foothill of the plateau was bustling with tourists renting and returning snow gear, sipping coffee, or shopping for snow essentials. It was in one of those shops there that I bought Raven a pair of proper mittens that she can still use for the next two years as they ended up being a size too big for her. The mother in me was apprehensive that the knit gloves I bought for her at Kmart the night before would not be enough to protect her hands from the cold.

I shouldn’t have worried too much. When we got there, there was barely any snow. Some of it probably melted when it rained the night before, as per the staff’s report as she slid neon sticker bands on our wrists. On the bright side, the rain spared enough to keep the toboggan and ski areas open.

The place was fairly small. I expected a bit more, to be honest. It was like one of those Instagram vs Reality kind of things where the pictures look awesome if you just zoom in at a particular angle.

So that’s exactly what we did.

The general area wasn’t even real snow. Instead, there was this big loud machine that sprayed ice particles on what looked like a snow mound where people went to have their photos taken to make it look like it was snowing.

Stand there long enough and you’re bound to get injured. Think water gun. Except that it was a bazooka hurling ice pellets, thus the WARNING: DANGER TO EYES sign. A caution we half ignored as we laid there on the snow when the crowd parted and an opportunity for a good photo opened to us.

That was us shielding our eyes and heads with our hands.

Tobogganing down the slopes was fun. The walk back uphill wasn’t. Raven wanted to go again and again and again. That job fell on Jeff, who, at one point had to carry both Raven and the toboggan back up before doing it all over again.

Kudos to all the huffing and panting dads out there doing the same thing.

One of the best things that happened on that trip was that it snowed. Like actual, real snow. It took a while for me to register that what I thought was fluff was actually the real deal and it was magical.

The rain after the snow, not so much.

*Raven at 6 years old

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