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Snow around Oberon – August 9-10, 2019

Oberon had the heaviest snowfall for many years on August 9 and 10, 2019 and all the roads around the town were closed for a while. My daughter was staying with me for the weekend and she had only ever seen light snow before, so we went out looking for it as soon as the roads were opened again. (It is a driving offence to go past a "Road Closed" sign.)

Edith Road, then into Kanangra Boyd National Park

Coming back out of the national park

I posted that video on the local community Facebook page and received criticism for being irresponsible and that old cliché "an accident waiting to happen". I pointed out that my speed had never exceeded about 80 kilometres/hour and that I had had a lot of experience at driving in these sorts of conditions (I used to compete in forest rallies on dirt and track events on bitumen). I was then told that no amount of experience or training could equip anyone to drive on roads in this condition. I responded with a twelve-minute video of Sébastian Loeb in Special Stage 6 of the 2019 World Rally Championship round in Sweden in which it looked like he was going very fast indeed on ice and frozen dirt (no, I'm not comparing my driving ability to Loeb's, that would be silly). To avoid being banned from the group I refrained from saying that if you think that any driving on snow is unsafe then you probably shouldn't live in a town where it snows. You can see something I wrote about country driving here.

Oberon to Hampton via Duckmaloi and Jenolan Caves Roads.

My daughter was moving house on the Sunday so it was rather important to get out of Oberon on Saturday, but all the roads were closed. Duckmaoi Road (the main road out of town towards a useful railway station) was opened to traffic in the afternoon, so we set off as soon as we could. The snow stacked up on the bonnet of the car came from the 10 centimetres I had to scrape off the windscreen. (This video is silent. I've been experimenting with a new camera and some mounting points in the car result in a drumming resonance that is a bit annoying. I will eventually find the best place on the windscreen to mount the camera, but there is no way of knowing any success until I watch the video at home.)

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