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MJOC 15 MILE HUT working bee PLUS BONUS SNOW DRIVE – 7th July 2018

01 Aug Trip Report | Comments Off on MJOC 15 MILE HUT working bee PLUS BONUS SNOW DRIVE – 7th July 2018

Who would have believed we would have had so much fun on a working bee trip? We were warned it was going to be cold and wet with possible extreme weather conditions and SNOW being very likely… but no-one said we were going to have so much fun!

 

It was a cold frosty 7 degrees when we all met at Marysville ridiculously early on this cold and wet winters day and headed off up the mountain. Debris covered the roads as a result of the wild storm over night and as we reached the Big River turn off it had dropped to only 3 degrees as we all aired down under a mist of rain. On the way to the hut we stopped the convoy to cut up and clear a fallen tree across the track and took advantage of the firewood opportunity for the hut by loading all the cut wood onto the roof racks of some of the Jeeps, Andy and Nigel were all prepared with safety gear and chainsaws when the job was called for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.45am we arrived at 15 MILE HUT to be greeted by a warm fire and a young couple who had taken shelter in the hut overnight. Having already read all the little notes and stories in the huts log book they were well aware and grateful of MJOC’s involvement in restoring and looking after this old mining hut and were quick to offer their assistance in helping with the working bee. Many hands make lite work and this was true on the day with the list of jobs we had to do (weather permitting) done in record time. The hut was cleaned, the area whipper snipped, drains cleaned out and the wood bin filled to the brim with cut and split wood by the time lunch was cooked by our wonderful Trip Leaders for the day, Kat Marmara-Stewart and Rob Sharp. A quick trip up the track for a bit more firewood by Sharyn and Andy also allowed them to find and photograph an old fire dugout that they were looking for in the area. With all the hard work done and bellies full, it was time to head off to find some snow.

 

With a good knowledge of the area, it wasn’t long before Rob had us driving thru the white fluffy stuff and admiring the beautiful transformation of the forest into a winter wonderland. Between 2 and 3.30pm we drove through more than 30km of snow covered tracks, stopping a couple of times for photo opportunities and snowball fights.

 We finished up at Buxton by 4pm to air up and head home, all thanking each other for a great day, awesome company and the new friendships formed.

By Sharyn Chambers

 

15 MILE HUT HISTORY

15 MILE HUT also known originally as “Wild Dog Creek Hut” is located about 200m off 15 Mile Rd beside the small flowing Taponga River in the Big River Country. Originally built late 1969 early 1970 by Dick Peters and his friends while mining, the gentlemen all turned their hands to logging and continued to use the hut while working in the area.  The hut has been used as a shelter in the bush for over 45 years by miners, loggers, hunters, 4×4 enthusiasts and many others. Stories from people that thankfully found and took shelter in the hut have been told in the old logbook that was unfortunately destroyed in bad weather. Colin Myers  and his partner in mining Andy Thomas took on the Antimony mining lease that included the hut and surrounds, they spoke of tracks and bridges that are now overgrown and of the group of guys from Melbourne who came up and fixed the hut in 2009. Originally made from pre-fabricated panels placed on the ground and nailed together before being stood up. The hut had many windows on every side of the hut, a corrugated iron roof and an earth floor. In 2009 15 Mile Hut was somehow spared from the Black Saturday Fires and in October of the same year the hut was lovingly renovated by Basty, Beaza, Johno, Deano, Fred, Lindsay, Jack, and Carter who added some character and charm to this rundown hut as well as a novel veranda. Andrew Charles supplied the wooden slabs and Rob Bast a chainsaw carver from Seville cleverly carved the engraved wooden sign mounted to the roof and made the stone fire place. Extra little surprises you will notice if you visit this hut, a chandelier hanging from the roof, an unusable power point screwed to a log pole and humorous signs over the shallow river “BEWARE CROCS” and “NO DIVING” After reports of damage in 2015, DELWP went into the hut and removed a fallen tree from the now partially collapsed roof of 15 Mile Hut and lopped and cleared the surrounding trees, vegetation and rubbish. The hut had some considerable damage and the logbook inside is noted by DELWP early 2016 asked for the hut to be fixed up. In 2016 the Melbourne Jeep Owners Club working together with DELWP and Victorian High Country Huts Association took on the mammoth project of restoring 15 Mile Hut.

Researched by Sharyn Chambers