Mid Week Run. Mill Valley Ranch Tynong North.
West Gippsland Vehicle Restorers Club 31/05/2011
Mill Valley Ranch Report
Special Midweek run May 25th 2011 Article by Col Higman..
Norm had already grabbed our attention by the information on the flyer about the run (Visiting the original Tynong Railway station along with Country shops, Halls, Post Office along with farm machinery and historic motor vehicles etc.) Where must we be going?
The pre run briefing was short and gave nothing away as to our destination. Norm did say that there was about 10kms of unmade road, but he had arranged for the rain to settle the dust.
With a donation made for the afternoon tea off we set. Someone didn’t notice that there wasn’t a car from the Club behind them. This was realized in Drouin and the convoy stopped in Longwarry. Apparently Roy had parked the Chevy behind the Club building and needed a number of Lads to push him out.
Reformed, the convoy headed to Bunyip where it was over the rail line again then carefully over the highway and up the Tonimbuk Road and on to the gravel. Did someone say this was a road? The gravel was dust free but the pot holes seemed to be as big as the Merc. With much wheel turning and directions from Shirley we made it through the beautiful Bunyip Forest where evidence of the Ridge Fire could still be seen. Talking about fires, at the 44km mark stood an old Charcoal Burner. Norm later explained the process and said that emptying the charcoal into bags for gas burners in the cars was the dirtiest job he had ever done.
Finally we came upon a clearing with houses on one side of the road and covered wagons and bunk house on the other. We were warmly welcomed by Arthur and Peter, both wearing ten gallon hats. After many partook of a “Tree Stop,” Arthur told us the history of Mill Valley Ranch. It was fascinating to hear, with thousands of children attending the horse riding camps over the last 40 odd years.
We then had a guided tour over the camp. The camp square had bunk house disguised as old time shops. Another side had a Liberty stable with carts in beautiful condition, one was an Amish cart and another like the cart Ian Mellows used to ride in as a boy. A Church and a railway station and a huge barn were all fascinating, with great stories told about each of them.
It was then in for afternoon Devonshire teas and Coffee. The scones, jam and cream were to die for and Ian Troughton led me astray so much we were still eating them as we walked out the door.
I was surprised to find that the freeway was only 5kms down the West Tynong Road.
This is an amazing place that I didn’t know existed and I thank Norm for organizing such a great trip.
Those attending were:
Norman & June Tolley.
John & Pearl McLean.
Ian Troughton & Fran Malony.
Mac & Di Goodbody.
Neil & Helen Bagot.
Ian & Carol Mallows.
Ken & Marilym Clyne.
Roy & Elsie Stayches.
Col & Shirley Higman.
Nella Grass & Jim Arnold
Dirk & Lorraine Kurpershoek.
Bob & Elva Fisher.