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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

Reunited with the van, three more walkers decided to drop out. Now there were thirteen. The day that followed was no kinder. Snow and hundreds of fallen trees brought down by heavy winter snows obstructed their every step. Greg Hutchinson records in 'Along the Track', News, November 1977, '... I have been on a harder walk where we finished later, but I have never struck a walk with such a variety of weather, vegetation and physical conditions. My image of the MBW as being an easy club was surely shattered forever by AWT 1.' The walked distance was 38 miles (60.8 kilometres), the longest on any weekend; both days consisted of 12 hours and a snow walk of 10 miles (16 kilometres), the longest in a weekend. 'The walk graded "hard" probably also contained lessons for those who had forgotten what this grading meant'. (Bob Douglas, 'Along the Track', News, November 1977)

Those on stage 2, Thomson River - Mt Shillinglaw, fared only a little better. Lopez reported in the News, November 1977, '... after the walk a few were heard to mutter "never again" and Ken MacMahon was so tired he forgot to count the survivors to see if he had lost anyone' . Snow again caused havoc. Well, dear reader, I know it must have been awful with the heavy snow overnight, and Ken's blisters and all, but I am consumed with mirth. 'After breakfast', spake Ken, 'I hobbled off in the lead and was hobbling along so well (apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan) that I hobbled past the correct turnoff and took nine others with me.' Four in one group took the right track, as did two others who had fallen behind. As recorded in Walk, 'This started a Gilbertian sequence of events where the stragglers became the leaders and the leaders became the stragglers, but the leaders weren't sure if they were the stragglers and the stragglers didn't know that they were leaders.' How the 18 starters miraculously managed to reunite still remains a mystery.

By the time stage 3, Mt Skene - The Nobs, came round, there were 17 starters, as Otto Christiansen very cunningly advertised his walk as being one of the easier ones and by all accounts he was right. They enjoyed pleasant walking conditions and splendid views. Lopez reported in the News, December 1977, '. . . At 5.30 p.m. on Saturday the drivers-cum-tourists (Shelly, Rob and Bob) decided to walk up the track to greet the walkers. After pushing through the scrub for half an hour the 'tourists' heard the walkers coming towards them and decided to wait for the party. Otto however decided that they were on the wrong track and proceeded to reverse, with the 'tourists' quickly catching them up and falling in step behind the last walker. After moving in this fashion for a few minutes the party stopped and was extremely surprised