Tomahawk Creek - Club Field Trip June - July 1997

Written by Paul Clacher copyright 2004

On Sunday the 22nd of June 1997 we slowly wound our way along a narrow dusty track on the edge of Hut Creek. After arriving at several false empty Mitchelton Club environs we finally landed at the true base camp? Using my finely honed bush skills I had learnt from experienced Bushmen, I carefully examined the ashes of some fires and analysing foot prints at this camp I was pretty sure we were at the right camp. Ah!!, but what really led me to know we were at the right spot , were the unmistakable signs. It was only to the trained eye that I saw the names Ron, John and Jean which were written all over water bottles and sieves that I knew we had arrived. Well the story was starting to sound pretty good anyway.

It wasn't until about an hour or so later that some members began to arrive back at "base camp". Indeed we were at the right "base camp". I must say we were greeted with huge enthusiasm. Everyone was so friendly (I wonder if it had anything to the lovely fresh loaves of bread we had brought in) and were also showing us all the great stones they had found so far. Well I must say I was ready right there right then to start digging for some of our own stones. But we had to set up camp.

That evening everyone had a great sit around the camp fire and enjoyed a most beautiful happy hour. Nothing beats sitting around a camp fire in the middle of the bush, talking and looking into the flames of the fire while cloaked in darkness with a ceiling of brilliant silver stars.

The next morning started a new daily routine of waking up, ablutions, starting the fire, breakfast, loading the car, driving to the "Dig", digging, sieving, sorting wash into buckets, morning teas, more digging etc., coming back to camp for lunch, washing the wash, finding the numerous sapphires (for some), getting (more) exhausted, showing everyone the daily finds, driving up to the "Gem Cutter" for drop off and pick-up, sitting down for a rest (again), going to fetch water from the water hole (not every day), Getting fire wood, starting the fire, HOT SHOWERS (Yes), cooking dinner, washing up, Happy Hour and sitting at the fire together (eating and enjoying damper (excellent)), go to bed (not together, just partners(We're not that sort of club)), sleep, wake up, start routine again. Now I must say while this routine is fairly standard, the order may differ between family's.

Well you might say that sounds fairly routine, and it should, it's a routine isn't it. But I tell you there was a lot of fun mixed in with it on a daily basis. Like the day we held the funeral for Roy's shoes, and there were the thongs too. I think everyone had a really great time. It is hard work, but the reward of finding that beautiful sapphire is worth every drop of sweat. I am sure that every found sapphire has a story attached to it worth remembering.

This is the stuff what fossicking is made of!!!!