2020 Tas Claytons Corner
What was it like to live there?
It was a very short trip following Nichola around to the next cove, anchoring close to but separately because we weren’t going to be on board for a while and inflating our tender ready for the two pronged adventure; first we were drawn to the well maintained jetty where we knew there was a homestead and then on up the Melaleuca Inlet towards the camp and airstrip.
In the back of our minds was the next stage of the sea journey north to Macquarie Harbour, but today was destined a fun day in the sun.
Win and Clyde Clayton moved into this home they built in the year I turned 10, 1962 and left for a retirement nearer to civilisation in the year Stuart and I went to the USA with our Safari Landrover for a long tour. 1962 to 1976, fourteen years in the wilderness with just a few distant neighbours to share company with on occasions. So what was it like and could you imagine doing the same thing?
Well they were both born to the remote life so that must have helped and once they moved away from their exposed home in Bond Bay they would have found delightful shelter here. The surrounding trees that now tower above the homestead would obviously have been there then and allowed Clyde to cultivate some vegetables and fruit and Win to re-instate her garden with its flowering bushes including a rhododendron. After a few hours of toil on a sunny day what could be nicer than sitting on the back veranda drinking a hot cuppa and watching the birds and bees clear up and visit the many blooms.
Both of them found harmony with nature, look at the pygmy possums who found a friend in Clyde and a comfy spot on his shoulder to say nothing of refreshments from the larder.
We were surprised to find both doors open when we arrived. There was no-one there at the time and we were trusted to enjoy the home without doing anything negative, in fact a warm welcome awaited us from the home and the memory of a couple who would have given us an equally kind welcome had they been there in the flesh. Hikers are invited to take shelter there and sleep on the bare beds. The open fire in the living room had been used recently and the kitchen only needed the addition of food to create a wholesome evening meal.
We walked on up the gentle slopes towards the promontory overlooking Kings Point to enjoy the view before wandering back down to the garden where we found the couple from the other boat that had weathered the storm with us in Kings Cove. They were there for a few weeks enjoying the peace away from their busy lives in Hobart and they told us that they donated the cooking range to the home a few years ago. I briefly wondered if Win would have been grateful or if she would have been quite content with the cooking method she used. Either way the walkers must enjoy its luxury. Bron and I left a message in the visitors book, had a quick look through the library and the family photos on the walls and then we made our way back to our tenders for the next stage in the adventure. I think I could have lived there for a year maybe, to experience all the seasons and do lots of writing. How about you?