Since the bushfires devastated Marysville earlier this year I’d been keen to visit. We were up there last July staying in a mate’s place, and Anna’s relatives had lived and run a shop there. We’d been to Marysville many times.
(Also, I was interested to see what a bushfire could do, having been a protected suburbanite all my life.)
When we arrived, the place was buzzing, or at least rumbling. Bikies everywhere! There’s a great ride through those hills I hear.
The bakery cafe is still intact and open, and a little cafe up the road has set up on the nature strip, so I had a choice when it came to coffee! The main street has been otherwise cleared, the rubble removed.
Going up a side street the remains of houses still lie waiting. There are green shoots. The destructive force has left. There is an indifference in the landscape. I don’t feel shocked?
I imagine the commerce of the town will get back on its feet quickly. Portables will be brought in for the ski season. Accommodation will be tight; people will daytrip from the city instead. But you’ll get a decent coffee, maybe even some booze by then. You’ll get ski-hire, and some pottery.
But I wonder if the people who lived in the rubble away from main street will be back. Perhaps this is the Marysville visitors didn’t know. The people who lived in a little slice of heaven.
As you ride back through the Black Spur, there are blackened areas, slightly blackened areas, and completely untouched, green areas. You wonder at a force, that on its day forced a wide front of fire by fluke of timing and wind changes through a small township and valley, wiping the township out as though it were a fleck of dust on an old roadmap.