Alright - I am back on the road again - crawling in 4x4 over small trees and power lines, abandoned cars and log trucks and generally shitting myself in the process - keeping in mind I am now about 5km from the township of Marysville and the sky is getting lighter by the minute.
I come across an almighty F********** tree - that had a bigger trunk diameter than your average logging truck.
Again I park the car - checking that I am not willingly parking under any trees that might just fall. I assess the situation and realise that without help or a chainsaw I was stuck. - I was at that stage contemplating locking and leaving the car and walking the rest of the way.
Just as I had decided to do exactly that - a car came down the driveway of a property. It turns out that I know him - we swore at each other - hugged each other and then I was cross-examined as to how the hell I had managed to get so far - I said I flew LOL - seriously.
Anyway - with the help of a chain and a bigger 4x4 than mine - we removed a sign - which allowed my vehicle to pass with 1-2 inches on either side to spare.
I was told that the road to town was almost passable - but would require concentration and no stopping due to the risk of falling trees - keeping in mind - there is a constant noise of what sounds like gunshots going off in the distance - these are trees collapsing.
I got into Marysville - there WAS NOTHING LEFT _ I mean absolutely F**** NOTHING. Look left - look right - the SES shed - burned - all the cars burned - all the houses burned - no-one around - not even starring in shock - there was fire everywhere
I proceeded into the town centre - again - left and right NOTHING - I mean nothing - not one house was left standing - not one business - everything gone - all the 100 year old trees gone - the pub, the post office, the police station, the primary school, everything.
I notice what appears to be an official type vehicle turning in front of me - I flag them down, turns out it is P & D, people I grew up with - I tell them that the woman in Granton has no water and get someone to go out there - these people also put me through the inquisition - how, what who, when - I told them - they didn’t believe me - and then I told then who I was and they said oh, - that doesn't surprise me - my family has a name in the town for never taking no for an answer.
Anyway - they escorted me to the street that my parents live - can’t understand why - but they did - I got to mum and dads place at 5.30am - I know they had been woken at 2.30am to take some people in - keeping in mind that they were the only occupied remaining house in town,
I stayed in the car - trying to rest - at 6.30am - everyone from the house came out - in an array of clothing - I got out of the car and one by one they grabbed me and hugged me - I have not seen 90% of these for 20 years or more - but they were so stunned that someone had come from the 'outside' that they saw it as a relief - perhaps that someone else could take over and make the decisions - I am not sure.
Everyone was shell-shocked. They told me their stories, I told them mine - they couldn't believe that I made it through - almost without assistance. I couldn’t believe that they survived what they did. Considering the overall damage.
I checked the house - made sure that some hot spots were eradicated - the fencing was okay and in general that everyone was as well as could be expected.
To be continued....................................