Today Penny and I set off early to Marysville to meet Cindy's dog-walking group. "Where is?' on my computer showed me the way to navigate there, but was way off the mark in saying it would take one hour and twenty-two minutes, given that through the Black Spur, with its hairpin bends, the average speed was about 30 - 40 kilometres an hour.
I haven't previously visited any of the areas of the state so tragically burnt in the 2009 bushfires, so I found it very moving to approach this devastated town through the blackened, mist-shrouded forests of the Black Spur.
(I made sure to charge the battery for my camera last night. It's a pity I didn't put it back into the camera! I apologise for the low quality pictures - I took them with my mobile phone.)
The town of Marysville looked like a new housing estate, with lots of open ground waiting to be built on, and the frameworks of new buildings scattered around. As we headed up the track from town, we passed gardens and fences with no houses - and no inhabitants. A very sad start to our walk.
The walk itself was fascinating, with the blackened trunks of the towering trees clothed in soft green foliage.
The ground was a mass of young growth, the forest of the future. Mostly it seemed to be coming from seeds scattered by the trees after they burned, but in some cases it seemed the rootstock was regenerating.
There's a kind of beauty in the layers of charcoal bark on the trunks of the trees. It feels soft and crumbles in the hand, as if it's already returning to the soil to aid in the regeneration of the bush.
Signs along the way warned us to be careful.
The dogs were off-lead most of the way, as it's State Forest, so they had a wonderful time.