Sunday, August 8, 2010

Snow day

I've been meaning to say.... a few weeks ago, we headed up to Lake Mountain to let the boys see some snow. Lake Mountain is Melbourne's closest alpine resort, with dedicated tobogganing slopes and cross country trails and- as we found- an easy day trip from Melbourne. Despite the advertising, snow in the Victorian Alps isn't guaranteed so I was impressed that there was a good 20cm coverage when we visited- plenty for the boys' preferred activities:
sliding (sans sled- hooray for waterproof pants!)
and snow man construction.

It was overall a good day- Big Bro keeps asking when we will be going again- but for the adults it was also memorable for the sights on the way up.

Lake Mountain is accessed through Marysville, which was one of the towns worst affected by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires (which also destroyed the Lake Mountain resort; rebuilding is underway). The town is rebuilding, but is still frighteningly empty: there were many driveways leading to an empty block, often with the remnants of gardens, and businesses operating out of shipping containers or temporary buildings, and burnt signs around the town. I couldn't take any photos there, but this is from the road between Marysville and Lake Mountain. Each of those eucalypt tree trunks is covered in new shoots emerging from the charred wood. If only everything else could recover that well.

Higher on the mountain the trees hadn't recovered as well, for whatever reason, making an eerie black and white landscape.
These are all pictures take from the road and I've deliberately left in a glimpse of how close the trees come to the road. This is a road leading down the mountains out of Marysville.
For all of us adults, seeing the closeness of the trees to the roads- and these were the major roads out of the region- made us realise how people were trapped in townships like Marysville and events of Black Saturday was suddenly more understandable, if such a horrible tragedy can ever be understood. The recently released Royal Commission into the fires includes a recommendation to clear zones along roads to make late evacuations a safer option.

1 comment:

Bangchik said...

Bush fire is always tragic, to plants, animals and people... Remnants act as reminder to us. Kids must be having fun playing with snow... ~bancghik

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