As we approached Mitchell I felt a strange mix of excitement and apprehension. The road between St George and Mitchell gave ample evidence of the flooding that engulfed the area in early February this year. Debris caught 3 m high in trees; the large Blaze Aid camp at Dunkeld; and the damaged road surface showed that this flood of all floods is still affecting the area and its people.
What would our house and three quarter acre block look like? Where would we set up our camp? These questions and more occupied my mind. But the grass was green and hip high, trees had sprouted new growth and well-fed emus strutted their skirts.
During this final part of our 'migration flight', I made a list of all the people we know in Mitchell and surrounds. It was a memory jog that produced a list of 230 names. Never before have we lived in a place where we've known so many people.
As we drove into Mitchell and then turned into our street and into our driveway, the list, the place and the mighty Maranoa River -- all these and more gave me a warm and excited feeling.
That first afternoon four lots of people dropped in to welcome us home. In between visitors we parked the caravan close to the house so that we could use the bull-nosed verandah and laundry.
While erecting the annex (which was more complex than we expected) we enjoyed our new view of the Maranoa River. The flood has swept away a lot of the vegetation, so giving us water views!