Exploring my friendly local national park

One of my favorite places in Columbia, Mo. is Rock Bridge Park, a state park just outside of town. It’s fifteen minutes from my apartment, and I found an out-of-the-way trail that’s beautiful all year round. I go there when I’m stressed or bored or just want to enjoy a nice day. So when I arrived at Macquarie, I wanted to find a place nearby that would let me get outside for a little while. (Campus obviously doesn’t count.) So I looked at a map and found several national parks in my neighborhood. (The Australian qualifications for “national park” are different than American ones. The parks are big enough, but not necessarily huge.) I had a free afternoon Thursday, so I caught a bus to Lane Cove National Park–it’s just ten minutes from my college! I didn’t have a map or anything, so when I got there I just started walking. I found a lovely trail that wound down a hill and alongside a river.

I think it's called the Lane Cove River, but that may be too logical.

Like all downhill walks, half of it was quite nice.  The other half wasn’t too bad either, though.  Along the way, I ran into a woman who told me she’d seen a goanna about 100 metres ahead, so I should keep an eye out for it.  I must’ve looked concerned, because she promised it wouldn’t eat me.  I didn’t know what a goanna was (I do now), or really what 100 metres was, but either way I didn’t come across the animal.  I didn’t seen any kangaroos either, despite this warning:

This sign is full of lies.

I did, however, see several birds, a few lizards, and a tree that appeared to be bleeding:

See? Plants have feelings too.

The trail eventually came out of the woods and joined a road.  Since I had no idea where I was, I just hiked back the way I came and caught the bus home.  It was an enjoyable afternoon, and I’m sure I’ll be spending more time in the park when I have a few spare hours this semester.

I also started classes this week (remember what I’m actually here for?).  More about that later.

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