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July 26

July 26, 2009

Hello, Friends!

Orientation week has finally ground to a halt: a laboriously dull week indeed. However it was the week where I had my first great adventure, as well as my first great fall, in Australia. A group of about sixty new students took a bus trip to the Kandililla National Forest to take a hike to the bottom of a waterfall. This national park is, in actuality, a rainforest (although not as tropical as I thought it would be).

To be perfectly honest, the forest reminded me very much of Sedona. As we walked the trails (I stayed mostly with Candace, a friend from Goucher) we traveled along ridges overlooking a deep valley, with the sun positioned over a lush mountain on the other side. The entire valley was green and beautiful. There were great trees that were almost totally hollow on the inside through some marvel of decomposition. Fortunately I can report no giant spider sightings, and the first part of the walk was spent finding exciting trees and snapping pictures.

We eventually reached the first stop on the hike, which was a fresh water pool atop the waterfall. The water was a murky blue with a short, clear waterfall spilling into it. I took off my shoes and waded in a few feet, finding the water to be some of the coldest I had ever felt. I thought back to the beginning of the tour when our guide told us that even in the summer, this was one of the coldest rock pools around, and that in the winter, almost no one went swimming. He came after us by about ten minutes, and asked me with a laugh if I was going swimming. I told him that I was thinking about it, then went exploring around the edge of the pool a little. After a few more minutes of contemplation, I decided that I was only going to be stupid enough to swim in a freezing rock pool in the middle of winter in the rainforest once, and decided to take the plunge. As I climbed into the pool, just where the shallow rocks were, I noticed two German boys getting ready to swim as well. We lined up on the edge and 3, 2, 1, JUMP! It was without a doubt, the coldest pool I have ever been in. Even colder that the shower I took at Colorado Springs that Uday and Andy got to hear me complain about for days (but much more pleasant, as this was a lovely rock pool, and not a disgusting camp shower). I swam from one end of the 60-foot-deep pool to the other, while my lungs scolded me for making them so frigid. Near as I can tell, it was just we three who took a swim on the trip.

After climbing out of the pool and wringing my clothes dry the best I could, Candace and I continued along the path that lead to the bottom of the falls, encountering for the first time vines, just like in Tarzan! It was very exciting. They are much sturdier that I would have thought. While admiring the landscape, stepping down onto a rock, my ankle rolled out from underneath me, and down I fell. I felt more silly than hurt, but sure enough, within a short amount of time, my ankle began to swell. It wasn’t too bad an injury, so I only took a moment or two to rest, and then we hiked the rest of the way down to the falls. They were within earshot, so it would have been a total waste to abandon the hike and return to the picnic grounds immediately. So we journeyed down and saw the falls, which were the biggest I had ever seen. After a bit, my ankle started to bother me more, so Candace and I started the hike back up. I learned something from the hike up: if you take away the horrendously hot sun, it is much easier to make trips up canyons. With a heavy backpack, swollen ankle, and wet, cold clothes, I had a much easier time climbing steep stairs and switchbacks than I did in the Grand Canyon (See, Andy, I told you it’d be fine).

When we got home, I iced my ankle, and it doesn’t look too bad today. Still puffy, but it only hurts when I jump or sit on it. So not I prepare for my first day of classes, which is tomorrow. It’ll be a super easy day, with only an hour long lecture for typography, and then maybe a trip to the beach if I can con someone into going with me.

By the way, my photobucket is up and running now. The album is organized chronologically. Enjoy =]
http://s674.photobucket.com/albums/vv106/polahburr/

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2 comments

  1. Dude. Your adventures so far sound absotively stupendous. I am so immensely jealous!

    Fuck my laziness and stubborn focus on financial practicality! I could be having stupendous adventures, too!

    Also: Pictures? Fantastic.


  2. i’m having adventures too!!! going with kelsa to nashville/new orleans/florida. DC is the furthest south i’ve been, so this should be fun. i miss you a lot. i keep checking your facebook profile for new stuff and then i remember you’ve abandoned it!

    i got some news that is good (i suppose) at the very least, and has the potential to be really fucking awesome!!!

    i keep remembering those 2 hours where the four of us were in the city together. those were some of the happiest hours i’ve had all year. i love you.



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