But first, real quick, I have to squee just a teensy: I met Kevin Rudd! Shook his hand and everything. I think I get “Uniquely Australian” exchange student points for that. Ben (an active Young Labor member) let me tag along to a tiny APL party member consultation session, and it was pretty fascinating. I don’t feel like I know jack about international politics (or, you know, politics in general….), but I feel like I got a peek into a world I’ve never seen before. I rather liked Kevin (as Ben introduced him to me); he came off as both intelligent and very down to earth. The general and party opinions of him are a bit more varied though.
But Kalbarri! It was a pretty long drive, but gorgeous.
|The Northwest Coastal Highway is about the size of Route 66 or even 217 in some places (minus the hills), for hundreds of miles up the coast of WA.|
|It was shockingly green everywhere. So much for that red desert I've been hearing about...|
Our first day in Kalbarri we went to see Nature’s Window and the Murchison Gorges.
|The Murchison River and it's sparkly white sand beaches.|
OMG SMEXY ROCKS!! The rocks in the gorges are of two types: light-colored, thin-bedded sandstone/siltstone tidal deposits overlain by thick-bedded sandstone river deposits. Both were deposited in the Silurian, about 480-450 million years ago. (for those of you not familiar with the geologic time scale, let’s just say that these rocks make the age of the dinosaurs seem like just yesterday.) I literally squealed out loud when I found these rocks were littered with really excellent sedimentary structures; it’s one thing to look at pictures and diagrams of crossbedding and mudcracks and ripples on the overhead, but it’s quite another to be able to go and put your nose on it and let the awe-inspiring realization of the age of the earth ooze into your pores.
|Ripples! (with a 20cent piece for scale, which is a little bigger than a quarter)|
|Ben on the cliffs above the Murchison River.|
|Sexy erosion results in these sweet overhangs.|
|The trail goes this way.... We *almost* fell in the water.|
|Small -scale sexy erosion.|
|If you needed a reason why erosion is sexy, this little trickling stream is working on making a whole new canyon.|
|M likes rocks! :D|
Finally we got to take pictures of the main attraction!
|Nature's Windowseat. <3 rocks.|