I edged further along the track and peered through the trees towards the sound of gushing water. I had come to the Mullion Range State Conservation Park near Orange in the hope of chasing waterfalls, but I'd forced myself to lower my expectations after a dry winter.
The rumbling sound grew louder and couldn't help but smile in anticipation. Streams and creeks were a rarity in many of the areas I'd lived in WA and I'd turned into something of a pessimist when it came to visiting inland water systems.
But The Falls - aptly named - were flowing after all, and I eagerly made my way down the steps to the water's edge.
The rocks were inviting and I hopped across the stream as I made my way higher. Skinks eyed me warily as they sunbaked and I momentarily felt bad for disturbing the peace.
Vivid dragonflies flitted past and I was pleased one stopped long enough for me to take a photo. It was amazing what you could see when you were really looking, I thought.
I reached the top and plonked myself down in the sunshine. It was a glorious day and I was lost in my own thoughts as the water cascaded down around me and continued over the rocks.
I was sorely tempted to swim but my time living up north had left me with a fairly irrational fear of crocodiles and snakes and I had to settle for taking photos of the scenery instead.
I thought back to a conversation with my mum months ago, who'd gently suggested I should try and publish some of my travel writing and photographs like I had when I'd first started out in newspapers.
I'd dismissed the idea - I was too busy, and no one would read it anyway - but as I basked in the sun and listened to the gurgling stream I wondered if the idea had some merit. I had a sudden urge to put pen to paper and scolded myself for breaking my number one rule of leaving home without a notebook.
A young family appeared at the base of the trail and I snapped back to my senses. I was probably ruining their photos, I mused, and I reluctantly got back to my feet and hopped over the rocks and back onto the track.
Some bright flowers peeked through the dry undergrowth and I paused to snap some photos.
Perhaps I could knock some articles together, and I felt a familiar thrill as I considered the other places I had earmarked to visit. Spending whole weekends exploring and writing about my experiences had, at one point, been integral to my being and I hadn't realised how much I'd missed it.
I stopped abruptly as I spied a kookaburra in the trees. I loved photographing animals and I slowly raised the lens and prayed he wouldn't move.
I needn't have worried - he was a great poser - and it struck me how peaceful it was for an area so close to town.
I put my camera away happily and made my way to my car, eager to edit my photos and plan my travels.
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