At Boot Camp we have to write an article for the Columbia Missourian in order to pass. So how is that a class, where 95% of its students are new to the state, can suddenly become experts on mid-Missouri? The professors had a genius plan: send us all on a hunt through town. Personally, I was more than happy for this chance; it meant I got to leave the classroom. Some of the exciting places we were sent to include Boone County Jail and Cosmo Park. I myself got to check the Boone County Historical Society Museum and Blue Acres Little General Store. Both on the southside of town, the museum had a neat art exhibit by Lupus Garrett, a local artist; while the store is a gas station that serves lunch and breakfast. Located next to a trailer park, it serves that type of crowd.

The nice thing about this project was that it provided a cheat sheet for hidden gems within Columbia. I hoped to find these secrets on my own, but I am not sure I would have. One such place is Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, where an underground cave remains a constant 50 degrees. In order to get to it, you must take a canoe; and at some points the cave is so shallow you have to lie on your back.

Another place is Cooper’s Landing. Located 20 minutes south of town by car, it is located next to the Missouri River. The students visiting Cooper’s compared the scene to something in Deliverance, which offended the Professor—his wedding reception was held there. A goose guards the house; early evenings are known to host music sessions; and the restaurant offers a good selection of Thai food.

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