Host: Lochon Contracting
Written by Tini O’Loughlin – Owner, Lochon Contracting.
“This is for the adrenaline junkies. This is for the bullet proof!”- Sometimes this feels to be the subtitle to our lives. We’re out there catching bulls, we’re in the yards with mad cows, and we are four wheel driving on rugged roads and pushing through thick bush land and across gullies on motorbikes.
But in all honesty, moments that justify the above description are, although not exactly rare, not an everyday occurrence.
We are contract mustering on Bulka Station again this year. We are mostly working cattle in the yard. It is incredibly hard work that drains you physically. A good camp set up is what we always aim for, so we don’t have to work just as hard as we have in the yard just to get a feed and a shower happening when we get back. We are moving camp every week or so and shifting all gear to the yard where the next muster will be done at. At the moment we are at beautiful Wattle Springs. A magical place with natural springs (hence the name), leafy gum trees, rocky ridges, caves, and shady river beds. At night time we can hear dingos howling and owls barking. We can see many a falling stars (more then I have ever noticed at any other yard) and make many a wish.
We have our camp set up near two old wooden yards that hold some history. One used to be the night yard where the ringers used to hold their horses (up to six horses per person). The other yard would have been an old bronco branding yard, where horsemen used to rope calves and weaners – I have just come to the realisation that the life of ringers in the olden days might be the rightful owner of the above title.
Right next to one spring that we pump water out of and that refills itself in the matter of just a few hours. Our camp fire is sitting in the middle of a bunch of half shady trees, with our hooks and wire toasters and spoons and coffee cups and pliers hanging on the tree stump.
The tents and swags have been comfortably positioned under trees and on sandy ground. Our truck and caravan shield us from the string winds and the harsh sun during the day. All in all this is a wonderful camp. The best part of it, though, is the dunny! If it wasn’t what it is, we would all be sitting on it all day. It is down wind from the camp. A hole dug in the ground with a toilet sitting on it (a 200L drum cut in half, a hole in the shape of a toilet seat cut out of its and to make it real fancy, there is a REAL toilet seat bolted on!). A pile of dirt with a little bucket and a role of toilet paper on it. And just so one feels as private as possible when going about their business, a couple of pickets hold up some hessian to shield you from any accidental spectators. That doesn’t mean you will not be greeted by an angry cow, shaking her head and aggressively moving towards you. This is what happened to Shai, a lovely girl from England, who must have jumped the queue maybe?!
I’m sure this unexpected and very inappropriate encounter would have given her the type of adrenaline rush mentioned above.
Apart from that one toilet obsessed cow, our camp really is quite a comfortable homely place. History surrounds us, the Milky Way shines above us, and the howling dingoes and colourful parrots sing us their serenades day and night. What more do you want?