Because out here, we must be mad.
On stations, water is essential. No dah Jess! Let’s be Captain Obvious… When a new bore is put down, there is opportunity to give the bore a name. Sometimes it’s boring. Like 36. Or 100. But sometimes it’s more interesting. Like the folks over near Top Springs thought they’d call their new bore Pussycat way back then. Cool name really. On our station, you can go to cheese tin, dud bore or cigarette hole… I think Pussycat bore is a good name.
This bore is a good one. And close to the main road too. So the obvious thing to do is build a yards and arena: let’s hold a campdraft in the middle of nowhere.
It honestly is a sort of human display of arrogance really. To force ourselves on a plot of land with no services and ask it to serve us. There’s no tuckshop… They bring in a truck. There’s a bore for water. They made a concrete and corrugated iron shed for a shower block. A big generator for lights and power to the arena. No phone coverage either.
And yet out of the woodwork (or paddocks) come truck after truck, goosenecks and floats. Horses and man to stake out a bit of country and set up camp. Cattle to fill the yards ready for the morrow, when horse and man test their teamship and skill against beast.
For where there was not much lies a city of travelers. Tents, swags, pickets with electric tape round horses. Goosenecks with caravan amenities in one end. Trucks with tarps over top for a makeshift living space. Fires and bales of hay. Hoses snaking over to buckets of water too.
And a troopy.
Yep. I went too Pussycat bore with my station horse, Old Mate.
I took my troopy. I drove from one middle of nowhere, 700km; more than half of which is dirt road, to another middle of nowhere.
With a hand full of people, I enjoyed a weekend of having a go at this campdraft business.
I managed to do more than I expected. I even got half my figure 8 done chasing a cow. And for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
When my station packs up for an event like Pussycat, they make sure we don’t starve in the middle of nowhere: lots of beef in an esky, bread some fruit and I make a few things that travel well: savoury mince, sketty bog, bicuits and…
So yummy. My cousins recipe!
And what a pleasure it was to be able to share that round the camp. Brownie for breakfast? No worries. It’s campdraft time! Mince on toast for tea. By the fire. It’s campdraft time in winter.
5:00 am feeding sessions? Yeah. Campdraft time when you get an early run at sunrise. But never fear you can sleep later! Because campdrafting is pretty cruisey. You just have to show up to have your turn. Might be ages before you get another. Have a nap! Then eat some brownie. Yum.
It was really good to kick back and not be the cook for a while. Even better to do it with a horse on have to ride some more, and dog right by me to pet and play with and an esky full of cold drinks.
And when I found a bit of spare time, I ventured further west to acquire a Top Springs sticker and have a “beer at the bar”.