Station Life

15 09 2013

Our time out in the Pilbara has come to an end and north bound we move.  It is with sadness to leave special friendships, excitement for what’s ahead and thankfulness for the wonderful experiences we had out on a real outback cattle station.

It’s been a while since my last blog as life is BUSY on a station, especially while homeschooling three children and a preschooler too – but what a terrific backdrop to be teaching our kids in!  The people that live on stations full time are real troopers, working extremely hard everyday plus organising the education of their kids, well being of the staff, accounts and running of the business not to mention the normal everyday tasks of family life.  Yet it comes with its rewards of a stunning peaceful location, plenty of outdoor fun, horse riding, motor bike riding, bushwalking, camp fires with plenty of fun, laughs and cultural exchanges with the amazing staff that come from various parts of the world.

During our stay we were able to take part in mustering the cattle.  Stephen enjoyed the buggy driving and chasing bulls while the horse riders showed such dedication in getting up way before dawn to feed their horses, warm them up to be ready for sunrise.  Listening to the chopper warm up, the buggies buzz around and the clatter of everyone getting ready gave off an air of excitement for the first few musters …. as the days and week progressed I amazingly learnt to sleep through the buggies driving around and the chopper warming up and even taking off!  I did get to join them all one afternoon which was exciting for me to be out there, see what goes one, help keep the mob going, all while getting some great photographic moments hoping the boss in the chopper didn’t catch me too often – I promise I was still concentrating on the job!

Some of the basics of station life are quite interesting for people that live in cities.  The first major difference is electricity.  The station is run by a diesel generator.  It hums away in the background all day and into the evening.  It’s a sound you get used to and a sound you’re grateful for as it provides the power we so readily like to use.  Every evening the generator is turned off and before the sun is up it’s back on again.  The off part was given to Stephen as he prefers evenings the the on part remained the station owners job as he loved the mornings – so all were happy.  Water is another basic item.  Water is supplied from a bore which has to be pumped into various tanks.  Making sure these pumps worked and that the tanks didn’t run dry is vital to smooth running.  The water is pretty good but to be suitable as drinking water it must be filtered.  A reverse osmosis filter is required to make the water drinkable.  This is a slow filtration and again something we city folk take for granted is an important part of keeping the station functioning.  Shopping and food supplies is another consideration with town being two hours away.  The weekly shops as per one of my previous posts is always and eventful day.

It was a pleasure to have my parents join us for our last two weeks on the station.  Our kids loved having their grandparents with them and showing them the horses, Dan’s little motor bike and the beautiful spring wildflowers.  It was great to have someone a-signed to tip runs again and I think Dad quite enjoyed taking the buggies for a spin.  I’m sure all the dogs on the station loved the extra attention and walks they had too.

Farewell Ashburton, farewell friends.  We have another place that will forever be in our hearts and new found friends.  I hope some of these photos will give a picture of our station life ….

Cooking camp oven meals for the station was always fun.

Cooking camp oven meals for the station was always fun.

Dan on his bike I found at the tip!

Dan on his bike I found at the tip!

This is what you look like after a days mustering in the Pilbara

This is what you look like after a days mustering in the Pilbara

Stephen off to grade some tracks

Stephen off to grade some tracks

Every day we had a treat for morning tea!  Now to shed those extra kgs

Every day we had a treat for morning tea! Now to shed those extra kgs

Mum and Dad out to get wildflower photos with me.

Mum and Dad out to get wildflower photos with me.

Mulla Mulla

Mulla Mulla

Kit - the station pet

Kit – the station pet

Looking out towards the "quarters" - where the other workers lived.

Looking out towards the “quarters” – where the other workers lived.

Looking over towards where our home was

Looking over towards where our home was

Calf feeding time after a long day.  One feeds from a bucket the other still a bottle.

Calf feeding time after a long day. One feeds from a bucket the other still a bottle.

Camp Draft - a day out in Tom Price.

Camp Draft – a day out in Tom Price.

"Water Rat" the most groomed stock horse in the Pilbara thanks to Lily

“Water Rat” the most groomed stock horse in the Pilbara thanks to Lily

Wild flowers everywhere :-)

Wild flowers everywhere 🙂

Feeding calves

Feeding calves

Buggies done for the day and re-fueling for next  muster.

Buggies done for the day and re-fueling for next muster.

Job well done ... they're all in

Job well done … they’re all in

You looking at me!?

You looking at me!?

Leading the cattle past the river to the yards

Leading the cattle past the river to the yards

The chopper gives them all the hurry up!

The chopper gives them all the hurry up!

Keep them moving!

Keep them moving!

Moving the mob on

Moving the mob on

Stephen in his buggy

Stephen in his buggy

End of a horse riding lesson

End of a horse riding lesson

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3 responses

16 09 2013
suzicall

Love the pics! And as dirty as Mr McPherson looks, I love the glow in his eyes – he looks fantastic! The outdoor life, obviously suiting him! Take care on the next adventure xxx

16 09 2013
Lorna

Been a while, guys, but super to hear from you & of course the inevitable fabulous photos. Steve looks such a “bushie” – you all seem to fit so naturally, I could see you guys never coming back!!!
And so…the adventure continues. Can’t wait for the next instalment. Nice to see your mum & dad on Sunday morning.
Love & blessings
L xx

16 09 2013
Louise

What an awesome time away you’re having xx

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