2019,  Living on a kettle station

#6 A good old rodeo

A rodeo; the perfect reason to ask for some days off. 

It was a little tricky, while the weekend of the rodeo was coming closer. It all depended on the weather. 

If the fields where dry enough to harvest; then there was a lot of work to do. But the last couple of days, they had been waiting because of the fact that those fields were too moist at the moment.

At the end.. The field stayed moist enough -for us- to be able to leave the station for a couple of days. Rodeo time! 

A rodeo, a thing I know from movies. From series. But now I got to experience it for myself..

I imaged that everyone was wearing cowboyheads and boots. Drinking beer and dancing on the music in their own way; country style.

I was so curious and excited. 

I went with three girls; german; australian and another dutchie. We all packed the car with the camping gear we could borrow from the guys at the station, and on a Friday morning we drove off. The first beer was already open before we left the property. YES, there we go!

For weeks we have been talking about this. 

An escape from the station. And a rodeo -in these areas-  is the place to be. The ONLY place to be actually. 

Only during these events, everyone comes from all over Queensland to one spot, so you see everyone you know. Australia is big eh, so just a visit for a day is out of the question. 

We left the station around twelve and arrived at Normanton (the town where it took place) around six. In between we had two stops for food and smokes. 

A six hour drive, filled with beers and country music to catch the real-rodeo-feeling. 

It was during this drive that I really started to listen to some lyrics of these country songs. I started to like a couple..

My appreciation in country music has started at that moment.
People are good by Luke Bryan, Someone like you by Keith Urban and Save a horse by Big & Rich for example.

The kickoff of the evening starting in the rain. Even more unfortunate for us; it started while (!) setting up the tent. 

Which we never had done before.. 

The tent was from someone on the station, and we had no idea how it even had to look like. We missed some pins and pipes (we still believe). So we had to be creative.. 

With two broken trees -that we found in a forest a little further- we were able to tight the robes, so the tent wouldn’t collapse. 
Which it did.. 

It looked like shit AND funny at the same time. 

We didn’t know if we should be proud that we were so creative or; so stupid that we didn’t know how to set up the (bloody) tent. 

Anyway, it was too late to think about it cause the rain got heavier by the minute.

So an hour after we arrived; we were sitting -with the four of us- in a tent surrounded with bottles of booze. Bacardi, Jack Daniels, White wine, Rose, Cider, Tequila and Gin. We were stuffed.. 

And completely drunk an hour later. 

Then we noticed; the tent got wet from the inside. The tent was leaking!
As fast as we could, we moves our bags (clothing and shoes), into the car and we took place on our seats (were we just sat for the last couple of hours). We turned up the music and waited till the rain would end.

After the rain, we decided to walk around the area. 

During this walk, we discovered that the rodeo had a small fair with some attractions and games. 
We got (too) excited and without thinking we took place in one of the seats; of the most turnable attraction there was. 

To give you a better picture: Nobody was at this fair. 
Everyone was at the bar a.k.a. there were the party was. 

We where the only ones, and so also the only ones in this ride. 

The moment that that thing started to move; I already felt that this was maybe a bad idea.

It was spinning so bad, which made me feel so much more drunk then I already felt. Everything was spinning in turbo. Even after we stepped out, we walked corners instead of straight lines. 

A lot of laughing and falling. It was totally worth it. 

What I imaged was real.

Everyone was wearing a cowboy head with a squared blouse. In their hands a bear in a cupholder to keep their drinks cold.

Oh, those cub holders. Impossible to forget. You get them when you order a drink, but almost everyone brings there own. 
So they just change the can inside the holder. Easy peasy. 

The days are filled with a big program, on two different fields. 
Horse riding, cow riding, cow catching..

Everything what I saw and experienced through the whole weekend, was new to me. Just like these games. 

It’s funny to think about it; learning a new sport. That doesn’t happen quite often.

‘What are the rules? When do you win? What are they doing?’

One of the guys from the station participated in one of the competitions. He had -unfortunately- a bad ride this day. 

For being able to win; you must sit on the horse for eight seconds. He made it half way; four seconds.

The second -and last- night was bigger then the night before. There was a stage; a band playing; and the bar was extended.  

The stage was build out of wood and was placed on a field of sand. Nothing more, nothing less. 

People were singing and dancing along with the music. The dancing -country dancing-  is something you have to learn. 
And apparently, not to learn in just a night. I tried..

A lot of turning and swiping around. You have to trust the guy with this. But eh, at the end of the night, you have more chance to get dropped. 

‘So no thank you – I will dance on my own from now on’

For me, the last night ended in a caravan.
On my way back to the tent (everyone was somewhere else; that kind of night), I saw some people from the fair of the night before. 

We started to talk and ended in a caravan where we watched the movie ‘Avengers’ , with a group, we all just met. 

Three days and two nights of rodeo was enough to recharge to go back to the station, for the last months.

On the way back, the car filled with satisfaction and happy/funny/drunk stories. 

We finished the drinks in the car, just before we entered the road which let us back to the station. We song along with the music; windows open; the wind in our faces; under a full moon. 

Life was good.

The next morning on the other hand was heavy. Very heavy..

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