The rain has come down, the river has come up and I could be stuck. Heavy rain over night has caused the river to rise significantly cutting us off from half the station and the road to town, its also backing up some of creeks on the station causing us to be cut off again (but I’ll get to that later). With all the rain we went to pull a pump up the bank before the river rose too far but we were too late it was already up and were cut off from it making trip a bit of waste and leaving the freshly cleaned ute muddy again. Following this we went into Yarralin to pick up our panel yards and take them home, with the exception of a few storms hanging about it was uneventful until the trip back. One of the creeks we had to cross was dry on the way out but two hours later on the trip back it had risen to point were it was almost impossible for the manager to pass in the ute, luckily he got through by following the truck I was driving. Hopefully the rain will hold off tonight and I’ll get through tomorrow.
After weeks of making terrible noise we’ve finally replaced the diff in the stations body truck, it was a slow and difficult process as we don’t have the correct gear to lift the heavy diff into place, but after a bit of improvising and a bit heavy lifting we had it in place and bolted in. When the old diff was removed we didn’t find any metal shavings in the oil, just large bits and pieces in stead. Aside from that it was just a quick trip into Yarralin to pick up stores off the truck that’ll further top stations supplies for over the wet season.
Its been a busy two days on Humbert with an early start yesterday heading into town to pick up supplies and parts so the station will be stocked up over the wet. And with the wet season quickly approaching we’re hurrying to clean up all the little jobs that we have left, so this morning it was all go moving cattle lick to sheds at the old outstation and cleaning up the remains of the old quarters that were burnt last week. Just to make things interesting this afternoon the loader that was cleaning out the turkey nest getting bogged axle deep, but the grader was soon on site and the loader was pulled out. Who knows what the next few days will bring.
Third round is over with the last of the mustering finishing up today, all we have to do is hope that the rain holds off for tonight so the truck can get through tomorrow. The desilter arrived the other day to clean out two of the turkey’s nests (small dams that supply water to the troughs) only to hampered by rain that stopped him in his tracks leaving a nest drained and unable to be worked on, as well the problem that it had no compacted earth at the bottom making it impossible to desilt. So the construction of a new nest is underway, which will be a good thing in the long run as it will be much bigger and better than old one with a compacted base and walls allowing it to hold more water for longer. The rain is also causing other issues washing out creeks making it difficult for a ute to get through and nearly impossible in the station truck, we lost nine 100kg lick blocks going through one creek today making for a difficult clean up. Hopefully the new turkey nest should be done tomorrow and the truck will finally arrive so we can get the cattle out.
Third round is starting tomorrow so the last few days we’ve running gear out to camp, ute load after ute load has had to go out from the gear for cattle handling to all the basics for living out on camp. We took the horses out yesterday only to end up in a race against mother nature herself, winning only by a nose I made it back to the station before the skies opened up and the rain came down. So for the next week it will be all go go go until third round is over.
We went into the park on Monday to pick up helicopter fuel drums that were left out there from when the National Parks did their cull of feral cattle only to be told they had already picked them up and we weren’t needed to do it any more, but seems as we were out there we had a look around the old camp and yards from the days when they used to drove the cattle to market. Yesterday was a long one leaving the station at 2:30 to make to town before 8, after dropping off my ute at the mechanics I picked up the station ute and spent the rest of the day picking up supplies, two flat tires later I made it back to the station at 11pm. It was a slow day today walking the loader two hours away to unload lick then walk it back. Were gearing up here for third round which will start Monday, we’ll start all the gear out to camp tomorrow.
The rain came in heavily last night with over 35mm falling in a few hours soaking the station, its roads and bringing creeks back to life, its also the one day a week the mail plane arrives making the first job of the day to clear the airstrip of termite mines and make sure the water has run off. This was followed by a bore run, made interesting by wet roads and paddocks as well as a bore motor that had thrown the fan belt. It had smoke coming off it, the radiator was dry but the motor was still running and the pump was still pumping, it was stopped, fixed and started first go. These motors continue to amaze me in their resilience and strength, I’ve seen one motor that was left with water sitting in it after the river had submerged it, all we did was change the oil and drain the water and it started first go.
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