An Aussie Weekend

There’s not too many more Australian pastimes than exploring our beautiful country by 4wd. Every weekend, there is a trail fourbies (as we call them in Aus!) heading off into the parks and beaches in my region. This weekend it was Bean (of Adventures Of A Bean) and I, in ‘Heidi’, my blue Holden Rodeo – heading for Conondale National Park. Conondale National Park is 35,500 hectares, which is over 87,700 acres, and near Kenilworth Qld. I would definitely recommend you visit there if you are in the area!

Specifically, we were heading for Booloumba Falls, which is an amazing set of waterfalls and gorgeous gorges winding their way through the park. Despite the drought, the falls were still flowing well and the water was clear and cold. I have tried several times to get to the falls, but the track can be cut when it rains due to landslides. The track is for 4wd’s only as it steep and very rough in spots. Driving through the park is great fun though, and you can see and hear the wildlife as we go. The place was filled with the songs of Bell Birds, and you’d often see a Goanna or Lace Monitor scuttle through the leaf litter.

Bean and I spent hours out there, exploring and swimming in the different falls. We took lots of photos – enjoy!

Jillaroo Jess at the Gympie Muster 2013

Greetings, city slickers and country bumpkins!

My videos from the Gympie Muster have not yet been edited so I thought I would share a couple of pics from the event of your favourite redhead (me, obviously..) and Yas, the frontwoman of the band Playback. The two photos I’ve attached are of Yas and I on the McAlister Kemp truck which seats 12 people! I was lucky enough to interview Troy Kemp and Drew McAlister, and I sat in on an interview that Yas did with Adam Brand – who is a household name in Australia.

Hoping to have some videos up for you guys soon, stay tuned 🙂

The 12-seater beast that McAlister Kemp rolled up in.
The 12-seater beast that McAlister Kemp rolled up in.
Yas and Jillaroo Jess interview Adam Brand
Yas and Jillaroo Jess interview Adam Brand

I got a day off!

Weekends normally mean more work for me. More enjoyable work, mind you, I’d much rather be outside than in the office. Last weekend, however, was different – well one of the days anyway! Since it’s been getting warmer, and the days longer, I have been itching to get down to the river. In summer that’s where I (would) like to spend my days, relaxing by the cool water, watching whichever dogs I brought with me running around and playing. This time I brought Dodge, and Sid with me. Dodge is over a year old, and Sid is around 8-9 months old. I took some photos of our adventure to share with my favourite bloggers.

The next day we were to muster Jackaroo’s Pa’s property to send some cattle to the sales. In the ‘mountain paddock’ we had some trouble with the cattle who decided they didn’t want to obey the dogs or horses. There were only about 50 head of cattle, so we had 2 dogs and both Jackaroo and myself on our trusty steeds. Well, mine was trusty – my sweet sweet Perseverance. Jackaroo was riding a green mare. For the city folk – not green green. A green horse means it hasn’t had much work and is very fresh, ie – on the good feed all day, so green poop. Due to Jackaroo being on an inexperienced horse and having difficult cattle, I stayed behind the mob with the dogs to make sure everything kept following him. Anyway, the cattle were pushing past the dogs and we often had to gallop to the lead of the mob to turn them around. At one stage, when I was cantering up the hill, we came across a crop of granite boulders. One was straight in our path, Percy and I disagreed which way we were going to go round it, so we flew over it! Our horses certainly learn to get good footing when mustering. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes to a horse. If I was riding a horse that had only ever lived in a small flat paddock instead, both of us would’ve surely hit the dirt. Mustering horses are strong and tough and have to think for themselves when we’ve got our eyes on the cattle going flat strap. When we finally got the cattle to the yards, we drafted and tagged a small group to send to the sales. The next day we then went to the cattle sales to see how they sold. They were mainly some older cows and some cranky ones. There was one calf that I couldn’t resist taking a photo with as he was very cute! I thought you guys might appreciate it.

Enjoy the photos, and keep an eye out in the next couple of days for my stories from the 2013 Gympie Muster where I was media once again. I got to interview some great artists.

Jillaroo out.

Week-end, Not Work-end.

Good morning fellow Jillaroos and Jackaroos. I’ve been rather quiet on here the past few days, as I’ve had 4 days off work (aka the day job). Thursday was the public holiday for ANZAC Day. If you’re not from around these parts, ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It’s a day to remember the fallen soldiers and appreciate what they’ve done for us. Since Thursday was the public holiday, I took Friday off too so I could have a 4 day weekend. Not that I ever seem to get a day to relax though. I was busy as ever on the farm and around the countryside.

I’ve only just brought my filly, Perseverance, back into work. Last year she went out west mustering with Jackaroo for a few months. Then, due to the drought and flooding, she lost a fair bit of weight, so I’ve been trying to feed her up for the past few months. She’s still got some weight to put on but is looking a lot better! So on Thursday, I took her down to the campdraft ground to work her. A campdraft is an Australian sport where riders cut out a cow and then push it around a course – it’s what I plan to do once Percy is old enough and strong enough to do it. She is only a baby, at 3yrs old. She is the horse I’m laying on in a previous post. When I was walking her around the arena, she stumbled and ended up on her knees. She then took a few bites of grass, and laid down while I was on her. Was very funny! That will show me for teaching a lazy horse to lay down! So I worked her for a while and then went and picked up hay from a property further out.

On Friday I went to the Widgee Mini Music Muster with the Australian Institute of Country Music crew. We interviewed a few artists such as Travis Collins, The Webb Brothers and Graeme Jensen for a podcast that will soon be put together. I am hoping to post the podcast on my blog as well. Country music festivals have the best atmosphere. I fell in love with the atmosphere long before I started liking country music. The people are friendly, and it’s easy to get interviews with the artists. I’ve previously been to festivals to interview artists for the radio show a friend and I used to host. One day I’ll be on stage.. Until then, you’ll have to put up with my ramblings on here. Oh who am I kidding, you guys will be some of the first to hear of my adventures!

On Saturday and Sunday I took Percy mustering on a property not far from us. Jackaroo rode his stallion, Confidence, the first day and then another 3yr old filly, Sardonyx, the next day. We mustered the cattle from the mountain, across the road into another paddock and finally into the old cattle yards there. They haven’t been used for a while, I kept getting my spurs tangled in the chest-high grass and stumbling. Classic gumby Jess (slang for uncoordinated). It can be real rough riding through the bush looking for cattle. Some bits are really densely treed, and you are continually ducking and diving from branches and big fat spider webs. In Australia we call this ‘scrubby country’ or ‘the scrub’ – where all there is are forms of eucalypt trees and weeds like lantana bushes etc. I dodged one spider web yesterday which stretched 2-3m, and had a massive fat-bodied spider in the middle of it. I’m not sure what type of spider it was but they are common in the bush, their webs are actually bright yellow in colour. At least it makes it easier to see them! We certainly are one badass country.

Hostess with the mostess – JESS!

Ahh.. I love showtime. Is it the atmosphere? The dagwood dogs (I had 5 over the 3 days LOL)? Or drinks with friends at the Cattleman’s Bar? Probably a combination of them all. I am the Show Hostess of the largest regional show in QLD, and it’s GREAT FUN! This was the third year I’ve worked in this role, and in a nutshell it means I take care of the sponsors and dignitaries to ensure that they come back next year! I have learnt many things as the hostess, such as how to sash a cow with style, in STILETTOS!

This year I took my jackaroo’s ute in the ute competition. For those of you who don’t know what a ‘ute’ is, it’s Aussie slang for ‘utility’, I think Americans call them trucks, or pickups? Anyhoosers, I won ‘Best Feral Ute’. The sash and trophy are proudly displayed in my house. However, my jackaroo didn’t find it so amusing! In the machinery parade my driving skills didn’t impress the committee much though, but the crowd sure liked it! Vroom.. Vroom.. Vroom.. Schreeeeeeeeeeeeechhhhhhhh…

By the end of the 3 days, after rocking amazing outfits and heels, my feet were KILLING me! I could not wait to slip my jeans, boots and acubra on for the rodeo. Felt like walking on clouds. As much as I love dressing up, there’s nothing quite like pulling on my wranglers and ariats.

All in all, it was another great show, and I’m looking forward to next year 🙂

Say your goodbyes, crayfish!