Pilbara coast- Cossack historic town

Next we headed to the Pilbara coast and had a couple of days in Karratha. Another town built because of the iron ore mines inland and the off shore gas plants. The railroad tracks end at the shore near here at Dampier to load the ore onto waiting tankers. This town is not pretty but useful – for stocking up on groceries and getting the Prado fixed yet again :-(. We then headed to the Historic town of Cossack. Here there is a nice beach to camp on with only 4 campsites and is quite pretty. You can still see the industry in the far distance but it can’t be heard out here.  M

cossack sign
Cossack town began life in 1863 as a pearling port and was abandoned in the 1950’s and went to ruin. In 1977 it was classified by National Trust and in the 1970’s-80’s resoration work began some of it funded with mining money.

cossack time line sign

cossack camp settlers beach
Settlers beach Cossack. We were parked here with only 3 others, so we didn’t have to fight over a place on the beach! There were lots of sea birds here eating off the big sand flats at low tide.

cossack camp panorama at high tide

cossack camp panorama at low tide
This is the same beach at low tide. Not great for fishing or swimming but great for walking and yes, shell collecting.

jarman island light house

jarman island walk
We thought it might be nice to walk to Jarman Island at low tide and check out the ruins. It was a swim across the channel but the water ended up being a bit brown coming out of the channel and you couldn’t see what was in there. There are a few sharks to watch out for around here so  chance it.
cossack beach bubbles
The rapidly  incoming tide makes the sand bubble in places sounding very strange and making a foam that is pushed along on the tide.
cossack court house museum
The old court house that is now the museum

 

cossack bond store
The bond store which is now a cafe which we stopped at for a nice lunch
galbraith store building
Another old store building with an interesting roof line.
cossack jail
No old town is complete without a jail.
water tower art
The watertower lookout complete with tank art. Most common recreational activity in these parts-fishing!
cossack historic rown from the lookout
View of old Cossack from the water tower
old cossack photos
This is what Cossack looked like in it’s hey day with pearling luggers sitting on the sand banks where there are now mangroves.
school house at cossack
Old school house with Sturt’s desert pea
desert peas with pea pods
Desert pea flowers and pods
cossack finches and dome
Birds having a drink and a bath in the drain
the old school
The old school house
cossack grave
We visited the old cemetary both the settlers and the asian. It seems we were even more racist back then and we couldn’t all be buried in the same area! We saw nobody over 50 buried. They were all children and mostly young (under 40) people. A sign of the hard times and lack of immunisation and basic health care and good food. Also dangerous industry.
asian grave
There were also plenty of pearling deaths in this dangerous industry
cossack pearling sign
As in Broome, Aboriginal divers were often kidnapped from inland and brought to the coast as free labour on the pearl luggers. Woman were the best divers, sometimes free diving down to 60 feet in the days before hardhat diving came in.
cossack turtle
Myrtle the turtle. There used to be a turtle soup factory near here back in the bad old days!
turtle soup sign
I can’t even believe people ate turtle soup! It doesn’t sound good even if you didn’t love turtles. The big turtles they caught are the breeders too. It’s a wonder there are any left. Today Aboriginal people supposedly only hunt the smaller ones.

turtle soup sign 2

 

golf on settlers beach
Ninas’s family tradition of hitting golf balls onto the nearby rocks and watching them ricochet off all over the place. The only people not fishing on this beach! Steve and I had a go but we really needed some practice! These people had been doing this “sport” for a generation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Karijini Gorges then on to Millstream Chichester National Park

Our last couple of days at Karijini were spent at the Karijini Eco Retreat campground on the western part of the Park.  This is the same area where I did the canyoning trip, but we decided to spend a bit more time here to see some of the other gorges in our own time.    First up was Kalamina Gorge.  Not as deep as the other gorges and a rather corrugated 25km drive from the camp, but this had the advantage of making it less popular.

kalamina gorge
Kalamina Gorge
banded iron
Folded banded iron rocks in Kalamina Gorge
kalamina gorge pool
Serene views in Kalamina Gorge

kalamina gorge2

Various textures on the gorge rock floor

The following day we descended Weano Gorge, most of which is an easy walk except the last bit where a handrail and some steps have been installed to give access to the aptly named “handrail pool”.  From there one could wade another 100m down the gorge before the way is blocked by warning signs (in the good old days one could continue down into Red Gorge then back up Hancock Gorge – a rather hair-raising adventure where there was allegedly 1 rescue needed for every 300 visitors).

handrail pool walk 2
Descending Weano Gorge

steve handrail pool walk

weano handrail pool entry
The handrail leading to the eponymous pool

handrail pool

handrail pool panorama
Handrail Pool panorama.  I continued down the wade through the gap.   As Maddy was still not feeling 100%, she had a good excuse to not brave the water which was probably about 15 C.
weano crow
We had tea and biscuits at handrail pool while being watched by the local corvid.   This could be a Little Raven but is probably a Torresian Crow.   It’s hard to tell them apart unless they speak.
handrail pool exit
While the handrail sticks out like the proverbial, the steps have been thoughtfully made by bolting blocks of the local rock onto the wall.
oxers lo
After climbing out of Weano Gorge we walked to the nearby Oxer’s lookout where one can see the junction of 4 gorges.  Entering from the left is Weano Gorge.  Red Gorge continues down centre left.  Joffre Gorge enters on centre right and Hancock Gorge enters on the right 
joffre gorge
Later that afternoon we visited the falls at upper Joffre Gorge – a short walk from the camp site but involves a slightly exposed scramble to get down.  
joffre falls
While the falls were reduced to a trickle, it was still impressive to experience the dramatic amphitheater.
gorgeous gorge girl
On the way out Maddy is clearly happy to have the tricky scrambling bit behind her.

After over a week in the Karijini area, we started back towards the coast stopping at Hamersley Gorge for the morning before heading on to Millstream-Chichester National Park for the night.

hammersley gorge rock
More bent and buckled banded iron at Hamersley Gorge
hammersley gorge lower pools
Hamersley Gorge lower pool.  A bit chilly, but lovely swimming down between the banded cliffs
hammersley gorge upper pool
Upper pool at Hamersley Gorge

millstream park sign

deep reach
Millstream-Chichester, sounds like a quaint English village, but is mostly harsh arid shrubland.   However this stretch of the Fortesque River forms a large beautiful pool where water, which normally flows beneath the surface, is pushed up by the local geography.  At a push this could maybe remind one of the rolling green hills of England 
deep reach pool danger
Despite all the risks, I could not resist taking a dip.   The water was lovely.
milstream pool
Fortesque River Panorama
view from mt Herbert
Looking to the coastal plains from the summit of mighty Mount Herbert – at only 400m above sea level it was probably too low to justify an altitude risk sign.

pilbara purple flower

python pool
Python Pool – a perennial waterhole in Millstream Chichester NP.  
weird bird 1
After nearly 3 weeks without seeing a new bird, this one had me a bit excited.   However it turned out to be a Brown Songlark, which I had seen back in December so the bird drought continues.
mulla mulla flowers
Mulla mulla – a striking plant growing on the roadside through much of the Pilbara.

 

Karijini Canyoning

While many of Karijini’s gorges are openly accessible to visitors, increasing numbers of rescues and a particularly unpleasant accident in 2004 lead to the more tricky parts being closed off and only accessible on a guided tour.   So on one of our days in Karijini I joined a tour which involved descending the narrow chasm of Knox Gorge with an abseil and rock slide over a 3m drop; then a sedate paddle up the wide Red Gorge before climbing back out of Hancock Gorge, which had an easy rock climb thrown in for excitement.   The tour company provides all equipment like wetsuits, harnesses, drybags and warm clothing and also takes photos, so all you need to do is turn up with budgie smugglers and a credit card and they provide the rest.

However I was told that they might take a week or so to send me the photos, so instead of waiting I have decided to write up this post and include a few of my own photos taken with my cheap and nasty Go-Pro rip-off and update it at a later date with additional photos (hopefully of better quality) when they arrive.

Maddy’s cold was particularly awful at this time and with this trip requiring one to spend 5 or 6 hours cold and wet, it would not have been wise to join me so sadly she had to stay behind in Tom Price.  S

setting forth down knox gorge
Setting forth all decked up with the colours of the aboriginal flag

L-R: Water slide then abseil down Knox Gorge; view of the exit of Knox Gorge into Red Gorge

paddling down red gorge
A nice sedate paddle down Red Gorge
lower Hancock
Heading up Hancock Gorge
rock climb out hancock gorge
Rock climb followed by a traverse in Hancock Gorge.   It was here that Jim Regan, an SES volunteer, was swept to his death in 2004 by a flash flood while rescuing a tourist that had fallen and injured herself.   Before then people used to scramble up and down this rock climb section without ropes so it is little wonder that the park authorities had to close it off to visitors.
memorial to a
Memorial to Jim Regan above Hancock Gorge

Karijini National Park – Dales Gorge and Mt Meharry

Karijini National Park covers parts of the Hammersley Ranges in the Pilbara region in NW Australia.   The rocks in this area are understood to have been formed about 2500 million years ago on submerged continental shelves in the form of layers of iron rich hematite and quartz which have far more recently been raised above sea level.  Even more recently, gorges have been carved through these layers to produce dramatic ravines with banded red and black rock walls.

fortescue falls
Fortesque Falls in Dales Gorge
steve at fortescue falls
Fortesque Falls
ferns at fern pool
Maidenhair ferns at Fern Pool near the top of Dales Gorge
fern pool
Fern Pool.   With a temperature in the low 20s, it is one of the rare warmish pools in Karijini National Park and is a great swimming spot.
dales gorge
Looking down Dales Gorge
dales gorge from fortescue falls
Dales Gorge

Banded Iron formations in Dales Gorge

Pheasant Coucal close
A fearless pheasant coucal wandered past literally 3 metres away 
dales gorge
Typical Pilbara banded iron in Dales Gorge

dales gorge walk

circular pool dales gorge
Circular Pool – at the bottom of a subsidiary gorge to Dales Gorge – viewed from a lookout.
circular pool lookout
Looking up at the lookout and the photographer
circular pool bottom
Circular Pool from the bottom – nice and “refreshing”
asbestos risk sign
While currently best known for it’s iron ore resources, the Pilbara also contains asbestos deposits which were mined in the mid twentieth century – at one point supporting a town of 30,000 people.   Today that town (Wittenoom) has had to be abandoned*.   It would be an interesting place to visit if you were feeling brave, but we weren’t – especially given the high winds we were experiencing on our first few days here.     * Depending on who you talk to, Wittenoom has either been totally depopulated, or there are still up to about 12 die-hards / conspiracy theorists living there.  Either way it is officially de-proclaimed and no longer appears on official maps.
asbestos 1
The lower part of Dales Gorge also contain some native blue asbestos between the bands of iron/quartz.    Like the sign says above, it is supposedly safe when not disturbed.   However…
blue asbestos
… in some parts it appears on the footpath where it shows obvious signs of being trampled.
3 way lookout
Lower Dales Gorge at sunset.

We spent 3 nights at Dales Gorge in the eastern part of Karijini National Park during which time I also climbed Mt Meharry – the highest peak in the state of Western Australia.  Sadly Maddy had succumbed to the lurgy so she did not feel up to joining me neither on Mount Meharry, nor on the gorge adventure tour which I will cover in the next post.   After Dales Gorge we spent a couple of nights in Tom Price then returned to the national park staying at the Karijini Eco Retreat camping area – which will also be covered in another post.

karijini map

heading to meharry
On the way to Mt Meharry.   While it is possible to drive to the top, the last 5km are very rough going.   As I was keen for a bit of exercise and the Prado had once again started flashing a “check engine” warning light, I decided to walk the last 5km.
meharry from road
First view of the mighy Mt Meharry.   OK this is Australia – we are not blessed with towering mountain peaks, especially on the mainland.   So basically anything that provides a view of the surrounding countryside can be called a mountain, and anything more than 500m above said countryside deserves the title “mighty”

meharry trial risk

The authorities in Western Australia are astoudingly productive in the number and diversity of their risk signs.   The summit track pretty much follows the skyline from the right and the summit itself is roughly behind the bush

meharry trail
Approaching the start of the north-west ridge
looking west near summit
Looking west from near the top.
meharry plaque
Despite its potential for stories of a more humorous origin, it seems the mountain was named after a real person.   However the surveying parties must have had a sense of humor because there is also a Mt Bruce and a Mt Sheila in the area – seriously.
mt meharry summit shot
And that ticks off number 6 of the so called “state 8” peaks that I have climbed in Oz.   The others being: NSW (and Australia) – Mt Koscuiszko, which I have visited many times; Victoria – Mt Bogong, which we climbed earlier in this trip;  Queensland – Mt Bartle Frere, an epic jungle trek with leaches and endless rain which I climbed in 2001;  Tasmania – Mt Ossa, which I climbed in 2010 and Mt Bimberi in ACT which I climbed in about 2002.    The remaining two are Mt Zeil in Northern Territory (a bit more of a logistical challenge as you need to arrange permission from national parks and a local station manager) and Mt Woodroffe in South Australia which the local indigenous people allow to be climbed only once per year as a participant in an organised tour.
mt meharry summit panorama
A north eastern panorama from Mt Meharry.   The dust to the east comes from Rio Tinto’s West Angelas iron ore mine.
mt meharry summit distances
An informal distance post on top of Mt Meharry.   Both Jakarta and even Singapore at about 3250km are closer than Sydney

Leaving the Kimberly for the Pilbara

We left the Kimberly coast and turned inland to the Pilbara. It was sad to leave the beautiful coastline behind but better for my shell collecting addiction. 80 mile beach was just littered with temptation. It was also exciting to be getting back out into the deserts again on the Marble Bar road.

80 mile to dles gorge

This area had had a big dump of rain in March and it looked much greener than most places we had seen on this trip. The most exciting thing about this, was that there were wildflowers which you only see after rains. It was the first time we had EVER seen the Sturt Desert Pea in the wild and they are really striking little flowers. M

sturts desert pea pilbara roadside
The very striking Sturt’s Desert Pea on the side of the road.
sturts desert pea roadside closeup
Sturt’s Desert Pea, a very unusual looking flower that really stands out. They sort of look like little alien beings with big black eyes!
fluffy wildflowers
Wildflowers after rain on the side of the road

yellow flower bushyellow flowers

Our first night away from the coast was at a really beautiful free camp on a river bed at Dooleena Gorge. There was not much water in the river but it didn’t matter as we were surrounded by gorgeous red rock. It was all birdsong morning and evening but no new birds at this lovely spot. There were only a few other campers surprisingly. M

doolans gorge free camp
Doonleena Gorge free camp
dooleena camp2
The spinifex covered hills around Dooleena gorge and Keddie tucked into the trees on the edge of the riverbed.
dooleena camp
Relaxing on the dry river bank.
pool at dooleena
A tiny bit of water left in the river.
ibis herons and egret at dooleena
Straw necked ibis, Great egret, White faced heron and White necked heron all competing for what was left in this drying pool.
caught with his pants down
Greater Egret heeding the call of nature!
Peregrine Falcon.
Peregrine Falcon watching us from high above and complaining the whole time!

doolans gorge free camp 2

green happy spinifex
Very happy green spinifex surrounded us on the hillsides that looked more like wet season plants due to a big dump of unseasonable rain.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We headed to Marble Bar next which is in the Guiness book of records for being Australia’s hottest town by having 161 consecutive days over 37.8 in 1924. Oodnadatta which we had visited earlier on the trip was said to be Australia’s hottest town by having the highest ever recorded maximum of 50.7 in 1960.

marble bar temp
Only 29.7! Not so hot today.

 

After a quick look at the museum we headed to the Iron Clad Hotel for some “man food” as Steve is now calling it. We had the burger and chips, so it’s woman food for dinner! It was one of those interesting old outback pubs with plenty to look at while you ate.

Marble bar was named after a stone bar at the Coongan river crossing nearby. The only problem is the stone is Jasper not marble but once they figured that out, the name had already stuck. I think Jasper Bar would have sounded fine. The best thing about this town was the beautiful Jasper and lovely swimming area near it!

 

bringing out the colours at marble bar
The jasper looked even better when you wet it!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Above is the “marble bar” on the Coongan River. It is really jasper stone which you probably would not notice but for millions of years of it being “polished” by water flow, sand and rocks running over the top of it. Afterwards we went to a nearby fossicking area to get us a piece of this beautiful rock but there were none as beautiful as this polished river bed.

swimming hole at marble bar
Marble Bar swimming hole
pink eared duck ears
Pink eared ducks. We often see these on sewage ponds so we were happy to see them in some clean water for a change.
gypsey wagon marble bar
A grey nomad with a hippy twist seen in Marble Bar.

Marble Bar sprang up as a part of the gold rushes to the Pilbara in the late 1880’s. The gold rush was short lived and miners soon headed south for bigger discoveries. We stopped in at the old Comet mine on the way out the next morning. An old Dutch Farmer named Gerald told us the history of the mine as we sat on the veranda of the old mine managers house, now the museum. The mine is too “dangerous” to take tours groups through.

comet mine
Comet mine with tallest smoke stack in the southern hemisphere when built to clear mine of arsenic gas.
pilbara colours
The colourful hills of the Pilbara

 

After a night at the caravan park in Marble bar it was great to get to our next free camp. It is another beauty at Tambina Creek which we have to ourselves. The screeching of the corellas here will be waking us early but that is OK.

tambina creek free camp 2

tambina creek free camp
Tambina creek free camp
Tambina creek camp
Sunset from a nearby hill.

 

Barn Hill and Eighty Mile Beach

After our backtrack to the Derby Rodeo, we headed west once more to a couple of spots along the coast south-west of Broome.  Our first stop was at the Barn Hill Station camping area, which is situated on cliffs overlooking the ocean (although rather than cramming into one of the view spots we chose a quiet private spot a bit back from the cliffs and enjoyed the views during our walks).

barn hill station sign

The beaches with their rugged cliff backdrops and the calm clear blue ocean were magnificent and made for delightful strolls interspersed with refreshing dips.   As always the photographs below don’t fully do justice to the scenery.

Aside from the beach scenery the campsite itself also offered a few interesting distractions.   It appears this is a good spot to view the legendary drop bear – one of Australia’s most feared predators.   Also being an arid coast line, the camp sites all had a barren gravel bed so we were surprised to see one caravan with some neatly growing lawn out the front.   As with many northern coastal towns, many retired people from southern parts of the country drive up and camp in the winter for a several months to avoid the cold.  So this particular bunch obviously decided to plant and nurture their own patch of lawn once they had set up for the season – and why not?

barnhill fisher people
Fishing was a popular pastime at high tide.   Amazingly we actually saw someone catch something worth keeping.
thats mine
Collecting shells is a favourite pastime for Maddy, however it was not always easy to convince the local residents to part with them.

After 2 nights at Barn Hill we proceeded another 200km west along the coast to the 80 mile beach caravan park.   The name 80-mile beach is unusually understated because the beach is actually over 120 miles long.    So while you would expect that there is plenty of room for everyone, there is only one access point where about 500 people are crowded into a single caravan park.     However the beach is pretty spectacular and well worth a visit to experience its extent, its vast tidal variations and the astonishing number of shells on the beach.  Despite its size, the caravan park is actually quite a nice one, so we spent 2 nights there to fully experience the beach at its various tides and moods.

80 mile beach at low tide2
On 80 mile beach at low tide the water recedes about 500m from the shoreline dunes leaving this vast flat expanse.  When you reach the water you then need to wade out another 200m to get just knee deep making it quite an expedition to go for a swim
frantic fishing at 80 mile beach
Low tide also makes fishing impractical and the fishing addicts get quite crazed.  So at high tide they get to let out their pent up frustrations and flock to the beach in astonishing numbers to fish creating another remarkable spectacle – cars spread out on the beach as far as the eye can see…
80 mile beach at high tide
… in both directions.
80 mile beach from dunes
So we waited for the tide to drop a bit and for the fishermen to return to camp to discuss the ones that they didn’t catch.  We then drove about 8km along the beach to have this expanse to ourselves.  I went looking for shorebirds whilst Maddy collected shells.  Who needs a drone when you have a dune?
80 mile beach at low tide
80 mile beach at mid tide when the fishing isn’t great.  Beautiful and abandoned.
collecting shells
Looking back across the sand flats – Maddy browsing for shells
80 mile sand dollars
An acre or so of sand dollars!
lesser sand plover
Lesser sand plover
great knot on the shell flats
Great Knot feasting among the fields of shells exposed at low tide
red capped plover and shells
and a Red-capped plover

for some reason these red-capped plovers were not getting on so well.

 

 

 

 

 

Derby Rodeo

derby rodeo sign
We were keen to see one outback rodeo on this trip. Derby was recommended by our fishing guide on the Ord river, who used to ride. So we returned to Derby again. We feel like we know this place like the back of our hand now! It was a fantastic weekend. It’s a macho sport and not particularly kind to animals so I shouldn’t like it, but I just can’t take my eyes off the action! The horsemanship is actually my favourite part. Watching the skill of the clowns and the pick up riders was just as interesting as the rest.

 

derby rodeo grounds
Most people took their position under the big trees on this hot weekend.
steve mezmerized while in with the babies
We set up our chairs under the trees which ended up looking like a day care centre with all the families coming to watch. Steve sat surrounded by babies and coped quite well
station kids
Cute station kids watching the action on the fence.
cute kids
More cute kids watching the action.
yum a snow cone
I mostly sat up at the top of the stand with the kids as it was the best spot with the best view. It was also the hottest and it was 34deg C! There was a steady stream of junk food happening all day up there and in the end even I had to get one of those shaved ice bowls!
old cowboy
There were plenty of old cowboys in the crowd.

+

cute little dude
Tiny station kids looking cute!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Station Buckjump above is a Kimberly invention. The cowboy rides his Bronc on a normal everyday saddle and must crack his whip at least 2 times in the ride while also staying on his bucking Bronc. This was quite hard to do as few could even manage to crack the whip and balance.

advertise on your chaps
The pickup riders were there to pick up the rider if he managed to ride the 8 minutes or to grab the bucking bronc and get him out of the way of the rider who has just been thrown off. A dangerous job needing some very good riders and horses. They even advertise on their chaps.
successful rider being picked up
This guy managed to stay on the 8 seconds on the broc ride and is being picked up and off the still bucking horse by the pick up riders.

catching a wild one

nice chaps
There were a lot of  frilly chaps out there!

 

 

waiting in the chute
The colourful chutes were very photogenic.

 

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Barrel Racing above. There was a Ladies version and an open but the girls were better at this event.

 

catching a wild one 2

rodeo clowns
The rodeo clowns having a rest. A very serious job. The clown distracts the bull to allow the rider to get out of the way once they fall off. They call themselves bull fighters and they really are. They run towards the bucking bronc or bull getting ready to protect the rider and distract the bull with their red tops once they fall off. They are well padded against being horned. The barrel they can put between themselves and the bull or jump into it if they need to.
waiting his turn
A rider in the chute waiting his turn.
bull rider 3
The clowns running around to face the bull so it is distracted by them and hopefully does not hurt the rider. The riders seem to know how to fall off well and get out of the way quickly as not many were hurt.
rodeo clown on backwards
This clown was clowning around riding a junior bull backwards. He stayed on a very long time too!
bull rider 2
The rider must stay on for 8 sec. His left hand is used for balance and cannot touch the bull, gear or himself or it is called a “touch down” and  he is disqualified. There were 2 woman riders in the junior bull riding.
go the clown
Always amazing how close the clowns get to the action to keep the riders safe by distracting the bull. They had very good reflexes. For me they were as interesting to watch as the riders.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The above shots are from the Bull Riding, Station Buckjump, Saddle Bronc and Bareback Bronc.

condom cowboy at the bar area gave out free condoms
This was the “condom cowboy” who was in the bar area. He gave out free condoms as a public health strategy fighting STDS which are a big problem out here.
health ad at the bar
Always on the lookout for health education. This poster in the bar area.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The above were some of the best riders of the day. They are all Aboriginals and before white man came and took their land they had never even seen a horse! It was nice to see pride in the crowd for these guys and in the riders themselves.

team roping
Team roping looked pretty hard and there was some great riding.
kids race
In the middle of the day on Sunday all the kids were allowed in the arena for a race.
spurs
I had never seen modern day spurs up close before. They are pretty but I’m sure the animals are not impressed which is the whole point I guess.
big bull
This scene just looks wrong but it’s actually a station bull  that was hand raised by this family.
happy on a bull
And this is how you get these guys to ride so well. Start them young. You could see this baby was comfortable on the bull.
presenter derby rodeo
The presenter looked more like a surfer.
steer wrestling 1
Steer wrestling looked pretty hard and the horse had to be highly trained do some amazing riding. It had to go from a stop to a full gallop as soon as the steer was released.
steer wrestling 2
The cowboy has to slide off the horse at a flat gallop and take the steer my the horns. Very few could do this.

 

 

ambulance waiting for business
The ambulance was backed up to the gate and ready for business. Despite how bad some of these falls looked nobody was badly hurt and these guys were only called on once!
off to the ambulance
The ambulance finally got some business. This guy fell wrong or had a bull stomp on his ankle. He needed an MRI but there was probably not even an Xray technician in Derby that weekend! I noticed he was still smiling even sitting on the back of the ambulance.
kids going nuts 2
The best part of the whole day for the kids was after the rodeo when they ran onto the arena and climbed all over the chutes and pretended to be cows.

 

derby sunset
At the end of the day we went down to the jetty for the sunset!