Subaru 4WD Club of Victoria - June 2021 magazine

Page 11

TRIP REPORTS Cobaw State Forest Trip, 23 May 2021 By Daniel Ho On a lovely sunny day last 23rd May, 9 vehicles from the Club met in Lancefield in the morning before heading into Cobaw State Forest. It had rained the week before, and some CFA members the group met in Lancefield told members of the group that the tracks in Cobaw were muddy. Due to some “family” matters that morning (wife was ill), the trip leader (me) arrived 1 minute past the 10:30am meeting time and didn’t get a chance to speak with the CFA guys as they had left town by then. With the CFA’s comments in mind, we went into Cobaw State Forest for a day of technical driving but ventured on a modified route compared to the original plan. The new route was to start with a small loop out from the main picnic/camping area (Smiths Track and Mansfield Track) to check out if the tracks are as muddy as the CFA described them to be. The tracks were indeed moist but not muddy. However, it didn’t take much standing water before things got slippery, as we found out in our first bog hole. Despite the water being only about a handspan deep on a relatively firm base, we all slipped and slid while crossing the hole. Shortly after the bog hole and turning into Mansfield Track was our first technical section consisting of deep ruts and big rocks. This is typical of Cobaw SF tracks. With the Subarus being nimble vehicles, we threaded our way through this section with careful line choices and expert help from Rick Koster. After this was when the plan “went out the window”. Unbeknown to us, a large rock has rolled onto Mansfield Track. The rock was as wide as the length of my car! (Sorry, forgot to take a photo) and the alternative route around the rock was too rutted and soft to be drivable. We had no choice but to divert onto Link Track. Rick had driven Link Track the week before thus it wasn’t completely virgin territory, but we knew there were some tricky spots. Plan A (or is it now Plan C?) was to continue on Link Track for 2km to the next access 11