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Toolangi Trekking

27th April 2002

With Maxim from the Ukraine visiting, it was a perfect excuse to get together and get dirty. Well that was the plan at least....

At the last minute, Maxim decided to satisfy his life long desire to watch a bunch of Penguins waddling up the beach at Philip Island (if you ever get together with Mick Barson, ask him about penguins ;-) so he pulled out. In retrospect it's probably just as well.

Dave, Cameron & Daniela and I met up at Yarra Glen at a respectable 10:30 am and after some bladders were satisfied, we headed off into Pauls Range. Cam, a NSW refugee, was pleasantly surprised to see tracks so close to Melbourne. This area is a great escape if you only have a few hours to spare.

After a brief morning stop at the base of Pam's track to admire Dave's aerial collection on the front of his 80 we headed to Toolangi where we would meet with QLD refugee Matt and his photographer Jason. For those that attended last year's Easter 80sCOOL trip, you'll be pleased to know that Matt finally tied the knot after his cunning stunt - catching his lovely girl friend off guard by proposing at the top of a mountain at sunset. A new video camera and a honeymoon was matt's reward - but he seems happy ;-)

Into Toolangi State Forest we went and turned up Vic Range Track. The bog holes at the bottom have been repaired however with all the rain in the area, Vic Range track itself was a bit of a mess.

To cut a long story short, we spent 4 hours to travel just 1km. Mud, ruts, mud, ruts and more mud. Winching, snatching, digging, swearing, laughing and with 3 of the 4 vehicles stranded with flat tyres deep in mud and ruts, despair.

Testament to just how cool LCOOL members are, everyone knew what had to be done and we all just got down to do it. Help when help was needed, battling on your own if you could, and with Daniela running around with a packet of biscuits, we had all vehicles unstuck and tyres replaced well before dark. Matt was too weak to lift his tyre on his own and I'm still trying to make my mind up about Matt's friend Jason. He spent his time giggling behind the view finder of Matt's video camera and he was remarkably clean at the end.

With all vehicles now pointing back down Vic Range Track, our exit was brisk. A welcome break and a #6 at the bottom of the track to pump up tyres and we were on our way back home - entertaining ourselves with radio chatter about getting your money's worth at Car Lovers and what they would do with the hundreds of kg's of mud we'd all dump there.

Until that is someone asked when the next trip was planned. It's that enthusiasm after a moment of awkward radio silence that reinforces just how keen we all are.

George Couyant

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