Thursday, August 27, 2015

Further Adventures on the Coast Trail

Odin raring to go...

Really getting into this One Hike/Weekend thing, backing it up with 60+ miles on the weekday commute. I think Odin is starting to look forward to it as well. I wanted to do the Ridge Trail at Gowlland Tod but as they were running Ryder Hesjedal's Tour De Victoria 2015 this past weekend I did not want to get in the way so headed back out to East Sooke again,

Early Morning Start - nice and cool
Making huge strides in recovering from my injury and preparing to get back into “getting out there”. This East Sooke Regional park is fantastic for any type of outdoor activity from the strenuous (Coast, Interior, Intense) to the casual, with trails that interconnect so you hike can go from a couple of hours to an entire day if you wish. 
Hills and Rocks - lots of them, but the scenery is incredible 
It’s still that time of year where you are bound to meet fellow like-minded “explorers” throughout the trails, although it is typically a low number (last weekend was a total of 13 – most of them met at the last part of the hike nearest the Open areas). Later in the year it is pretty rare to meet anyone out here, the quiet and the rains really change the park - almost like hiking in two different parks.
Early Morning Fishing - Rock Fishers  
It blows my mind seeing some of the people trail running on the Coast Trail – at this point a walking pace is satisfactory for me, but hat’s off to them for doing their sport. Hard Core!
Odin and I made it through to the Trapper Cabin at Cabin Point - great place for a rest and bite to eat. Sort of my historical stopping point that I used to do years back with my dog Andre (Below).

Just bought a Kyjen Outward Hound Backpack for Odin from  As he is going to continue accompanying me on my hikes (both on my pre-trip training ones and I’d like to plan to take him on my multi-day expeditions too – I think he would like that.) I feel that it would be good for him to carry some of his own stuff, might be kind of cool for us both to be hiking with backpacks.  He has never worn one before so that should be interesting, hopefully not as interesting as the time he had to wear a cone and nearly destroyed the house. 

Where Next?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Eastern Approach

Another Weekend - another great hike, with the best hiking companion you can have.

Odin lookin East towards Bedford Islands and Metchosin
Out again at East Sooke Regional Park, this time entering from Aylard Farm (the largest parking and entrance to the park) and heading West via the Coast Trail. Brought Odin along, it's been a while for him to do such a hike rather than just walking through the forest and open fields. Wasn't sure how much he could do, didn't want to push him too much and cause an injury or worse. He's a trooper though and was more than up for a very strenuous hike. This part of the Coast trail running up to Cabin point has some serious climbing up and over rock faces. A couple of times I needed to give him a boost up, but he returned the favour too. Some of the downward "trails" (using the term very loosely) I made sure I was in front of him and braced him in case he slipped. It was challenging and a lot of fun. About half way up the coast we needed to stop for a watering break, found some shade.
He's having a great time
As with these hikes, I learn something each time, this weeks lesson? Water - need to double up what I carry when Odin is with me. He pretty much cleaned me out by the time I got back to the Parking lot. I was carrying 2 Litres, made sure he was looked after first, due to him not being able to regulate internal temperatures like me. I had a flask of tea which carried me through. Going to have to figure out how to carry that extra water - maybe in a bladder that I can refill the Naglene Bottles from. I brought some food for him but that was unnecessary on a day hike, we just shared my food. My food, my water, hmm feeling a little like the pack animal here. 

Spectacular Viewpoints all along the route
Our next stopoff after a very hard climb was Beechy Head. This is the official marker of the border between Canada and the USA. It is also another fantastic view, you can almost see Port Angeles in the distance from here. Just a stone throw's away.
Beechy Head Marker
Keep you eyes and ears open, the place is teaming with all kinds of wildlife, various birds, small mammals, insects, ect.  Found this guy on the centre of the trail so moved him off, Good size, not sure what type of caterpillar he is but he was the size of my largest finger.

Just past Cabin Point, then over to the Interior Trail around Babbington Hill, following the Interior trail back to Aylard Farm. Total time just over 3 hours. Odin was thrilled to see a little reward at the end of the hike. He absolutely loves running through tall grasses. Couldn't believe he had the energy left to do this, he reached deep and made me do the same. 
Wildlife on the plains of the Serengeti
Looking forward to next weekends hike, not sure of the destination but I am sure that Odin and I will have another fantastic day exploring our local areas.

“Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.” 
                                           --Robert Frost

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Gowlland Tod Provincial Park

Holmes Peak
Another weekend another local hike. Headed over to Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, taking the Ridge Trail between Holmes Peak and Jocelyn Peak. Clouds were moving in fast - they were calling for rain but it held off till later in the day. Incredible views throughout the hike, from Misery Bay (no idea why it's called that it's a beautiful spot.) right through to the rest of the Finlayson Arm and the Saanich Inlet. Round trip from Caleb Pike was 5.88 Miles at a reasonable 27.38 minutes/mile taking 2 hours 49 minutes (or so). 

Even though it is so close it is really quite remote. Every changing elevation and challenging grade, trails that go from well developed 

to loose rock or even climbing up rock faces, keeping your focus even though you are trying to take the scenery in, but not wishing to stumble either. 

 Finlayson Arm Facing South - Misery Bay off in the distance on the right.

Finlayson Arm Facing North toward Squally Reach - Salt Spring Island way way off in the distance.

Just a cool looking tree - great place to have a quick bite and re-hydrate

and proof that you are not alone out here, ever.
Cougar Scat 
Thankfully the only evidence of the cat.

Another great weekend hike - tomorrow's not as exciting just doing the perimeter of the Royal Roads University grounds with my Dog Odin.