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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Victoria Day Hike - East Sooke Park

For a few years now, my husband and I have wanted to hike the entire length of the Coast Trail in East Sooke Park. We've done most of it from either end. We have tried to coordinate with other people so that we would each take a vehicle and park them at either end of the trail, meet in the middle, eat lunch and trade car keys, but it's never worked out. So yesterday (a statutory holiday here) we took both of our vehicles, parked them at either end and hiked the trail just the two of us.

Above is one of the secluded beaches along the trail, which follows the shoreline on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I think the driftwood on the beach looks like a gigantic flower.

The day was cloudy and a bit cool, but we certainly warmed up as we hiked. The journey took about 5 1/2 hours, plus 1/2 hour for a lunch break, which we ate at Cabin Point, seen here from the trail above.

We sat beside a narrow inlet/fjord, took off our boots and munched our sandwiches. Suddenly we saw a deer swimming like crazy from the open water into the fjord. His head turned from side to side as he looked for a place to come ashore. He swam all the way in and we lost sight of him, assuming he'd come ashore and headed up into the forest. But no, he came back again. We were without our boots on and Tim scrambled to take a few photos. The deer came ashore about 50 feet from where we sat. He stood on the rocks watching and listening. He saw us, we stayed very still and quiet. Another group of hikers arrived just on the other side of the point and he heard them talking. There was a moment of indecision - risk the people or....he jumped back into the water and started madly swimming again, rounding the point out of our sight. I hope he soon found a place to come ashore - that water is freezing cold and the currents are strong.
Who would have thought a deer could swim so strongly with his spindly legs?

Lichens and mosses of all sorts covered the rocks. Up and down we went. Scenery breaks seemed to coincide with breathlessness and the need to stop for a minute.

Gorgeous foliage everywhere. Lush and green. Being away from the city, in a garden or in the wilderness is so restorative. I come home refreshed and renewed after admiring God's amazing creation.

Another secluded beach. I'd love to come here on a blazing hot day to wade in the water, clamber on the rocks and read a good book stretched out on the beach.
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5 comments:

  1. What lovely photos. You just wnat to step into them.
    We were on Van. Island last summer - and loved it. Would move there in an instant.

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  2. So lovely, and it brings back such sweet memories of our trip out there! We visited one of the beaches of East Sooke, but I couldn't tell you which! But it was lovely, quiet and peaceful, and the tiny 'beach roses' were beginning to bloom. A great trip - thanks for reminding me! Becky G.

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  3. Thanks for bringing me back home, just for a few moments. My husband and I like those long hikes. Hiked the Yorkshire dales 2 years ago. From B and B to B and B.
    Have a great day!
    Darlene

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  4. Those are beautiful pictures. I love the seclusion of the locations too!

    BTW, I would have never guessed deer were such strong swimmers either!

    Thanks for sharing your lovely day. Looks like it was medicine for the soul.

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  5. Sooke is such a stunning area. Beautiful Clarice

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