August 22-23, 2014, Sooke, BC (continued)
Saturday morning we took the dogs to the Sooke Potholes Regional Park to hike along the Sooke River. The “potholes” are unique geological formations – deep pools in the river – that are great freshwater swimming areas. We saw lots of people swimming and tubing in the various pools in the lower part of the park. Farther upriver the gorge became narrower and steeper with a number of waterfalls. This is one of the more rugged areas where we are told some of the more adventurous jump and dive off the cliffs.
One of the larger of the waterfalls along the trail.
Another view of the beautiful rugged gorge along the trail.
We hiked on the Galloping Goose Trail back to the parking lot. The 55 km Galloping Goose Trail lies on the route of a railway grade that was established after World War I to haul logs and lumber from the forest. The trail runs from Victoria to the area where the former gold rush community of Leechtown was located along the upper Sooke River. This gravel trail is wide and as it is on an old railroad bed the grade is gentle. This was a great hike in another beautiful area on Vancouver Island.
After our hike we went back to the 5th wheel for lunch and to drop the dogs off so they could rest. While the dogs slept we went to the Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery where we bought a bottle of their great mead and a jar of honey.
We then drove into Sooke to hike on Whiffin Spit, a natural breakwater sheltering Sooke Harbour from the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
It was a pleasant 20 minute walk to the end of the spit where we had a great view across the harbor to East Sooke with the Olympic Mountains of Washington in the background.
When we got home Rex gave the dogs their Saturday night baths – and boy did they need one after all the hiking they have been doing.
Sunday morning Rex gave the dogs much needed haircuts and after lunch we went kayaking. We put the kayaks in at the campground and headed up the Sooke River - Nancy taking a little rest and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
About 10 minutes up river we were stopped by this huge tree that had fallen across the river blocking the way. We could have portaged around the tree but decided to paddle down river instead.
We saw lots of geese – of course, Canada Geese – honk honk, eh!
We paddled through the river estuary and into Sooke Harbor where we saw this sailboat sailing in Sooke Basin. We paddled round this gravel spit into Sooke Basin where we paddled along the shore for a while before turning back and heading up the Sooke River to the campground.
Another great day! We have enjoyed this area of Vancouver Island just as much as the other areas we have visited. We are leaving Sooke tomorrow and heading north again to spend a few days in Duncan before we leave the Island on the 30th.