Monday, April 18, 2011

My World Tuesday ~ the wild southwest coast

I am back on Haida Gwaii after six weeks in Victoria, British Columbia doing training and housesitting.  I have been to Victoria several times but only in the area of the Inner Harbour, the area the tourists visit.  I knew of places like Esquimalt, Metchosin, Sooke and Port Renfrew but had never experienced them.  What amazed me the most about the Greater Victoria area was their public transit system that lets you get to some pretty wild places for a mere $2.50 bus ride.  One of these places was East Sooke Regional Park located on the extreme southwest tip of Vancouver Island and a beautiful 30 minute drive/ride from Victoria.
East Sooke Regional Park is the largest park in the Capital Regional District of Victoria covering 1422 hectares(3512 acres) of westcoast wilderness.  There are over 50 km(30 miles) of trails through old homestead orchards(above) and farmland(below), dry bald moutain tops(didn't make it) with panoramic views and wild west coast trails(what this post is about!) that includes 10 km(6 miles) of permanently protected virgin coastline.
A friend and I entered the park at the old Aylard Farm homestead in search of the T'Sou-kes(pronounced Sooke) petroglyphs.  We thought we had walked the whole ten kms of rugged coastline however if you notice on the map above we barely made a dent in the trail system(our route is marked in red)! It sure felt like 10 kms!
The vistas were breathtaking!
Isolated anchorage at Campbell Cove
It has been a cool spring but some flowers were in bloom.
The climbs were not always easy but the payoff was worth it...
Sometimes you got a surprise
 and always a great view such as this one at Creyke Point
There are lots of beautiful pocket beaches(high tide) with crystal clear water,
air plants like "old man's beard" and the red barked Arbutus trees,
wind swept spruce and douglas fir
and amazing geology everywhere you looked.
Rock sculpted by water.
Art created by nature!
Ring necked seal petroglyph "bruised" into the rock at Alldridge Point which was designated a Provincal Heritage site in 1927.  There was a second petroglyph but I could not find it!  These were "bruised" into the rock by the Coast Salish (the T'Sou-kes, prounounced Sooke) thousands of years ago and was a technique unique to the Strait of Juan du Fuca.
The power of mother nature was evident every where.  Some of these stunted coastal pines were 300 years old!
The view across the Strait of Juan du Fuca at the Olympic Mountains of Washington State.
For other great places why not join us at


Janie said...

What a gorgeous place! I visited Victoria years ago and had no idea there was so much wilderness nearby. Love the rocky coast view and the bald eagle.

Linda said...

Such a varied tour. I'm trying to educate myself about geology, and found the mixed rocks fascinating.

Sylvia K said...

Great to see you back!! Gorgeous place, superb captures as always! I, too, love the rocky coast and that beautiful eagle!! Hope you have a great week! Look forward to seeing more of your posts!


Gaelyn said...

Such a beautiful place to hike. Although I've been to Victoria with its tourist traps I'd prefer where you went.

Gary said...

Very Grand tour!! Boom &
Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Tammie Lee said...

It looks as though you had a wonderful time!! Such sweet beauty.

snowwhite said...

In Japan, it is getting popular to visit power spots where they get recharged and energized. I think this place is also a kind of power spot. I wonder how long did it take nature to create this beauty?

Kay L. Davies said...

I haven't been to Victoria for a long time, and now I couldn't possibly do that walk, even for the fabulous scenery. I've always said some of the most beautiful places in Canada are on Vancouver Island, and you've just proven me right. LOL
Thanks for these wonderful photos!
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Anonymous said...

What fabulous scenery!

Hazel said...

That was such a gorgeous tour you gave. Thanks a lot. A $2.50-bus ride to see nature as beautiful as this is so neat.

magiceye said...


eileeninmd said...

Gorgeous scnery and photos. I lvoe the shot of the eagle. Thanks for sharing your world.

eileeninmd said...

Gorgeous scnery and photos. I lvoe the shot of the eagle. Thanks for sharing your world.

Marion said...

Oh my! You've taken me back almost 15 years...the last time I hiked this area.

I've lived in Victoria and area twice in my life...once as a student and another time as a young mother. Your photos have taken me back...there are so many wonderfully scenic places to visit on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

The arbutus is a favourite of mine...I had a lovely one in a former garden. They do harbour ticks, though.

Thanks for such a beautiful post!

EG Wow said...

What a beautiful area, Carolyn! Sad to say that although I have been to Vancouver Island I have never been as far south as Victoria. It was a long, long time ago when I had assumed Victoria was just another city. Silly me! I would visit the area in a heartbeat NOW! :))

Patricia Lichen said...

Ooh, I have a spot spot for petroglyphs and pictographs--thanks especially for sharing the ring-necked seal.

--Patricia Lichen,

T said...

Thanks so much for taking me along on that walk with you carolyn. loved your photographs of the area, and the natures art especially. just makes me want to go on another coastal walk very soon....



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