~ submitted by Quinn Park
May 4th, 2019
East Sooke Park is an amazing place that folks go to learn. They learn to hike, they learn to rock climb, slackline, they learn to navigate, and they learn about west coast beach ecosystems.
On this trip, on this corner of Vancouver Island, I tasked myself with learning to lead a trip. And it began before the trip with the logistics of organizing IMR members and non-members alike interested in the trip. On the morning of the hike, nervousness struck – what would I forget? First-aid kit? Sunscreen? Water? Did I forget to email anyone?
How funny the nervousness is. Is it pointless as nothing pertinent was left behind? Or is it a beast that helped me not to forget anything?
The day-hike itself went off with out a hitch. Beautiful weather, views of the Olympic mountains were particularly outstanding, and the cool ocean water was a calming cobalt blue that I haven’t seen before. The East Sooke Coast trail wanders through beach, forest, hills, even some exposed rocky outcrops. After a quick stop for lunch at Cabin Point, we ventured back through the East Sooke interior trail. Arriving back at the parking lot and I can’t think of much that would have wiped the smiles off our faces!
For those of us members of Island Mountain Ramblers who are brand new to leading trips: get after it! You’ll learn something about the outdoors, about other people, and something about yourself.