Mount Horne (A Wander in the Clouds)

~ submitted by Phil Dol

November 10th, 2019

The six of us started at the Cathedral Grove parking lot. We followed the cabin road to the start of the trail, from there it is a steep hike up to the deteriorating railroad tracks. After a short wander along the tracks it was time for more uphill hiking until we reached the logging road followed by the last uphill section to the summit for lunch.

Even though all the weather forecasts predicted clearing  around mid-day, it wasn’t until we were back at Cameron Lake that the sun broke through.

When we returned to our vehicles, what had been an empty parking lot was now full of noisy vehicles and people, a stark contrast to the peaceful hike we had just completed.

Mt Becher Snowshoe

~submitted by Phil Dol

March 2, 2019

Five members met up at the Wood Mountain parking lot for a snowshoe to Mt Becher in the sunshine.

We departed at 9:45 am mostly following the summer route. There was only one other person on the trail whom we played leapfrog with up to the summit. We arrived at the summit around 12:30 pm where we experienced the rarity of no wind and clear views of the surrounding mountains all to ourselves.

After a short lunch break, we headed back along the same route, where we encountered several groups of people on snowshoes and backcountry skiers as well as their dogs. We arrived back to the vehicles at 3:00 pm.

Triple Feature, Mines, waterfalls, ridges

–submitted by Phil Dol

Eight hikers showed up on an overcast day to wander through the forest in Ladysmith. Our hike started from the gate at the end of Oyster Sto’Lo road just outside Ladysmith around 9:30am. The hike along Camus Ridge was spectacular, once we dropped down the ridge and through the alder slash we came upon an area of freshly cut timber alongside the road. We continued along the logging road until we reached the trail up to Thistle Mine.There were a considerable number of trees that had fallen across the path up to the mine which made for a few trail detours.

Continue reading “Triple Feature, Mines, waterfalls, ridges”

East Sooke Coast Trail –Lifetime Achievement Objective–

–Submitted by Phil Dol
East Sooke Regional Park offers 50 kms of trails through forest, marsh and field a Challenging 10 km Coast Trail, Pocket beaches, rocky bays and tide pools for exploring and scuba diving and Spectacular views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Olympic Mountains. This would be my third hike following the Coastal Trail from Pike Road to Aylard Farm. We started by making arrangements the day before with Sooke Harbour Taxi to pick us up at the Aylard Farm parking lot and drop us at the Pike Road trail head. 

We departed Parksville at7:00am Saturday in the darkness of the early morning not knowing what type of weather we would encounter today. When we were about 20 minutes from the Aylard parking lot we contacted the dispatcher for Sooke Harbour Taxi to confirm that we would be ready at our pre-arranged time for pickup. 
The day started out cool and overcast with a blanket of fog over the ocean blocking our view of the Olympic Mountains. The trail is fairly easy to follow with a well trodden path through the forested sections and reflective markers over the rocky areas, recently they have added colour trail maps at the major trail junctions as well as the existing wooden directional signs.

 We stopped for lunch at the Cabin Point Trap Shack, normally I would sit on the rocks and enjoy watching the waves move in and out over the tidal pools, but today we sat under the protection of the trap shack roof overhang from the light drizzle that had started about an hour earlier. This area is were you will usually start to see people on the trail. Along they way to our next stop at Beechy Head the sun decided to come out. From Beechy Head we continued past the Petroglyphs at Alldridge Point and to our final stop at Creyke Point to enjoy watching the sunlight start to diminish over the ocean before returning to the parking lot at Aylard Farm.
Along the trail we enjoyed the rugged coastal terrain views of Vancouver Island, multiple Heron sighting, a few Seals having a nap on the rocks, numerous Sea Gulls and a very vocal Squirrel. The trail is well maintained with lots of ups and downs, but no major elevation gain, also there are a few spots along the way that drop down to sea level. In total we hiked 13.5 km and took 7 hours with lunch and a few picture breaks.