2019 July Journey – Vancouver Island section – Day 6

We had another lazy morning and didn’t leave the cottage until 12:30.  Our landlady had stopped by last night and told us about Matheson Lake, a popular swimming and kayaking lake. We decided to go see it.  The lake is surrounded by park land and the forests around it are intersected with lots of hiking and mountain biking trails.

There is not much shoreline around the lake.  It only has a small sandy section near at the end and otherwise there are several access points down the steep sides and rocks where you can enter and exit. (There is a trail that encircles it which is about 3 km of up and down hiking.) The rocks on the little island are a popular sunbathing spot. We hiked almost to one end of the lake then took a trail that joined with the long Galloping Goose Trail.  The Galloping Goose is decommissioned railway and runs for 55 kilometers from Victoria to Leechtown, a ghost town north of Sooke.  From there the trail joins the Old Sooke Flowline and is part of the Trans-Canada Trail network.  We met lots of people walking their dogs, jogging and riding bikes along the Galloping Goose section back to the parking lot.

We drove a short distance down the road and pulled into one of the Galloping Goose Trail access points to have some lunch.  We are working on a geocache challenge and had a few caches to find in our quest so we decided to drive the East Sooke Road and find some.  Much  of  both  sides  of  the  road  is  forested,  so  even  though  you  are  driving  alongside the  water  there  are  houses  and  trees  that  prevent  you  from  seeing  it  except  occasionally  when  there  is  break  and  you  can  enjoy  a bunch of docked  motor boats and   sailboats  at  anchor. The East Sooke Road ends at a gated community called Sooke Point that has ocean cottages and yacht suites that cost between $350,000 and $900,000.  They better be nice!!  Just before we reached the end of the road and the Sooke Point gates we stopped to find a geocache that was hidden at spot with a lovely view of Sooke across the water and Whiffin Spit; which is entirely parkland. Growing on the rocks were lots of daisies and a little puple flower and these pretty pink ones and yellow ones.  No idea what they are called.  They grow low to the ground and have very little foliage.

There was a turn around cul-de-sac at Sooke Point and we got out to take a photo of the rocky shore.  Apparently there are lots of whales and seals that frolic in these waters so the residents of Sooke Point have some great views of the show.Once again it was 6:30 by the time we returned to Wisteria Cottage.  When we were talking to Gail, our landlady, last night she mentioned that there was a dead branch in the tree near the gate that was stuck over another branch and too high to reach.  It annoyed her, which is quite funny since all of the grounds around the cottage are overgrown and ‘natural.’  Anyway, when we go back, John backed the truck into the little lane and stood on the tailgate to remove it for her.  He is a nice guy.

We check out in the morning and drive back to Schwartz Bay to hopefully catch the 11 am ferry to Salt Spring Island. We will spend two nights there and explore and find geocaches during the days.

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