Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hello Sooke

Been slacking on the blogging front because we've all been away for a few days. Not that it feels like a few days, though. It feels more like I've blinked and missed it, and work beckons again tomorrow. *Sigh*

We thought we'd give somewhere new a try for a short early summer break. All of us have been through Sooke, out on the south-west coast of Vancouver Island, many times on the way to cub or guide camps, but we've never spent time exploring the community itself.

The campground was comfortable and spacious, a feeling enhanced by an eerie lack of trade. There couldn't have been many more than a dozen pitches occupied at any one time. I'm guessing the rather dismal summer so far may have had a hand in that. Well, it gave us room to sprawl a bit without annoying anyone.

We visited the museum, just down the road, where Megan got up close and personal with a large chunk of firewood...

Matthew got a bear hug...

And the very next day we saw the real thing roaming the hillside just a few yards from the side of the road...

We saw quite a bit of wildlife in our few days: several deer, a seal, eagles, and a pair of osprey nesting on top of a lighting pole. This day, we'd driven out to Botanical Beach for a picnic. Whales often come close to shore here, and they'd been sighted that morning, but they'd moved on by the time we got there. So, no whales, but on the drive back we saw cars stopped by the side of the highway and this black bear cub wandering around. Last year, the kids got their first glimpse of a bear in the wild, but that was fleeting and distant. This was very close, and probably the highlight of the trip.


  1. Nice tramping pictures! We had a day trip out some years ago where we got quite close to a momma bear and her cubs rummaging through a trash bin. It was cute in a frightening way, if you consider how close the camp grounds were. Hopefully everyone who glamped was careful to keep the food put up!

  2. Hi Ian! Wow, it seems I missed a lot of your blog lately. What was I doing/thinking? I don't know. Lovely pictures and I'm glad you went on vacation. I know I need one too :S :)

  3. That looks like fun! Wife-y and I are making our annual escape from the kids this weekend. (we have 3 teenagers and a 12 year old. We need it, trust me.)

    As for wildlife, yesterday I came out of the house to go to work, and in the back yard was 1 deer (a doe), 2 momma turkeys, and a flock of baby turkeys (somewhere between 7 and 10. They were ducking in and out of the trees.) I tried to get a picture, but my camera was slow, and the critters were quick!



  4. Botanist, there you are. I love your picture, specially that black bear. There is nothing like a great getaway in nature...and yes vacation goes by way to fast. I'm glad you had a good time. Getting back to work is always such a bummer...unless it's writing....^-^.....

  5. Hi there. I love Vancouver Island. It's a playground about the size of England! I've never been to Sooke; maybe next time.
    I suppose a mother bear with cubs would be about as dangerous as it gets!
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

  6. LOL Danette! We do like to tramp/glamp in style you see :) And meetings like this are a reminder that we are never far from wildlife wherever we go on this island.

    Hiya Steph! Well, I think you've got a great excuse y'know, with important exams and all.

    Hey, Andrew, sounds like you get a good view of nature where you live too. I'm afraid I tend to go on & on about it because where I grew up the largest & most dangerous things you could meet were rabbits and seagulls.

    Laila, yes, I'm still in circulation :) Sadly I'm nowhere near good enough to count writing as "work" yet.

    Hi Bazza, that's a pretty darned good description of VI. The mother bear is what was in the backs of our minds too. She was nowhere to be seen, but I'm sure she wasn't far away.

  7. Now that's a sprawling campsite! Sounds like a great trip with all those nature sightings.

  8. I LOVE Botanical Beach! Our family went there from Vermont when our boys were 13 and 10. You all looked like you had SO much fun!


  9. Yes, Jean, we don't often get the luxury to sprawl like that, though to be fair only the car was actually off our pitch. Everything else was inside our allocated boundary, which was pretty darned generous.

    Wow, Saloma, you know the area then? It's quite a drive along that twisty road isn't it? Even though we missed the whales the beach itself was remarkable to explore, with all those strange formations and tide pools in the rocks. It was low tide so we spent hours just beachcombing.

  10. This looks like it was an awesome trip! The scenery is breathtaking.

    I'm glad the bear didn't get TOO close ;)

  11. Hi Elizabeth. The scenery as pretty typical of our corner of the world, and yes it is spectacular. We are very lucky.


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