Saturday, July 11, 2015

Victoria, BC

Trip Date: June 2015

After leaving Penticton we jumped on the Coquihalla Highway and headed west to Vancouver.  We rolled into the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in time to catch the mid-afternoon boat to Victoria.  The temperature outside was nice enough that we spent the majority of the ferry ride on the outdoor upper deck.  While up there we were lucky enough to see a pod of whales, although they were quite some distance away from us.  

The view from the ferry
Devin and I playing during the ferry ride
After exiting the ferry we made the short drive into Victoria and headed for the townhouses that we rented for the night.  We enjoyed a great dinner at the Canoe Brewpub with Dan's sister before heading home for a couple of beverage's and a good night's sleep.

Sunset at Oak Bay Marina
After an incredible brunch at Mo:Le Dan's sister took us on a walking tour around the wharf.  This was Christine's first time in Victoria so it was nice to get out and see some of the sites.  

Mo:Le was in Victoria's Chinatown; the oldest of it's kind in Canada
The Fairmont Empress
British Columbia's Parliament Building behind the Knowledge Totem Pole, erected February 2, 1990
The parliament building is home to British Columbia's Legislative Assembly
Christine and Jess enjoying the scenic walk
Ogden Point Breakwater and Lighthouse
A little Jellyfish
It would have be nice to stay in Victoria for a longer period of time, but we were on a schedule and we needed to be in Tofino that evening.  We left Victoria in the early afternoon and stopped at the picturesque Malahat Chalet for lunch.  The food was good and the view couldn't be beat!

The view from the Malahat Chalet
Hummingbird perched on the feeder
Christine and I after lunch
Our next stop was at Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park; one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas Fir Trees on Vancouver Island.  It was nice to stretch the legs while strolling along the trails below the towering trees.  The largest tree in Cathedral Grove is an 800-year-old Douglas Fir Tree that's 76 metres tall and 9 metres around.  These trees can live to be over 1,000 years old.  One of the informative signs reads:
The Hupacasath Nation has been using Cathedral Grove for thousands of years.  Not only does this area have a great spiritual significance to the Hupacasath people, it has also been historically used as a travel and trade route for our people before European contact.  Today some of our people still collect medicinal plants, and use bark from the Cedar trees for making such things as baskets, hats and other traditional regalia.  On behalf of the Hupacasath Nation I would like to welcome you to our traditional territory. 
                           -Chief Steven Tatoosh, Hupacasath First Nation
Cathedral Grove
The crew standing in front of The Big Tree
Looking way up!
We also made a quick stop at Sproat Lake Provincial Park to see the ancient petroglyphs that are located there.  The panel of petroglyphs along the lakeshore is one of the finest examples of prehistoric art in the entire province.  The panel, called K'ak'awin by local First Nation people, contains nice separate petroglyphs each representing a different sea creature.  It is believed that the deep smooth grooves were created with a sharpened stick using wet sand as an abrasive material.  Considering the Hipacasath People historically occupied the surrounding land, it's likely they are the ones responsible for crating the artwork.  One of the designs may represent Haietlik or Hahektoak, a mythical sea serpent with a huge mouth and teeth.  This creature appears frequently in Pacific Coast art and mythology.

The petroglyphs at Sproat Lake
You can read more about the petroglyph sites I have visited by visiting my Western Canadian Rock Art section on the Bradshaw Foundation's webpage.

Sproat Lake
Murphy and Rome playing in the water
After our stop at Sproat Lake we were back in the vehicles for the final leg of our drive to Tofino and the next chapter of our summer vacation.

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