Sooke and the Creepy Door

We were sad for our outdoor adventures to come to and end. We stopped in Sooke on our way back to Victoria hoping to see the resident bald eagles since wildlife was a bit scarce on this trip.

Sooke is about an hour drive from Victoria. They have a thriving arts community and are known for outdoor recreation. Sooke has been a destination for a long time and has become more popular due to people visiting the West Coast and  the Juan de Fuca Trails. There’s a lot of back country recreation like ATVs, 4x4s, dirt bikes, etc. Recently, Sooke has become a destination for mountain biking. For a better look at Sooke click here to view last years post, we didn’t take pics of the surrounding area this time around. Continue reading


Lower Avatar Grove

Lower Avatar Grove was our favorite of the two, it seemed greener and quieter. Avatar Grove can be visited all year long, we were here in early October. The trails can be steep but it consists mostly of boardwalk so it’s not that bad. Someone with bad knees won’t be so happy. I didn’t mention the roads in the Upper Avatar post. You will need a 4 wheel drive, the roads can be really bumpy and uneven. It would be best to get a vehicle with high clearance from the ground. Continue reading

Upper Avatar Grove

Avatar Grove is located around Port Renfew. It has Canada’s gnarlist tree and big red cedars. The trees are 500-1000 years in some areas. There are two portions to Avatar Grove: Upper and Lower. We chose the Upper Trail to explore this rainforest. Continue reading

Botanical Beach and Tidepools

Botanical Beach and it’s tide pools are one of our favorite hikes. It was relaxing compared to Parkinson Creek Trail which we were all hurting from the day before. By the tide pools, we rock scrambled a little to get to the other beach that connects to the trail. It was a nice change of pace climbing along the shore. Continue reading

Port Renfew

If you want to see Vancouver off the beaten path, go to Port Renfew, this was home for 3 nights. Last year we stayed in Victoria and Toni picked us up from our hotel. This trick snagged us an extra 3-4 hours on the trails. She doesn’t usually book stay and play tours but we became friends with her (we feel special). It was nice having this as our home for a few days. Continue reading

Was that Beau Bridges at Ayland Farm?

Yes it was, we bumped into Beau and his family eating lunch while we were nature walking with Toni from Rainforest Tours. I thought Toni was walking over to a group of friends (Vic recognized him), turns out she was walking over to the the other guide in her company and the group she passed over for us because we reserved her months in advance. We are touched we were priority since we booked forever ago but it’s Beau Bridges. We told her she has to frame his disclaimer form and that she should have brought them to Port Renfew with us. We really wish we could have asked for a picture but you know, respect the privacy of celebrities, at least we got to meet them. Continue reading

Lyndhurst Mansion

The Jay Gould Estate, also known as Lyndhurst, was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis in 1838. The estate is located in Tarrytown, NY which is one of our favorite destinations for day trips. It’s about a 35 to 44 minute Metro-North train ride from Grand Central depending if you take the express or local train. It’s also my favorite train route and if you read my posts regularly, you know I love trains, choo choo! Continue reading