I've had a long route in my head for a long time that I have yet to do; until today that is.
I started the route in Cordova Bay and headed down the Lochside trail until I hit Emily Carr Park. From here, there is a really sweet route that connects various parks taking you around bogs and following the Colquits River which eventually leads all the way down to the Galloping Goose trail. From here, I took the Goose to Thetis Lake park where I met some the Saturday morning Prairie Inn Harriers trail runners and got a lift to the regular breakfast place that everyone goes to after the workout.
After a good filling breakfast, I got a short ride to the entrance of Goldstream Provincial Park for the second phase of my run.
Group Camping Area
So, my route for the second phase was to connect three parks that I've always wanted to combine - Goldstream, Gowland Tod, and Mt. Work. These all consist of some serious climb (especially Mt. Finlayson) and my goal was to keep in on the easier side and power hike the hills that were either too long, or too steep. Basically, if I started to huff, I took it down a notch.
Bear Mountain - aka Bare Mountain
While it was nice to make it to the top of Finlayson, it was nice to move on and get out of the view of the worst development project in the history of Victoria. Built over some beautiful areas home to sensitive ecosystems (and some of the best mountain biking in the area) the area is now desolate with not one but two golf courses. Just another very unsustainable project brought to you by the City of Langford - the best creators of urban sprawl in the area.
The run down the backside of Finlayson was great and by the time I hit up the Gowland Tod trail, the sun was fully out and the clouds were clearing out even more. While the day started with some rain, it was sure turning out to be a very nice day.
By the time I got to Mount Work, I was starting to feel the burn but I think it had more to do with running out of fluids. Luckily, many other people were out to take in the nice weather and some people were nice enough to top up my fluids in Mt. Work parking lot. The first steep sections of the climb seemed difficult but once I hit the upper sections I was eating it up.
Mt. Work Summit
Mt. Finlayson is the round hump
Unbeknownst to most people, there is a trail that connects the Mt. Work summit trail over into the mountain biking area. You need to do a bit of route finding but it's pretty straight forward especially on a nice day. From there, I ran some of the biking trails, headed out of the park to transition onto some roads, connected in to Elk/Beaver Lake for a 3/4 lap, and then home at last!
After a 60km day, I was ready for some good recovery. It was so good to finally do a route that I had planned on doing a long time ago and I was greatful to have such a nice day to enjoy it. Now, if I can just work up to the other routes that I planned!
NUUN - electrolyte input
PRODUCTS OF NOTE:
Helly Hansen Lifa - awesome next to skin layer
MEC Dervish Vest - a great MEC product
MEC Kinetic Tempo Waistpack - a great waist pack for those who don't want anything on their back