Words From Torr L. - Ridgelines & Coastlines Hiking cohort
After the initial hustle and bustle of the first morning, and finding out where we needed to meet with our cohort leaders, we bussed out to East Sooke Park after each being assigned some gear to carry. When we got there, we took a quick bathroom break and just hit the trail. After not long at all, we stopped to see some indigenous art that had been carved into rocks hundreds of years ago. Right behind us, someone spotted a raft of male sea lions traveling south along the Island. Farther off the coast we even saw the spray from a whale’s blowhole mist into the air. As we hiked on, the trail got steeper and more uneven; it was no problem, and we kept chatting and telling jokes the whole way. We hiked past a number of beautiful coves and vistas, and we kept seeing sea lions and whales whenever we got an ocean view. A whale-watching boat zoomed past far below us and got alarmingly close to one of the whales. We stopped again farther on and ate lunch. Our leaders taught us two awesome knots we will hopefully have use for later on other expeditions. The trail maps turned out to be misleading, and we hiked farther than we had planned. We had to cut our survival skill tutorial short to get back to the bus in time. In the bus on the way back, some of us played the card game “Mao” and performed magic tricks, while others just listened to music. I had a fantastic time, and already feel closer to my fellow hikers. Everyone, including the leaders of the hiking cohort, are fun, positive people, and I can’t wait to spend more time with them as a group.