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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

We’re going to golf in what?

Before we talk about golf let’s talk about the crazy long hike we did today! OMG! 3 hours, 20 minutes, 7.9km, 12,000 steps, and 13 flights of stairs (equivalent)! Are we crazy or what? Go big or go home has always been my saying in we’re going BIG because we aren’t going home for a long, long time!

Richard’s brother and sister in law (Norm and Jo) are here from Ottawa for the winter. They arrived the beginning of November and are staying in Victoria. We had not met up with them yet, so we arranged to meet with with Jo for a hike, while Norm golfed at Olympic View Golf Course.

We discovered that the Galloping Goose Trail was only a 2.2km drive away from Pedder Bay RV park where we are staying. The Galloping Goose Trail is a 55 km rail trail from Victoria to the ghost town of Leechtown, north of Sooke (where we had lunch yesterday). The trail was created in 1987 on the former ‘right of way‘ lands of the CNR. So off to the “Goose” we went this morning.

The trail was very easy and was great for cycling, hiking, or jogging. I had brought my walking stick that I saved from yesterday and was about to lay it beside the sign and grab it on the way back from our hike, but then we saw a little sign saying “Matheson Lake Loop” and decided to take a detour around the Lake on a new trail....something a little more interesting so we thought.

Along the Galloping Goose Trail.

Beautiful Matheson Lake reflection of the trees in the water.

The trail around the Lake started out not too difficult at all.

Now its starting to get a bit more interesting...Jo led the way and Richard was in the middle finding where to step so he could show me the way and I brought up the rear....slowly...thank god for the stick...and Richard who helped me find my way...gingerly...

The trail was extremely hilly.

Lots of interesting vegetation in the forest around the Lake. Huge logs that had fallen down, mushrooms and lots of water falls and vegetation.

We got half way around the Lake and thought...that wasn’t too bad...let’s do the “back nine” so to speak! We could have taken the ”easy, boring” Galloping Goose trail back to the car, but why do the easy thing when the front 9 of the Matheson Lake trail wasn’t too bad...

Taking a break after walking one side of the Lake.

Just before we started the back side of the Lake we saw a Red Breasted Sapsucker woodpecker up close. He was pecking away at this tree and let me get up fairly close to take his picture

The back of the Lake was much more difficult and it was a very challenging hike! The trail guide for this trail (I looked it up now to put in the blog), calls this an “INTERMEDIATE” trail.

The greens in the forest were beautiful and the fresh smell from the pine trees was invigorating.

Lots of ferns in the forest.

And finally after 3 hours and 20 minutes we were back to our cars! Thank god! We made it! Another challenging day of hiking on crazy tough trails and my leg held up for another day! Richard said my physio would be very happy with how well I’m doing...!

We quickly drove home to have some lunch and then headed up to Olympic View Golf Club to watch Norm coming in on 18. We surprised Jo and she didn’t recognize us with our masks on coming into the pro shop! Olympic View is one of the Top 10 rated public golf courses in British Columbia and was previously ranked in the Top 50 golf courses in Canada in Score Golf Magazine. Norm said the course was “good” when he finished and he was able to walk the course, carrying his bag without any difficulty. At +8C today none of us felt cold exercising outdoors. There doesn’t seem to be the same “damp humidity” we have back home.

So now what do you get the golfers who have everything they could possibly have for golf?


The conditions in B.C. for winter golf involving playing when the course is wet and because there is a lot of rain in the winter, if you want to golf, you need waterproof golf boots! Luckily I had a gift certificate for BC Golf which included the pro shop at Olympic now we BOTH have WATERPROOF golf boots with great spikes on them to golf on the Island this winter. Also, the benefit of spending so much money in the pro shop (Jo got some golf boots too) is we got to know the Head Professional of Olympic View and he said to call him Saturday night/Sunday morning and he would get us on the course on Sunday. Norm has been having a hard time getting tee times as so many locals have not left town for sunnier climates this year. Nice to know that we know that we will be getting out on Sunday for a round of golf in our new golf boots!! As a good friend of my says “WE WILL BE STYLIN’!!!!”

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