I grew up on a couple acres at Shawnigan Lake. We could hike from the back of the property, up to the train tracks, which run from Victoria to central island. We would walk up to the tracks when we were kids, and put a penny on the tracks and wait for the train to go by and flatten it for a cool memento. Later on, a logging road was put in and we would also explore the roads searching for good views of the lake.
After my sisters and I left home, my dad had a horse he would ride on the trails, and neighbours would ride dirt bikes or atvs on the logging road. The train, which was a passenger train, stopped running in 2011.
This month, with a little lighter hockey schedule due to no games allowed now because of covid, I brought the boys with me to hike with dad up past the ‘upper lot’ and to the train tracks. I like the memories and time with dad, and the boys like exploring. Lots of rocks and lookout points and lots of creeks flowing down to the lake.
Dad reminded me of the ‘100 year plaque’ of the ‘last spike’. Mile 25, which is at Shawnigan Lake, was the meeting point of the rail build coming North from Victoria, and South from Nanaimo. In 1886, Sir. John A McDonald placed the last spike. He used a silver hammer and pounded a gold spike. For the 100 year anniversary, the historical society asked my dad to place a second plaque on the cairn there, Mile 25, North of Cliffside road. I was 4 at the time, so don’t remember, but there was a news piece on it in 1995, which I do remember and dad kept.
I look forward to more hikes with dad,more time out in nature with the boys, and more memories.