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Listed #12 on the Top Things to do in Victoria, right after Shop til you Drop (priorities people), is Goldstream Park, and Mt. Finlayson.  From what I have been hearing from people Mt. Finlayson is an extremely popular hike in this area - similar to the Grouse Grind in Vancouver, or the Chief in Squamish.  I find it some blend of the two, but also very different.  If is steep, like seriously steep.  If you aren't short of breath by the top, you are... superman?  It has a lot more scrambling over rock and between crevasses than the Grind, but no chains and ladders like the Chief.  The biggest difference for me, was that when I got to the top, I was ready for more.  

At 419m the hike probably takes about half an hour - I didn't time it, just guessing.  And although I was a sweaty mess - I wanted to be higher, go farther - my legs were itching.  And although the views were spectacular, I am spoilt by the views at home, and kept on trying to figure out where the water was?  I mean there was the ocean in the distance, but .... I guess I am just going to have to accept this type of beauty for what it is, and not compare it to Squamish... 

It really was a great hike, and another difference I felt was the friendliness of the hikers.  Although I always hike in my Vibrams, and occasionally I will get the odd comment about them - here everyone seemed to want to talk to me - I had at least 10 people ask me about them - and those I passed who didn't, still said hello and occasionally some other quip.  

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Can you spot the trail in front of me?
Now for my history component... :)   Mt. Finlayson was named after Roderick Finlayson (originally Scottish) who lived between 1818 and 1892.  He was a fur trader turned politician as he joined the legislative council in 1851 (he was also Chief Accountant of Fort Victoria!).  When he retired from politics in 1872, he became quite the business man managing his farm and estates.  In 1878, he was elected Mayor and held that post for a year - during that year the City Hall was constructed.  Despite all this I am not quite sure what this man did that was so great a mountain got named after him - maybe it was City Hall? But I am not enitrely sure City Hall was his idea, it was just built during his term in office... hmmmm... will need more info on this guy.  

The trial (The Prospector's Trail) was built in 1971 by the Outdoor Club of Victoria using old prospector's routes and passing two old mineral claims - I either walked right by these without noticing, or they were not on this part of the trail.   Hiking down the mountain, I somehow got myself off the main trail, and started freaking myself out about bears and cougars - so I made up a lovely song to sing..... it was something like "Oh trail, where are you?" repeated a million times.....  but it was a success, no creatures trying to eat me.  

After the hike, I still had a lot of energy so I ran around the park at the bottom a bit - followed trails along the stream - the salmon spawning yet - is it October?  Supposed to be pretty cool, I'll be back.  There is also a cool Nature Center with stuffed animals of all sorts (I like the beaver) - and I saw some kids wearing Jerry the Moose Antlers - these threw me back to my childhood where the Park Rangers across the road used to give Geordie and I these hats if we went to a nautre talk or something like that.  I found it crazy that after all this time Jerry the Moose is still the exact same.  

 


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