Ten enthusiastic retreaders set off from the end of Point Ideal to hike across the valley and up to Skidder Mountain. We hiked up Lakeview Road across the busy South Shore highway, along Fairservice Main for about a kilometre and then branched onto the logging road that took us across the valley and up some distance to the point where the remains of a cabin are located.
Upon receiving an email about the Skidder hike, Colleen Johel wrote, “I hope you enjoyed the hike up Skidder Hill which I knew as a child. There are still some remnants of an old wood stove and shakes from a cabin at the end of the trail built about 40-years ago by my father, my three brothers and myself. It was a beautiful trail in before it was logged but the view is still as good as it was years ago! I still take my kids up their every year or two.”
A scramble up the bluff above the cabin provided us with a great view of the valley, looking across to Neiser’s place and the satelite tracking station. We could see Mesachie Mountain another popular hike. The volcanic shaped hill looked pretty insignificant from that distance. Further over we could see Bald Mountain which we often hike and it looked quite formidable. In the foreground we could see a large area of recently harvested and not yet planted land and some evidence that firewood had been harvested from leftover logs.
We had one check on safety issues. One hiker (who shall remain nameless) followed a deer track when coming down off the bluff. While we were calling his name, directing our voices up the hill, someone looked down and there, about 50 metres below us, was that hiker. He looked a bit puzzled and asked, “How did this happen?” This experience had us discussing how we should carry and learn to use whistles to signal and how to keep the group together.
When we crossed onto Fair Service Main we noted that the gate had recently been moved right out to the highway. We surmise that this was to prevent people from driving onto the road and dumping garbage. There was evidence that a significant amount of garbage had been collected from that area before the gate was moved. That observation left us a bit disappointed.
All told we hiked between 11 and 12 kilometres counting the return. We thank the authors, John and Georgie Clark and Rick Nott, of Our Favourite Hikes in the Lake Cowichan Area, for guiding us on this hike.