Last Sunday, James, Monique, Julie and I visited Sooke Potholes. It’s a regional park (there’s also a provincial park–I need to work out their relationship, geographic and otherwise) along the picturesque Sooke River, which drains into Sooke Basin just east of the little town of the same name.
The park gets its name from the potholes which dot the river’s length:
Glacial action during the last ice age 15,000 years ago is responsible for the formations, as the moving, melting ice packs stripped the surface area and carved a path deep into the natural bedrock. Huge boulders carried along by the rushing river became lodged, were swirled against the canyon walls and consequently carved out the potholes that can be seen today.
It’s an extremely popular park for swimming, as well as the moderately-dangerous activity of cliff diving. Some young person occasionally kills themselves when they misjudge a jump into one of the many pools.
The park has one other unusual feature–a kind of modern ruin. It’s the remains of a lodge that Albert Yuen started developing after buying the land in 1981:
The heavily timbered lodge, the first step of YuenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s resort, still sits unfinished overlooking the Sooke River, just beyond Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. The 20-year-old structure will likely be removed because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in bad shape, Turner said.
Here are a couple of photos of the remains:
Whenever I see this site, I’m struck by how it looks, on a superficial level, much like the ruins of a 500-year-old keep.