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Rocks and elk on Cowichan River

My girlfriend and I had a real wilderness trip to Cowichan River the other day, where we found a few rocks, smeared ourselves in clay, swam, threw rocks for dogs to catch and ran into a herd of elk.

Our location. Gravel bars are a rock hounder’s friend!

We were trying to go on a first trip to Cowichan Lake on Vancouver Island but couldn’t find a nice spot to get in the water that was away from people and allowed dogs. Instead, we went to Cowichan River and walked alongside it a ways to find a secluded gravel bar with a deep swimming area and a clay wall.

The whole other bank was made of layers of clay you could break off in huge chunks. Rocks fall every few minutes as the bank erodes. It was deep over there and dropped off to at least 10 feet.

Rockhounding hadn’t been too successful when we went to the Nanaimo River, but here we found a mix of nice rocks, including Flowerstone, Dallasite and red jasper.

Some of the rocks we found at Cowichan River today, including Dallasite, red jasper and Flowerstone.

I swam one big chunk of Flowerstone not pictured here across the river. Not a long swim but I was proud of myself.

Fish were jumping in a pool up the river and my girlfriend thought she saw a bear. We saw a mink for sure.

This dog’s a natural rockhound.

We threw rocks for her dog to try to catch in the water. It was fun to watch him jump for them but he sure didn’t like actually catching them.

Fun to try to catch, emphasis on try.

And on our way home, we had a great, surprising encounter with a herd of elk on a dirt road. Neither of us had seen elk in person before. They are absolutely massive! They seemed bigger than my truck with kayaks on top. Pictures don’t do it justice.

Elk on Vancouver Island.

One of these days, we’d love to hunt an elk. There’s a lot of great wilderness and no doubt great rocks to be found too. Another great location in British Columbia, Canada!

Elk buck.

Pictures truly don’t show how big these creatures are. They would crush your body with one stomp. Mine at least.

They stand still and hide in the trees.

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