In company of giants

We arrived at Nanaimo around 9 o`clock in the morning. There was a long tour in front of us, so we didn`t want to spend more time than necessary – had a short and tasty breakfast at Tim Hortons restaurant close to ferry port , then hit a Highway 19 to the north. Tofino is about 3 hours away from Nanaimo, by Highway 19 (known also as Island Highway) and then taking Highway 4A on intersection near Parksville, then to Highway 4. About 8 – 10 kilometers from intersection, on a right side, there was our first stop. Qualicum Falls Provincial park.
Once I said that British Columbia is a place with thousands of springs and rivers – literally. Some of them are short ones, that last as long as rain or snow fall. Running down the slopes of mountains, ending in a bigger rivers or lakes; every now and then you can see one. The others, like Little Qualicum river, cut their way through the rocks between steep mountains, making beautiful falls. Those falls were something we wanted to see. To stretch a legs and take a look at one of the beauties of Vancouver Island.


Little Qualicum Falls
But I decided to dedicate this post to one of the biggest living things on Earth. And oldest.

Cathedral Grove
MacMillan Provincial Park is located on the western shore of Cameron Lake, about 16km east of Port Alberni in Vancouver island. This is a place where some of the oldest Douglas fir trees live – in Cathedral Grove. A simple photograph can`t give a real impression of their height – until you stand close to one…

A Big Tree
This giant is the largest tree in a park. 76 meters high and more than 800 years old, this tree has witnessed more history than most of the other living species on Earth. It was 300 years old when Cristopher Columbus came to North America in 1492. I wonder about stories it could tell…
In average, those trees live about 400 years and can reach 120 meters in height. The biggest problems they have are insects and fungus. Sometimes, long winters and dry summers weaken tree`s immune system. On a broken branch, fungus and larvae of insects spread inside the tree, eating buds and spreading through vascular tissue system down to the roots. Even though that could take years to occur, with weakened roots, tree eventually falls…


Cathedral Grove – fallen trees
But this is a rain forest. Ammount of rain and more light that reaches ground after an old tree died, gives a chance to new trees and other plants to grow. It is not unusual to see a trunk of a dead tree with few more trees growing on top of it or through it. Life can`t wait. An end of one is a beginning of the other…

roots
While we were leaving Cathedral Grove, I was sad and thoughtful. I was aware that what I have just seen is probably one of the last unique spots of ancient times in undisturbed nature. Something that will soon disappear to never return. Along with its quiet giant guardians. A sentence from Blade Runner came to my mind:
"… And all those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die…"
***
More road was in front of us. And mountain pass. And snow. And Pacific waves…

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47 Responses to In company of giants

  1. Stardancer says:

    Wow. What magnificent trees.Part of the cycle of life.:smile:

  2. SittingFox says:

    You are bringing back a lot of memories for me ๐Ÿ™‚ You remember when I was living on the island? I was rather to the north of where you were travelling, in the Nootka Sound. But still, that is also extremely green!Trees of that size do have to be seen to be believed. Suddenly you realise how hobbits must have seen Fangorn Forest ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. sanshan says:

    :heart:

  4. risis1977 says:

    Wow . . :up: what a wonderful trip u had . . Love this post . . ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. sanshan says:

    I never tire of visiting this park. Aptly named Cathedral Grove, it is quite a spiritual experience walking among these giants. There is much to see in "The Best Place on Earth".

  6. spooksister says:

    Standing in that beautiful forest really really is like being in a magnificent cathedral – minus the incense ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. gdare says:

    Star, this is most obvious when you are standing there, looking them :eyes:Adele, I remember reading your post about that time. Then, I was not even sure where is Vancouver Island and how big and beautiful it is. I hope to see more of it in the future :yes:Risis, thanks :DSan, thanks for taking me there. You know me so well, know what I like :happy: :heart:Sal, and I felt so small among them ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. studio41 says:

    "thousands of springs and rivers" beautiful placenice photos, here- so much grandeur and green! lovely.

  9. raniakasim says:

    i have always though that Darko is the tallest man i have ever known , but when u stood near that tree :whistle:

  10. gdare says:

    Jill, thanks. I was amazed to see so much water and mountains in combination :yes:Rania, but I am still a man and this is still a tree :whistle:

  11. funz81 says:

    oh my! that's mindblowing

  12. edwardpiercy says:

    "then hit a Highway 19 to the north. Tofino is about 3 hours away from Nanaimo, by Highway 19 (known also as Island Highway) and then taking Highway 4A on intersection near Parksville, then to Highway 4. About 8 – 10 kilometers from intersection, on a right side"Wait a minute…I'm lost…:pA magnificent place, certainly. If the Earth warms up significantly in the Northern hemisphere, I'm not sure what will happen to those old growth forests, the pines. But you know, even such a pessimist as me has to be hopeful in this case. Otherwise, it would just be way too sad.Nice photos! :yes:

  13. spooksister says:

    Edward, unfortunately cigarettes do start forest fires that easily in our province. I don't know the details of the place that Darko is describing but there was a HUGE fire just north of there a few years ago that was started by a dropped cigarette. The offender admitted to it. And the fires can spread that fast because they are south facing slopes with tinder dry trees and underbrush. The fires are reported immediately to the authorities but they are often in rural areas. In the time it takes for men and equipment to respond the fires can be out of control.

  14. sanshan says:

    Relax Edward, have a smoke. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. edwardpiercy says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    One hot summer day a man was driving his car, smoking a cigarette, then tossed it through a window at one point…

    So please tell me how they always know that it was somebody with a cigarette who was responsible. Did someone actually see this person, this smoker, throw it out the window? And did they see the cigarette hit some dry needles and start a fire? And then spread to consume the whole mountain? And if so, why didn't they report it long before it got that far. Oh, I know there's "forensic evidence" and such. But even if they could show that there was a cigarette but near the origin of the fire that wouldn't necessarily prove that it was the butt that caused it. This is all just anti-smoking propaganda. The truth is that the fires such as that almost always are started by campfires or the forces of nature. Sorry to go on, but I hate it when such false logic is applied by people who are essentially looking for a scapegoat for something.

  16. edwardpiercy says:

    Well if you can provide the witness statement, I'll read it in any case. You know a couple of years ago there was a fire here on the Southeast side of Spokane. It wasn't a forest fire, it was what you might call a residential property fire. Well the first thing you heard is that it was a smoker who was responsible. But a few days later they determined that it was some damn fool with his barbecue grill. :pAnd you speak of trains, Darko, there was a small fire this year that they also blamed on smokers that turned out to be from a train.

  17. gdare says:

    I don`t know entire story, maybe San will know more about it.And I am not into that propaganda. In Croatia, for instance, some of the fires I have heard of, were started when a train would slow on steep locations and breaks would make a spark that started it. I have heard of at least 4 or 5 of them stared that way. And camp fires, of course. But I saw people tossing cigarette butts through their car windows, as well.My point was on reckless and irresponsibe people, I was not telling if they are smokers or not :left:

  18. sanshan says:

    Actually, they did see it. And it's right beside the road, and very hilly. There is no campsite there. The area is very dry, pine forest, on a hill beside a valley. The winds are strong. And…countless times I have been behind smoking drivers who flick their butts out the window while driving. It's a big problem here. Nothing to do with anti-smoking. But why can't people use ash trays?

  19. gdare says:

    Fan, thanks :)Ed, it is easy, just as I said: drive on Highway 19 to the intersection with 4A toward Port Alberni, then 4A becomes Highway 4 and there you are :DThe other real danger to them are reckless and irresponsible people. I have seen a hill in BC close to Vernon that was once covered with wood and now there are only burnt dead trunks staying there. One hot summer day a man was driving his car, smoking a cigarette, then tossed it through a window at one point…

  20. edwardpiercy says:

    That's certainly what I would do if I dropped a cigarette to the ground and it caught something on fire: Just stand there and watch it.I'm not saying anything against Darko or San or you. All I'm saying is the first thing you hear is some knee-jerk reaction by the fire department and the media blaming things on smokers when THEY HAVE NO IDEA AT THAT POINT WHAT REALLY CAUSED IT.I'm sure cigarettes do cause fires occasionally. But it is a variety of sources, as Darko said trains are a big one, campfires, barbecue grills, lightning…Okay, I'll give it a rest.

  21. edwardpiercy says:

    Okay.

    :p Have a wonderful day/night.

  22. spooksister says:

    What happened was – the smoker dropped his butt and THOUGHT it was out. The fire started afterward, when he was gone. It was known where the fire started and the guy came forward to report what had probably happened. There was no lightning or campfires or trains or any other explanation. I am not against smokers. EVERYONE has to act responsibly in and around our forests ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Dacotah says:

    Darko, great post. Sadly there are few great places left in the world. Just read a post by Dirk and the forest in that post is almost gone. Alaska and Canada and a few National Parks here are a few places left.

  24. Dacotah says:

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. gdare says:

    Ed, I guess anti-smoking campaign is very intensive in State of Washington :left::cheers:

  26. edwardpiercy says:

    BTW, cigarette smokers where also responsible for the American Civil War, the Great Earthquake in San Francisco in 1906, and the Cholera Epidemic of 1918. ๐Ÿ˜†

  27. qlue says:

    Originally posted by sanshan:

    have a smoke.

    That's a smashing idea! :idea:.

  28. gdare says:

    Carol, I have never seen anything similar to that forest in Europe. Or, maybe there are few spots but I haven`t heard about them :left:Ed :lol:Sal, I saw a lot of signs with phone numbers to report a fire along roads in BC. I like that.Aadil ๐Ÿ˜†

  29. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    While we were leaving Cathedral Grove, I was sad and thoughtful. I was aware that what I have just seen is probably one of the last unique spots of ancient times in undisturbed nature. Something that will soon disappear to never return. Along with its quiet giant guardians.

    Ah no, not as long people can visit, see what a special place it is, and want to preserve it for themselves and others to enjoy in the future.

  30. gdare says:

    That music will make me fall asleep, so beautiful….. :zzz:

  31. Suntana says:

    :doh: I thought you had met some NBA Basketball players at Tim Horton's restaurant.Anyway, sooo, had you noticed the hidden images in those photos? Yep, they are there. A moss-covered Fried Chicken LegA moss-covered MummyA White BikiniA giant moss-covered Mick Jagger tongue from the Rolling Stones logo Awesome Pics, Darko!

  32. Abbacus says:

    Looks like you had a good adventure. You were just a few hundred miles north of where I live most of the time. The Pacific Northwest is green and wet! If you ever get the chance to visit over here in the summer, Glacier National Park and Yellowstone is a good place to start a exploration of the Great Plains. :dragonfly:

  33. Spaggyj says:

    Wow. Just… Wow. Breathtaking greenery. And that tree :eyes:

  34. gdare says:

    Carlos, I just knew you would see a lot of stuff there ๐Ÿ˜† White bikini? :left:Mick, after they discovered that Cathedral Grove has about 1 million visitors per year, BC Government wanted to cut some trees to make bigger parking lot :doh: They failed to do so because of protests of activists but one day they will make it. And then who knows what else will be done… vending machines? Fast food kiosks? You know what I mean…Abbacus, that will be my choice one day I come to live there :yes:Kimmie, yes. Exactly ๐Ÿ˜€

  35. qlue says:

    They should rather make a law that you may only visit on foot! :knight:.See? No parking needed, problem solved! :yes:.

  36. gdare says:

    Highway 4 is going through Cathedral Grove, so it is possible to access it with car easily. Luckily, this is not a highway in usual meaning of that word, it looks more like a regional road, one lane for each way. And parking lot can accept about 10-12 cars and that`s it. But some unusual and old trees grow just next to a parking lot so this is why they should not make it bigger. And million visitors… it is like being at airport or railway station :faint:

  37. raniakasim says:

    but in all of u photo i see a huge man with big features , this is the first time i feel that i am obliged to look carefully at the photo to recognize ur features . :eyes:

  38. Furie says:

    Life can`t wait. An end of one is a beginning of the other…

    Love that line.

  39. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    They failed to do so because of protests of activists

    As long as there are people who will get out and protest we have a chance.

  40. gdare says:

    Rania, big features? Missy, are you calling me big head? :mad::lol: Believe me, this tree is really huge. And beautiful…Mik, thanks. This line was going through my mind the moment we sat in a car. And I memorized it for this post :happy:Mick, yes, exactly :up:

  41. sanshan says:

    Just wait until we go kayaking in Clayoquat Sound…

  42. gdare says:

    Can`t wait :happy:

  43. raniakasim says:

    No,no,no dear Darko at all , i meant to say that ur very tall man ,so sorry if i couldn't convey my idea ,i think it is better for me to say nothing in order not to commit any another mistake ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  44. gdare says:

    Rania, don't worry, I was joking :DMit ๐Ÿ˜‰

  45. thaodp says:

    Wow, that's amazing :eyes:

  46. MirabelaTM says:

    Magnificent trees Darko!

  47. gdare says:

    Yes, they are ๐Ÿ˜€

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