Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cathedral Grove...Nature's Magical Forest

As we headed towards Ucluelet, the topography changed once again. Now the road is lined with trees...very dense and very tall!

We arrived at Cathedral Grove. Look at the height of these trees! Cathedral Grove is a huge stand of trees located in MacMillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island on the way to Port Alberni. Some of the trees are over 800 years old!

The trees dwarf this car...

Although it was about 7 degrees outside, it was cold and damp in the forest...

Because of the dense forest and large amounts of rainfall, moss grows everywhere. Look at the branches of this tree. They're covered in moss...

On New Year's Day in 1997, a powerful Qualicum wind increased in force as it funneled through the narrow bend in Cameron Valley to the park. The combination of high winds and wet soil was too much for the forest to withstand and resulted in what is known as "windthrow." Trees were uprooted and stems were shattered and thrown through the air.

Once sheltered under a dark natural umbrella formed by giant trees, new plants can now benefit from the sun's rays reaching the forest floor.

Can you imagine the noise and earth shaking as these trees fell?


As this fallen tree (called a nurse log) decays, plants begin to thrive off the nutrients in the log and the dead tree acts as a nursery providing a place for young plants to flourish. Look at the young trees growing out of this fallen log...

This uprooted tree is now the base for new trees to grow from...

Hug a tree!

This tree just seems to go on forever!

The trees sure make you feel pretty small...

The water is so clear you can see right to the bottom...

Spooky forest...

We met only one other couple as we walked through the forest. It is so nice at this time of year to have all the tourist attractions to yourself!

This tree looked like a spooky spider...

Speaking of spooky...this tree seems to want to reach out and...well, let's just say I wouldn't want to walk in this forest at dusk!

You could easily hide in here!

Jim standing beside a fallen tree. Look at the size of this tree! I can't imagine the noise it made when it fell...

Same tree looking down the length of it!

This tree is the grand-daddy of them all...over 800 years old, 250 feet tall, and 30 feet around. Mind boggling...

It was an amazing experience. Nature is astounding in its beauty...

I'd be out of there in a flash in a windstorm!

Back in the car and continuing on our journey to Ucluelet...

Welcoming statues in Port Alberni...

We're getting there!

Look at how the hills have changed...they are full of beautiful trees, so thick and dense...and how lucky are we...look at that sky...

We stopped at Sproat Lake which Jim remembered as being a beautiful lake...

Jim was right. Sproat Lake is stunning...this was one time where I felt I captured the beauty in the photo.

My favourite picture on our whole trip...

Mountains at the end; beautiful trees on the sides...absolutely a gem!

More beautiful scenery along the way...after Cathedral Grove and Sproat Lake, I was going on sensory overload!

Taylor River...


More beautiful scenery...Canada is amazing!!

Kennedy Lake...all this beauty...I can see why people say Vancouver Island is the most beautiful place...

As we are getting closer to Ucluelet, Jim spots the road that led to the minesite in the 1960s.

Kennedy Lake is huge! We are still driving by it miles later...

This black bear was right alongside Kennedy Lake. There are many notices around the area warning people to be aware of the bears...

Holy moly...we're here! Over 10,000 km and 51 days later...Ucluelet!!!


It will be fun for Jim to see if anything looks the same 40 years later!

No comments:

Post a Comment