A lazy morning. (The best blankets are made by grandmothers and mums).
According to the park description, Cathedral Grove (MacMillan Park) got its name in the 1920’s from Governor General Viscount Willingdon’s description. In 1929, land was donated by H.R. MacMillan to be park, so people could continue to enjoy the area. It’s about a 2 hour drive from Victoria, just past Parksville on Hwy 4, at the far end of Cameron Lake. I think next time we’re up there we’ll also check out Little Qualicum Falls – it looks pretty neat online.
These trees definitely make you feel small – most of them are too large to reach around, even with Eric! Not that I tried. The root systems are too fragile, and are shallow. The trees can be toppled by a strong wind, as in 1997. The cedars can take quite a long time to decompose, and we could still see springboard marks in some of the stumps from early logging.
The “Big Tree” is the largest tree in the park, and is about 76m/250ft tall, and still growing! I think the sign said it’s about 9m around. Huge! It’s hard to tell in the picture above, but that log laying at the bottom of the Big Tree is about 5ft (give or take). One lady had a hard time jumping down after she and her friend were taking pictures. (heehee)
It was a bit chilly, but still a nice day. (Eric learned that in November, sweaters and gloves are a good idea, even if it’s warmish at home. I was toasty warm :p) Oh! And there were Jack O Lanterns everywhere! I’m not sure where they came from, but on the bridges and at the entrance areas to both sides of the park, people left pumpkins. It was a cool little surprise, and in the dark, they would look pretty creepy.
I’m having fun exploring a different park each week. Any suggestions for next week? (Preferably things on the south half of the island.)
v China Beach
We woke up to the perfect day for a drive, so we head out this morning with a general direction in mind. We found French Beach Provincial Park, between Sooke and Jordan River on Highway 14. The beach is easy to access, and is a great place for dogs to run (The dogs seemed to be having fun!) The golden retriever was very friendly, and the beagle was too busy frolicking to notice us :) There were a couple of driftwood lean-tos on the beach. The one above looks a bit like the skeleton of some creature.
China Beach is further down the road, past Jordan River. It’s at the south end of Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. We’ll definitely be going back to check out more of the park, since we only saw a tiny bit of it! The beach is gorgeous, and perfect for bare feet (we saw some footprints leading from another driftwood lean-to. Eric decided to play with a large bit of seaweed, and you can sort of see how that ended up ;)
After the 1km hike up the hill back to the car, we were really hungry, so we stopped at Shells in Jordan River for fish & chips and a burger. So delicious! If you’re coming from Sooke, go past the tsunami warning sign, across the bridge, and it’s at the turn. The food is made in a little trailer and the picnic tables in the sun are the perfect place to eat it. (If it’s raining, there’s also a woodstove under a tarp, or a few tables under cover by the trailer.)
All that exercise, fresh air, and food make Eric tired so he’s having a nap now. heehee.
This weekend was full of driving and ferries and more driving. We were on a quest to find a place to live in a city far away across mountains and parts of oceans. Luckily the weather was on our side, and it was beautiful and sunny almost the whole way there and back. We stopped and browsed and found new wonderful stores. We met cool people at the hostel with the same name as me :o) We found a place to live!
We’ll be moving mid-June, the three of us. We found a great suite with an owner that was really easy to talk to. I think this will be a good move for all of us. Now, if only free cube vans with unlimited gas fell from the sky, everything would be absolutely perfect!