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Thu, Dec 27, 2012, 11:35

A trip to the Cheewhat Giant

A few weeks ago I went with my good friend Alex Bell to see the biggest living tree in Canada.

Our trip started with an early morning drive out from Vancouver, a ferry to Nanaimo, a couple more hours’ drive to Youbou, in the vicinity of a sign meant to provoke uncertainty:

and the start of the shitty roads. Three hours later, after traveling over gravel and potholes meant for logging trucks, we turned off onto an even shittier road, not unlike a couple of deer trails side by side, that led to our first night’s campsite on a beautiful, waterfall-fed lake. The next morning we drove on just a few more km, and unloaded the Subaru.

Alex had along a case with a Nikon DSLR and a robot panning head, for the purpose of taking the biggest photograph of the biggest tree in Canada. I think the photo will be over a billion pixels, which he plans to print out in the neighborhood of life-size at some point. Can't wait to see it. I spent a lot of time lying nearby and listening to the babbling of the nearby creek, with the little whirr of the robot superimposed every minute or so. Here’s me next to the tree itself:

Alex making some much-needed coffee in the old-growth.

You can find the coordinates for the tree pretty easily if you look around. It's pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and when it's cold and wet there is pretty much nobody else around for miles and miles, except bears. Recommended.

Thu, Dec 27, 2012, 12:11

Thanks for posting that!! Inspiring!

The tree is a Western Red Cedar? Or some kind of Fir?

Man, lucky you!

EDIT: looked it up; it is a Thuja plicata, or Western Red Cedar (not a true "Cedar", it's in the Cypress family). Really fantastic Randy.

Thu, Dec 27, 2012, 12:11

Really cool trip randy, I'm jealous ;-), energy must be quiet cool in such a place, love trees too. Have you capture some sounds..?

Thu, Dec 27, 2012, 12:42

What a cool sign; is the top half a cross-section of each large tree after the road ends?

Or they're potholes?

Thu, Dec 27, 2012, 12:47

I captured sounds... but just in my head. ;-)

I think the sign is meant to provoke bewilderment. "If you are worried about this sign, better not go this way." Or, yeah, potholes.