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In the wilderness lies the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau
Between huge trees and hanging mosses – Grizzlytour Day 3
We make our way to the Avatar Forest, 15 kilometers south of Port Renfrew, along an adventurous gravel road. Here, we marvel at some of the last real ancient forest giants on Vancouver Island. These have survived because in 2009, local tree fans as well as activists who traveled here from far away stood in front of the huge giant cedars and protected them from logging. Now, the forest is an attraction for residents and many thousands of tourists, who help support the protection of nature and the people who live here. We hike through this small forest, which one can cross in 20 minutes. But we need a lot longer because we stop at every tree and gaze at these giants of nature. These trees can reach a height of 100 meters and can live for up to 1,600 years. These trees are actually too great for our imagination, but here they are, standing in front of us. We try to link hands to put our arms around the trunk, but with just nine people that is impossible. Christian and Knut are a little ways ahead of us and as I arrive they stand in front of a tree, in awe. The tree is 5 meters high, and in the trunk has huge overgrowths (??). When we compare how old this tree is, to how old we are, we realize what kind of a witness to historical events this ancient forest giant must have been. Fabian and Erik take pictures like crazy, Carsten and Joschi shoot video and the rest of us wander around the trees, as extras, in order to allow the viewer to understand the dimensions of these ancient forest giants. When we arrive at the Painter’s Lodge in Campbell River there a bunch of things left to do. David, Kai and Tobi go shopping make the final arrangements, the rest pack their things for the upcoming 3-day expedition. Tomorrow we head into the wilderness!