The leaves rustle as the wind makes its way through the dense forest, much like a harp player who runs her fingers through the strings evoking a beautiful melody that makes the heart sing. You are alone with nature, fully at peace with yourself and the wonder that surrounds you. Suddenly that pile of bills on the table in the foyer seems completely irrelevant as a modern life bristling with millions of little issues to deal with takes on an entirely new outlook. A peaceful outlook. Such is a visit to TLC The Land Conservancy of BC’s wonderful cabin on the Cowichan River.
As we came through the gate and began to make our way down the dirt driveway, we were entranced by the natural beauty found in this remarkable BC rainforest. At the end of the driveway, we parked our car and were greeted by a very romantic little bridge and pathway that led us to this cabin nestled deep in the thick woods. The magical little cabin has no running water or electricity, and the silence that greets your ears is audible. The air was crisp and clean, the surrounding trees making for a better air filtration system than any other alternative.
Within minutes we became rather convinced that we had found paradise.
A sprawling carpet of ferns almost hides the cabin in a sea so green that Mrs. Toad and I swore we could swim in it. The cabin seems to blend right into the surrounding grove of trees, almost becoming part of the forest it sits in. This gives you a direct connection with the wonder that surrounds the cabin on every side.
The deck integrates perfectly with the indoors and outdoors of the cabin. It bridges both worlds, creating a sense of seamlessness as you enjoy simple living. The railings that encircle the deck also serve as the most perfect seating surfaces. This gives us a chance to look inward to the deck and inside, or outward to a seemingly endless forest of giant Maple trees and a lush green undergrowth.
A wonderful little path runs alongside the back of the cabin, with a rain water cistern at the end for dish or hand washing. You have to bring your own drinking water and supplies, but this is most definitely part of the charm and fun of true outdoor living. At the end of this path, right by the huge cistern, is a little pathway that leads you down to the Cowichan river.
The kitchen may not have the latest stainless steel appliances, but it is completely functional and is part of the spacious open floor plan of the cabin itself. As Mrs. Toad was readying our dinner, the breeze from outside really made her feel as if she were outside as I busily hopped around photographing the magical scenes that seemed to pop out from everywhere.
The outdoors is an intricate part of life in the cabin. We dined this evening by candlelight and I can honestly say that the contrast between our busy daily lives and an evening here at the cabin was something that peeled away the stress, leaving us both completely relaxed. Note the huge wood beams that are exquisite architectural details, and the antique toboggan that hangs above the door, adding a touch of quirky character.
In this great shot we can see the awesome iron beam support brackets and the fabulous old-fashioned wallpaper on the back wall. If you look closely through the beams you can see a rainbow of colors coming through the stained glass that sits in the upper loft. The wood stove is both beautiful as well as fully functional, adding a romantic glow to the evening. As the evening set in, the temperature dropped to the point where there was a chill in the air even though it was in the middle of summer, a testament to the rainforest’s remarkable ability to be the world’s most efficient air conditioning unit.
This shot gives us a better view of both the jaw-dropping beams as well as the gorgeous stained glass in the loft. Those gentle warm tones we see in the loft bathed the entire cabin in a golden glow in the morning. It was a real highlight of the stay for us.
The enormous big-leaf Maple forest is home to many critters including deer, bear, cougar, otter, beaver, marten, mink, weasel, raccoon, red squirrel, bats, shrews and voles, just to name a few. This ecologically diverse place is a pure symbiosis of river, forest, land animals, fish and birds. TLC placed a conservation covenant on the land, protecting it forever as a natural resource for many generations to come.
As we looked up at the giants towering above us, we were amazed as we considered the age of these old, old trees. They seemed to reach for the sky, almost as if they were dancing in joy. This was an experience that we were literally a part of, one that left a permanent imprint.
This was the very spot, a secret spot, that Mrs. Toad and I sat as we watched the powerful river flow by. We sat here and held flippers as our worries left us to rush down the river. Raccoon tracks in the sand revealed a path that the little bandits have created as they move up the river.
The Cowichan River is considered to be the most valuable and productive salmon and trout stream on Vancouver Island. The river has heritage significance, running 47km from it’s head to where it meets Cowichan Bay. This powerful and majestic river is a source of pride and beauty to all who enjoy it year-round. It’s definitely one of our personal favorite places to frequent, as often you can find Mrs. Toad and I having a picnic in the park down at Skutz Falls and going for a walk on many of the connecting trails. I can even remember one winter when it began to snow as we were eating our lunch in the park, and this only served to heighten the magic of the whole experience. What a wonderful place to spend some time.
Be sure to check out Jessica Clark’s excellent video production taken at the cabin, “Video from our Cowichan River Cabin“.
If you love our nature and heritage, there are so many different ways to show your support. Please visit “Get Involved | The Land Conservancy of BC” for all the details. We all thank you kindly.
We really enjoy hearing from all our visitors, so please don’t hesitate to leave us any comments you may have. It’s a true highlight for us to receive your feedback!