This fall past, I was taken up-island for a surprise. We drove into the area of Qualicum Beach and entered a mysterious grove with a log cabin and a forest behind it. I guessed that we were zip-lining or something to that effect, but I was totally wrong! (I do like to guess though.)We stayed in one of these spheres, made by Free Spirit Spheres, for two very relaxing nights. The spheres were connected to the ground by a spiral staircase and small suspension bridge, and the sphere itself is hung from 3 trees. When the wind blew the trees around, the sphere would sway gently in the wind.
It was a three day stay in the ultimate treehouse.
“The ‘Spherical Tree House’ concept borrows heavily from sailboat construction and rigging practice. It’s a marriage of tree house and sailboat technology. Wooden spheres are built much like a cedar strip canoe or kayak. Suspension points are similar to the chain plate attachments on a sailboat. Stairways hang from a tree much like a sailboat shroud hangs from the mast.” – Tom, Free Spirit Spheres
Our hosts, Rosey and Tom, were gracious and kind. They even invited us up to the cabin if it got too windy for our liking. It never did, or perhaps we liked the wind. In addition to being a great host, Tom also makes these spheres himself. Here is Tom, hanging out in the shop where he makes the spheres:
In the day time, we explored Qualicum Beach and also the nearby Horne Lake Caves. I had never been spelunking before, and even though we went on a 90 minute tour of one, it felt like it was over just as it began. Caves are deeply fascinating places to spend an afternoon – next time I’d like to go for the 3 hour tour. Apparently there are well over 1500 known caves on Vancouver Island. I did not know that until I went to Horne Lake. Back to the spheres. . .
“In bio-mimicry fashion, the nut like shape attaches to a web of rope. The web connects to which ever strong points are available. This replaces the foundation of a conventional building. A tree house sphere uses the forest for its foundation. The occupants have a vested interest in the health of the grove. The supporting web also mirrors our connectedness to our eco-system. Each sphere has four attachments on top and another four anchor points on the boom. Each attachment is strong enough to carry the entire sphere and contents.” – Tom
I am already trying to figure out when we can go back to go live a few more days in the sphere. Not only is it relaxing and cool, it is also a local business that is centered around being in harmony with the environment. If you ever get a chance to go stay in one of these spheres, I highly recommend taking the opportunity.