Friday, September 13, 2013

Prince Edward Island

While in Pictou earlier in August we checked on the nearby Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island (referred to as PEI) ferry and decided for a change to travel by water to PEI. From Peggy’s Cove we drove back to the RV Park in Pictou and stayed the night so that we would not have to get up too early. At 10am we reached the ferry port for the 11.30am ferry; we lined up in the center lane, cars to our left and two lanes of great big trucks (looked like they would sink a ship) on our right. We wondered how large the ferry would be and how many vehicles would be left behind. The passenger cars were boarded first followed by the trucks so we thought that maybe us vacation folks would be the unlucky ones and be staying behind. No problem; we all got on with room to spare. The journey took one and a half hours during which all passengers had to leave their vehicles. Upstairs had a nice seating area and a canteen. Adele went out on deck to see if she could see any whales; nary a one to be seen; this is not where they come to feed as its way too shallow.

PEI looks like it does not have a rock or a decent sized stone on the whole island; to us it appears like all the silt from the Great Lakes flowed down the St Lawrence River to form PEI where all the land is red, as is the sand on the beach (flower pot or adobe red). We spent a day in Charlottetown named for Queen Charlotte wife of George 3rd. This is a fairly large town with some nice old buildings and is as flat as the island. PEI must be heaven for fans of "Ann of Green Gables" there’s a theme park for her in the town of Cavendish; as we walked around Charlottetown we passed several "Ann of Green Gables" shops and a theatre running a nightly "Ann of Green Gables" show. PEI has a population of 140,204 and is 121 miles (195KM) long; its 38 miles (61KM) at its widest narrowing down to only 4 miles (12KM) in spots.
An interesting tourism initiative on PEI is the development of an old railway line into a biking/hiking trail on which of course Adele cycled every day during our 4 day stay. Day one Adele recommended to Tom that he should follow her by hiking east on the trail and she would meet as she returned. 40 minutes into his hike Tom receives a call to drive and pick Adele up from outside a blue house on road #113! Tom could not find either road #113 or the blue house however after many phone calls and U-turns later we happily found one another; the problem - was that the trail (railway line) does not always follow the road, as a result Adele was in the middle of the island on farm land - the main roads follow the coast so road #111 was hard to find!

We visited another smaller town called Summerside where on reading the information boards and learned that it has a Fox Museum, we would have been very interested to visit it, but it was closed. Believe it or not PEI had what is called a "Gold Rush" some local entrepreneurs succeeded in breeding and rearing silver foxes in captivity; PEI was the only place in the world to do this. It became a booming business, at one time in 1913 a fox pelt (yes one) was worth in excess of $2,600 and a breeding pair of first class silver foxes sold for $25,000 - truly a Gold Rush! So find all those photos of your Mothers or Grannies wearing fox stoles around their shoulders; it’s probable that PEI is where the fox came from. Then we remembered that as we were passing through Charlottetown on our way to the RV Park Adele spotted a red fox standing in the rain at the corner of the university.
For our return trip to New Brunswick we drove over the nine mile long Confederation Bridge after paying a toll of $49 which included the ferry trip. Either way one pays to get off the island! A neat way to stop PEI residents from shopping in New Brunswick!

This is as far north as we are going; well Cape Breton was really and now that the weather is turning to autumn/fall the time when whales and birds head south so must we! The leaves on the trees are beginning to change and we’re looking forward to seeing spectacular fall colors as we travel through New England and the northern states back to Saint Augustine.
And, of course we’ll post some amazing photographs.

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