Moto: PEI!

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in travels | 1 comment

This trip was my eighth to Nova Scotia, with family always a destination. We decided to see Prince Edward Island for the first time, with yet another ferry to board (our third, if you’re counting.)

We passed this Bay Ferry just after spying a whale spout. The trip was only an hour and fifteen minutes, just enough time to feel the breezes and check in with wifi. The striking feature of our ride from the Wood Islands Ferry Terminal to Charlottetown was the wide-open expanse of fields and coves. It’s hard making high mileage when there’s so much natural beauty to distract us.

Charlottetown is called Canada’s birthplace, where the Fathers of Confederation met in 1864 to plot out the creation of the country. We were lucky to find a suite at the Colonial Charm Inn, given that the city was hosting a Shellfish Festival and booked to the gills.

We walked a few blocks to Victoria Row, lined with shops and places to eat. A little too cool to sit outside for dinner, which we had at the Brick House.

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We found ourselves on this street, with stomachs full and souls refreshed.

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The next day proved to be our longest ride, but how full it was! We left Charlottetown for a coastal tour of lighthouses, yet farm animals always get our attention, too.

The Point Prim Lighthouse is Prince Edward Island’s oldest, built in 1845.

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It’s a National Historic Site, well-maintained and open for tours. We made the climb to find an epic view of Northumberland Strait and Hillsborough Bay, colored by the islands red earth.  Our first selfie, too!

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We happened upon Hannah’s Bottle Village, a curious endeavor of devotion.

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No one was there to offer any details, so we simply enjoyed the wondrous craft. Donations were accepted for a local children’s hospital. The sheer number of bottles left us speechless.

This structure, on the edge of a vast cornfield, was a beacon of luminosity within.

PEI may be Canada’s smallest province, but boasts 63 lighthouses, according to the Prince Edward Lighthouse Society, the highest concentration of lighthouses in North America. Many are decommissioned or privately owned or inaccessible. Our next destination was Cape Bear Lighthouse, built in 1881. It’s not open, but was well worth the visit. A Marconi Wireless Station nearby was the first to hear the Titanic’s distress signal as it sank off of Newfoundland.

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We stopped in Murray Harbour for a much needed lunch of grilled cheese and milkshakes at the Brehaut’s.

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A shady spot is necessary for mapping out the back roads. My Honda GB500 on the left is light compared to Marty’s Kawasaki 650 Versys which carried our entire load.

The ride to Panmure Head Lighthouse is spectacular, along a narrow road bordered by sand dunes, up a curving hill to the sight of horses grazing.

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This was built in 1853 overlooking Cardigan Bay. We opted not to climb this one, with many more miles to ride.

We headed inland, crossing rural intersections with distinguished churches and more pastures. Our destination was Cavendish, on the Central Coast. How sweet to find a place at the Anne Shirley Cottages across from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s resting place.

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I could have stayed a week there, even though the pool was already closed. It so reminded me of the motel where I grew up in New Hampshire.

The next day we went directly to the Green Gables Heritage Place. My grandfather, Roland Hogan, Sr., gave me a copy of Anne of Green Gables as a young girl. It was the first book I wanted to illustrate, and I wish I still had the drawings I did of Anne and Gilbert. Here is L. M. Montgomery, the author whose storybook world has become a cultural icon of international significance. We just beat a busload of Japanese tourists to the ticket booth.

I got downright weepy seeing her typewriter!

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This is the house that inspired it all, the real life farm belonging to the cousins of her grandfather.

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I was absurdly smitten by every single room.

Local antiques and period pieces are typical of an island farm in the late 1800’s.

Anne is fictional, but her spirit fills this room quite believably.

This is L.M. Montgomery as a girl kissing her goat named Daisy! Her writing captures the pulse of farm life and the wonders of nature with a magical imagination.

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We learned from a guide that Anne of Green Gables is read in Japanese schools, and Japanese visitors abound at the park, with many Japanese weddings taking place on the grounds.

Marty and I got into the spirit along Lover’s Lane. There are trails through the Haunted Wood as well.

Sigh. Story book wonders never cease. We left and rode over to the PEI National Park before heading south past field after field of rounds of hay.

We headed to the Confederation Bridge, one of the longest in the world at 13 kilometres.

I was apprehensive about the winds buffeting my bike, but it was instead a bracing ride with sparkling views in all directions. I was sad to leave the island too soon, but a family rendezvous was waiting in Nova Scotia. We stopped on the other side of the bridge in New Brunswick at the Cape Jourimain Nature Center to catch a glimpse of this lighthouse built in 1869.

We didn’t have time for the trek, with more miles back to Nova Scotia. Stay tuned for the final leg of our trip: Fundy Shore, here we go!

One Comment

  1. Nice! More miles than we covered on our bicycles; looks super.

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