Today was the opposite of yesterday – I had a clear destination for the end of it, but no plans for the in-between. The nice thing about wandering the roads of PEI for someone as directionally-challenged as I am, is that you are never far from where you began or where you are going. This challenge is compounded by the fact that the highway signs don’t always indicate the direction you are going – you might be travelling north on a road that says Hwy “something” south.
I got up in good time and then spent an hour researching how I’m going to get home and then spent another hour and a half getting some work done. Then it was time to load up my gear and check out of the motel. The lovely lady at the front desk asked if I had come from BC on my bike and we had a wee chat about it. Then Fury and I headed out for new roads.
I knew that I wanted to stop in North Rustico harbour for coffee at the Fishead Company Store, which was recommended to me by cousin Ron. Despite the short ride, I was ready for a latte and so I stopped and met owners (and sisters) Cheryl and Tracy. Nicest people on earth – listened to my story with patience and empathy and I felt like I had made new friends. They cemented their place in my heart by having “pioneer” cookies that did not have raisins (raisins don’t belong in anything). Between the cookie and the coffee, I was ready to conquer the world! They also took a picture of me outside their shop, which I think is the best picture that someone has taken of me this trip, so I poached it from their Facebook page for my blog. 😊 There was also a lighthouse at North Rustico harbour and I took a photograph of it while I was there, before carrying on down the road.
I wanted to follow the Gulf Shore Parkway and ride out to East Point on my way to Cardigan, which was my eventual destination. My unfailing sense of direction meant I turned right when I should have turned left and I ended up at Charlottetown. Having none of that, I turned around and backtracked, stubbornly insisting on the shore road and refusing to use my gps. I did find the shore road and it was a beautiful ride. My perseverance was rewarded with another picturesque lighthouse at Covehead Harbour! So another picture was taken. Beautiful, deep, red sand led to the lighthouse and a beach beyond. As I continued along the coast, there were huge dunes covered in long shore grasses, punctuated with dazzling ocean views of whitecaps whipped up by the wind.
For windy it was – a strong wind dogged us all day, but it was worth putting up with for the scenes we laid eyes and wheels on. After that, I managed to follow my intended route, following the shore wherever possible. The thing about riding along by the ocean is that you get to the end of the day and realize you have taken a million pictures of the ocean that are all very similar. But, like the soaring mountains of the west, the stark beauty of the north and the heartbreaking prairie sunsets, it never gets old. When you see it again, it’s like you’ve never seen it before and you have to soak it up all over again.
I only made one more detour down a short road to Naufrage because it said "Shipwreck Cove". It shouldn't have been surprising to see a lighthouse there! Another picture, because by now, clearly I am collecting Island lighthouses.
Eventually, I made it out to East Point, if a couple of hours behind schedule. Guess what I found there??? Another lighthouse! Shocking, I know. 😊 So, of course, another picture. Though the road between Saint Peter’s Bay and East Point was largely deserted, there were actually quite a few people there. I met Wendy and George from Alberta and we had a visit. I thought it was funny to meet a Wendy just after having met a Tracy. I said “Wow, all I need now is to meet a Don and I’ll have met my family today”. As I was suiting up, another couple came over and asked where I was from. I told them from BC and they said “we are too!” From Coquitlam, even. We also had a good visit and I asked their names. They were Michelle and …….wait for it……DON! I couldn’t believe it. Hilarious.
By this point in the day, I needed to get back on the road to Cardigan where Pam and Rob were expecting me. Pam is the daughter of one of my mom’s best friends and I haven’t seen Pam since we were children. And so I arrived at Pam and Rob’s house and met their two sons Jayden and Mason. Rob had made a delicious seafood chowder and I got to play catch with the boys after supper. Rob built a fire in their pit and we did our best to sit around it but the mosquitos soon chased us back indoors. Pam and I looked at trip photos and she patiently listened to my stories before we decided it was time for bed. They have set me up cozily in their RV, so I’m a pretty spoiled brat. Better get to sleep so we can adventure some more tomorrow.
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Prince Edward Island
Flower: Lady's Slipper