Thursday, August 18, 2011

PEI - West Side

Here we are in Blacks Harbor, New Brunswick, and our last stop in Canada. Tomorrow we will be back in Maine and the good old USA.

We left the east side of PEI and drove through the Green Gables area on our way to the west side. This is the commercial area of PEI. I have never read the books but I wanted to stop, especially since our admission was covered on our discovery pass. It is a beautiful park with great RV day parking. We walked through the barn, house and then down lover’s lane (hand-in-hand). It was lightly raining. I bought the first edition of the book so I can kind of know what this popularity is all about.

We stayed at another Harvest Host – Montrose gardens – on the west side of the island near Alberton, PEI. This is a vegetable and dairy farm owned by Ivan and Theresa Hardy. They were wonderful hosts. We bought some veggies and blueberries from their very busy stand. We parked next to the barn and the first night we watched them milk their 35 cows. It brought back memories for both Dean and I since we were raised on farms in the Midwest.

Wednesday, we took a drive on the west coast and saw the North Cape (lighthouse and wind generator farm) and the West point (lighthouse turned into hotel and restaurant and a beautiful provincial park).

In O’Leary we toured the potato museum. I never knew so much about potatoes. In PEI there are over 85 different varieties grown. We stopped on the way back to the rig and bought some quahogs (like a clam) and had them for lunch. PEI is an island of farms and gardens. There are only around 150,000 people and most of the island is farm communities. The Hardy’s gave us some canned veggies along with the produce that we bought from the stand. Dean helped pick yellow beans with the pickers who get paid by the pound. He gave his pickings to the pickers and they in turn gave us a huge bag of clams. Fresh seafood and fresh veggies – what a treat! We were told not to expect too much from PEI but we thoroughly enjoyed our 6 days.

Today we took the Confederation bridge to New Brunswick. It is 8 miles and about 12 minutes and two lane. It cost us $57. It is a beautiful bridge.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Prince Edward Island

Here we are in Prince Edward Island. We came across from Nova Scotia on the ferry at Pictou. The ferry is free going to the island. You only pay when you leave – maybe we shouldn’t leave. We are really enjoying ourselves here – warm weather, beautiful scenery, great food, and lovely people.

The ferry ride is about an hour. Chica got to go on deck. It was a beautiful crossing. We arrived at PEI and stayed the first night at the visitors center, less than 4 miles from the ferry terminal.

The next day we went to our fifth Harvest Host of this year – Shepard’s farm outside of Mt. Stewart. Steve and Cindy Cousins and family run the farm and they have chickens, sheep, cows, pigs, geese, along with crops of raspberries, black currants, potatoes and more. We picked raspberries the first and second day we were there. What a treat. And Chica even made a new friend.

On Sunday Dean, Chica, and I drove the East shore drive. We took a hike at the National Park at Greenwich. Their claim to fame is a boardwalk going across the marsh to the beach.

Then we went on to the East Point lighthouse, which, of course, is the farthest east point on the island.

We made a stop at Basin Head Provincial Park to hear the singing sands. The sands were not singing today because they have had too much wet weather – the silicone in the sand has not dried out enough for the sand to sing. But it was a real pretty park and since it was Sunday there were a lot of people enjoying the wonderful weather.

On Monday, Dean and I went into Charlottetown, the biggest city on the island. We walked around the downtown, along the boardwalk, and watched as the military band and color guard participated in the inaugural of the new lieutenant governor.

One of PEI’s specialties is chocolate covered potato chips. We tried them – not great. But we did go to the Cow Creamery and took the tour and had their ice cream. The tour was not worth the $6 each but the ice cream certainly was worth every penny. This ice cream has been voted the number one ice cream in the world. Very good!

I took a short bike ride along the Confederation trail around Mt. Stewart. PEI has miles and miles of bike trails going all the way across the island. Along the way I spotted a fox. This picture is blown up a lot.

Dean helped Steve and his kids with the black currant harvest. There is always help needed on a farm. We both picked raspberries to help them out.

Tomorrow we leave for the other side of the island and another Harvest Host.