Still in Canada, still amazed by the beauty and diversity of the place. This past week was mostly on Prince Edward Island (PEI), finishing up my eight-day stay there with a beachside spot at Jacques Cartier Provincial Park. No hookups, but worth it to get so close to the surf and see the Gulf out my back window when I woke up every morning. And the beach itself was long stretches in both directions, which I enjoyed immensely in my daily walks.
Just down the road, right at the turn off the highway into town, the most beautiful water spot. I literally did a u-turn to get this picture. PEI is basically a series of beautiful views: rolling hills with farms and herds of horses and cows, cliffs and inlets along the coastline, and postcard-perfect churches with weathered white gravestones in casual rows.
After a stormy Saturday, full of wind that shook the trailer most of the day, Sunday dawned clear and warm, so it was time for some exploration. I headed up Highway 12 to the very tip of western PEI, called North Cape. There’s a wind farm up there as well as a nature trail along the coast, so my camera and I had a lot of fun.
There’s also a lighthouse, but no tours 😔 It had a beautiful Fresnel lens, but since the museum was also closed, I couldn’t learn much about it. The summer season doesn’t really begin on PEI until the July 1 holiday, so I found that a lot of smaller places and stores were closed during my stay. If you really want to get the full PEI experience, July and August are the months to visit, but then you’re dealing with bigger crowds. Me, I like the off-season better.
Tuesday was moving day, off the island via the Confederation Bridge and a $55 CAD fee for my three-axle rig. Ouch. It’s a cool long bridge, though, so kind of worth it. And no winds, which is the way I prefer my long bridges when I’m towing. Three hours later, I made it to my next stop, Kouchibouguac National Park, on the New Brunswick coast This is my fourth national park stop (3 campsites, one monument) so my Parks Canada pass has been getting a workout.
Kouchi is beautiful, and my site is surrounded by trees and shrubs enough to give my privacy without feeling my neighbors are right next door. It’s one thing I love about national and state parks; they generally have bigger sites with landscaping between sites so that you do feel more like your out of doors and less like you’re in a parking lot. There are several trails to walk and so far, the one by the Kouchibouguac River is my favorite.
There was one site that was closed. Now I know what a bear trap looks like.
I’m a day late with this week’s update because the cell connectivity is weak here, meaning I have to drive 20 kilometers one way to get to the nearest Tim Horton’s coffee joint with free wifi. (That’s 25 miles round trip for Americans.) I’ve got some contract work due this week, so I am seeing the Tim’s crew daily and trying the different pastries on offer to pay for my free wifi. I’m here right now, typing away and listening to the groups of people around me, chatting mostly in French. I feel so Canadian with my Tim’s cup of hot chocolate and a croissant.
I’m still on track to get to Quebec by end of next week, despite storms, ticks, and other obstacles. The tick count stands at three: all in Nova Scotia, but none had burrowed in yet, so I’m good, I think. I figured out how to take pictures of my scalp where the one tick was, so I can check for the tell-tale bullseye that a Lyme disease-infected tick might leave (80% chance of a bullseye showing up if Lyme disease was transmitted, but only a 5% chance the tick itself was carrying it so my odds are good). The other two ticks I got off me before they had put more than a leg in. I’m being very careful about clothes, spraying, and post-hike checks but it appears I am a tick magnet in the same way I am a mosquito magnet. Sigh.
To close on an upbeat note, here’s the view from the dune walkway at PEI National Park in Greenwich. A lovely way to spend a sunny day, strolling through forest, marsh, and beach, and seeing parabolic dunes.
When you leave a beautiful place, you carry it with you wherever you go.