the island with red dirt

friday july 2 – monday july 5, 2010
prince edward island, canada

Land of red dirt, mussels, and Cow’s ice cream with lusciously high butterfat content, Canada’s Prince Edward Island is a blast from the past. It’s a beautiful island with a teeny weensy population (something along the lines of 150,000 people) and a lot of potato farming. Hutch and I did the 10 hour drive up here over American Independence Weekend. Ironically enough we missed Canada Day (July 1) because the weekend hadn’t started yet but we also missed American Independence Day (July 4th).

Prince Edward Island is probably most known for its connection with LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables book collection. Thus it made sense for us to check out the reconstructed mock city in Cavendish. It was like walking into a scene out of Williamsburg, VA, with the old fashioned houses and clothing. There was even a parade for the benefit of the guests and a musical concert featuring Anne, Gilbert, Diana, and all those characters that I used to read about in my childhood. Cavendish is also home to a small amusement park. Emphasis here is on small; there was one large roller coaster, a bumper cars, maybe 2-3 kids rides, go-kart racing, but more importantly, bumper boats!! I first learned about this kind of ride a year ago when Hutch mentioned that there was such a thing, but Six flags never had any such ride despite being maybe 20 times bigger than this amusement park. So of course, we went bumper boating 🙂

Bumper Boats!!

PEI is a maritime province of Canada. Its capital city, Charlottetown, is the only place on the island that has any sort of moderately large-town feel to it. Everything is very spaced apart in the province, and driving from place to place involved lots of little bridge crossings and driving by lots of farms. Hutch says that the island is famous for its golf courses. Also, it is a popular destination for Atlantic Canadians because of camping, golfing, and just good ole family fun. It’s also pretty accessible from all points in eastern Canada, regardless of whether you’re coming from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or Newfoundland.

We decided to do the Points East Coastal Drive as a scenic route. Funny thing was that it wasn’t really coastal but it is certainly was gorgeous drive. I learned that it would be impossible to build a truly coastal highway because of the high erosion rates. The countryside is sparse, with  lots of potato / hay farms. People owned much land with surprisingly small homes (the antithesis of the American home building concept it seems!)

Overall, a great trip with a lot of rest, relaxation, and driving. What a nice weekend getaway.

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