Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Prince Edward Island, and Skinners Pond!

After a foreshortened excursion down the Eastern Shores of Nova Scotia due to rough roads and the impending tropical storms, we decided to head for Prince Edward Island.  The only bridge to the island is fairly new, but when we visited 9 years ago, I thought the ferry had been discontinued.  It turns out that there are still at least two ways to drive to the island.  After a bit of research, it was determined that getting TO the island is free, but there is a toll to leave!  As it turns out, the ferry costs more than the bridge, so it made sense for us to go across on the ferry - and leave via the cheaper bridge.
Hailey is no big fan of ferries, and all the noises and banging around of loading trucks etc, but she is getting better and braver, and usually comes out of hiding before we even leave the dock.

 Because of Covid, I had gone online a week or two prior, and entered all the pertinent details, to get my 'PEI Pass'.  While on the boat, they announced that, to save time upon landing, you could get your documentation checked while aboard.  I looked at the long, non-socially distanced line inside, and decided to stay out on the deck and enjoy the scenery instead, and take my chances on shore.

As the traffic on the boat went ashore, I saw some of the vehicle drivers handing a red or pink card to the traffic control guy, and he directed them to the appropriate lane.  All I had was the e-mail with proof that I had checked in online, but he waved me on without even looking at it or asking me any questions!  I soon realized that I was in the 'through' lane and home free, while there were massive tents set up on the adjacent parking lot to presumably check peoples credentials or perhaps order tests.

Most of my time on PEI was spent visiting with old friends from our Jasper days - and their 5 border collies, 2 cats, and numerous chickens and ducks.  One of the dogs stops by to say hello to Hailey!

We also toured up to the northern tip of the island, where there is a wind farm and lots of windmills.
And of course, a visit to Skinners Pond was in order.  That is where Stompin' Tom Connors grew up!  If you're an American, you've likely never heard of him.  If you're Canadian, - no further explanation required!

Back on the farm, there was lots of art work by my talented hosts. Dogs, cats, ducks, you name it!

After a good visit, and feeding a healthy population of mosquitoes, we departed the island via the 14km long bridge.  I could see that there was a similar check-point set up for those arriving on the island from the bridge.
I think it was about $48 to leave the island by the bridge.
View of the bridge from the mainland end.
Our first camp spot back on the mainland was this long beach on the edge of a small town.  There was a large number of seals or sea lions just offshore in the morning, that a local told me was an unusual occurrence around there.
Conservation Officers were out posting signs, to keep people from driving vehicles and ATV's on the grass or dunes - to protect the resident Piping Plover population.

Next night there were some pretty strong winds blowing and big waves breaking on the shore, but it was not a problem from our spot overlooking the harbour.

I think from here, we'll be started the long 5,174km trip home.  We'll need a little time to swap out the truck camper for the 5th wheel, in preparation for heading south for the winter - assuming the southern border opens up this fall.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 28, 2021

More Cape Breton and beyond.

Even though I'd only been in Cape Breton and the Maritimes a week or so, and I know the locals consider you an outsider even years later, I was pleased to see that they have named a harbour after me!

 Road to Meat Cove at the tip of Cape Breton.

The road through the highlands of Cape Breton Highlands national park was completely fogged in, and much colder than down along the coast.  I didn't see anything till we were down in Cheticamp on the coast.

Cheticamp harbour
There seemed to be a bit of confusion over whether this ice cream shack was open - or closed ;-)

They love brightly coloured houses in this area, and yellow is a common sight.  Most of the older houses are very well maintained or restored.

This has to be one of the smallest, and most scenic post offices anywhere, with an unobstructed view of the ocean!
If the sign says the park is closed, but the gate is open ...?  I just love confusing signs!

Lots of boats sitting on blocks, awaiting the next lobster season.

Many roads are named after the long term residents here.
So this is where the slow kids play, but I wonder where the fast ones play?
In Cape Breton, a high percentage of houses have very nice plaques similar to this to display their number.

They obviously use a lot of wood to heat here, and they take their winter wood supplies very seriously.  There are many commercial or semi-commercial wood cutting operations, and many have bundles of wood for sale along the road.

They have wood stacking down to an art, and many piles are stacked by the road to show off their skills!

After leaving Cape Breton Island we headed down along the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. I really think they could have used a few more adjectives on this sign!  How about South River Lake Shore Road Junction turnoff?  ;-)


We found a spot on the side of the road to spend the night.  Anchored offshore was this coast guard vessel, the Ann Harvey.  We went for a closer look.  I thought by the look of it that it was an ice-breaker, but it is actually serving as a buoy tender with light ice-breaking capabilities. (see the link)

Earlier, we had spotted the Polar Prince in harbour.  While it appeared to be the same as a coast guard ship, there was no white stripe on it.  Well, it turns out that it used to be a coast guard ship, but it is now used for exploration.
The Canada C3 expedition vessel is a 67 metre (220 ft) Canadian-flagged research icebreaker. A former Canadian Coast Guard vessel, she has a distinguished legacy serving Canada and Canadians. The vessel is connected to Canada and the world via the latest satellite technologies, enabling Canadians from coast to coast to coast to experience the Canada C3 journey. Outfitted with Zodiacs (small boats), advanced navigation equipment, research labs, multiple decks and a top deck observation area, our vessel is purpose-built for passenger experiences in remote environments.

I don't know if this is the world wide web or not, but it was a fairly impressive one!

We had intended to go further down the Eastern Shores of Nova Scotia, but the combination of the fairly rough roads in places in combination of the approaching tropical(!) storm convinced us to head for more sheltered terrain.