31.9 mi / 10.2 mph / 674 ft. climbing
Home: John D. and Myretta’s house
Rett’s original plan for Prince Edward Island was to arrive near Labor Day (a holiday that exists on the same day in both Canada and the U.S.!), and then spend a couple weeks seeing the sights absent the majority of summer tourists. Luckily she learned ahead of time that the tourist season here ends not as an autumn leaf twirling gently to the ground, but as an anvil rocketed straight down to earth. Many of the places (particularly Anne-related) she wanted to see slam their doors shut as soon as the schools open theirs.
In one way, that rush to see everything before it closed was nice because it meant that there was no way for us to visit the Magdelen Islands beforehand. That was good because it was a decision that we otherwise would have been torn about; their almost-always-windy nature made it difficult to know if we’d actually enjoy ourselves, so having the decision taken out of our hands felt like a relief. Thus, when we first arrived to Prince Edward Island, instead of heading straight north for the other ferry that would take us to the Magedelen Islands, we cut directly northwest to do the Anne stuff, and then down to Charlottetown for the musical (which we’d originally thought might be the start of our PEI exploration).
But now, the important things on our list were completed, so what else should we do on PEI? Well, there were still a few interesting things in the northeast corner, so I guess we’ll head that way. Since the ferry to the Magdelen Islands is also in that direction, I checked the weather forecast out of curiosity, even though we’d already taken them off our list. But, wait…what is this stroke of luck? A multi-day period of calm, now timed perfectly for us? Yes, it resurrected the hemming-and-hawing, but in relatively short order, we decided to go for it and booked three nights at a campground on Ile du Cap aux Meules.
It was a two-day ride from Charlottetown to the ferry in Souris, and in another amazing stroke of luck, the halfway point between the two was St. Peters Bay. That’s the home of John D. and Myretta, the couple we’d met at lunch eight days ago who invited us to stay with them if we were ever passing through. Well, now we’d be passing through, and they confirmed that their offer still stood!
In another coincidence, we stopped for lunch again at the very spot where we’d met our hosts, again making our own sandwiches in front of a food truck. I really regret not at least tipping the food truck guy, not just for two lunch spots, but for enabling the serendipitous meeting with tonight’s hosts!
While they weren’t WarmShowers hosts, they may as well have been, immediately offering up a shower, a bed, and beers! As we gathered out on the patio to watch the sun lowering over the bay, it quickly became clear that John D. and Rett were the Annes of our group, while Myretta and I were the shushing Marillas (John D. was able to sing a bit of one of the songs from the Anne musical!)
We were kindred spirits beyond that, since they come from a long history of adventure-traveling, and in fact were in the midst of prepping for an upcoming trip to Spain; it’s inspiring to me that at their more-experienced-than-us age, they’re still drawn to independent travel. Dinner appeared, the wine kept flowing, and we had such a good time with them, so appreciative that they had the natural generosity to even think of inviting over some people that they’d spent 15 minutes talking with. As John D. so eloquently stated: “It’s more exciting to have excitement!”