Update: Prince Edward Island

For the past couple of years, we've been planning a summer in the Maritimes. These are the islands off eastern Canada. We were particularly attracted to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

We were a little concerned because of the hassles of flying for summer work, but decided that we wanted to visit and explore even if the work travel flights were a bit of a problem.


customsHeading To PEI

We spent two days traveling from New York to Prince Edward Island. We'd built in extra time into our schedule for the border crossing (right), but it only took a few minutes. After a couple of simple questions, we were on our way up the highway. Officials wanted to know if we had either guns or alcohol. We don't own or carry any firearms and had only a couple of beers and a bottle of wine on board, so we were fine.

We traveled through Quebec and along the St. Lawrence Seaway (below). The roads were worn and bumpy, but easy to follow. It was four lane divided highway most of the way. We really enjoyed listening to the CBC radio broadcasts as we traveled. This made the time go very quickly.

st lawrence

We spent the night at a nice Jellystone Campground in Woodstock, New Brunswick.

There are several ways to travel to PEI. You can fly into Charlottetown, take the ferry from Nova Scotia, or cross on the Confederation Bridge. We decided to take the bridge onto the island, and weeks later took the ferry to Nova Scotia on our way out.

Confederation BridgeThe Confederation Bridge was really cool. You don't have to pay a toll coming into the island, just when leaving.

We drove through Charlottetown. Then outside of the city, we stopped at a roadside farmer's market to pick up some famous PEI potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, onions, and other basics. Fresh strawberries were available throughout June and as they tapered off, delicous local blueberries came into season.


Seal Cove Campground

We pulled into the Seal Cove Campground and immediately fell in love with the locale. Our campsite faced a protected river bay that was frequented by seals and eagles. The red sand beach contained crabs, clams, and starfish, along with a few late-season black flies and huge, voracious mosquitos.

The campground's atmosphere was quiet and very laid back. Most of the campers were local PEI residents who spent severl weeks there in the summer of came out for weekends.

We quickly found that the campground store sold a delicous ice cream; our favorite was "Island Paradise" which was vanilla ice cream generously loaded with chocolate, carmel, and chocolate chunks. That wasn't on our diets!

We chose to stay in this area of the island because we wanted to be away from the tourist crowds. Most visiting tourists head to the cities of Summerside, Charlottetown, or Cavendish. Many people visit the Anne of Green Gables site that is part of the Prince Edward Island National Park and miss many of the natural areas of the island.


Unfortunately after a few days of work prepping for workshops, Annette had to fly off for more than three weeks of work in the US - - leaving Larry behind working on prepping for fall classes.

The photo above shows the wharf in the Sturgeon community, located between our campground and the nearest shopping (groceries, post office, etc.) at Monteague. We drove by this scenic area every trip to town and on the way to and from the Charlottetown airport.

Annette had a hectic summer schedule working with teachers around the US. She spent two weeks in Norfolk Virginia, a week in Dallastown Pennsylvania, and a couple of more days in Indiana and Ohio.



After more than three weeks on the road, Annette was excited to get back home. Unfortunately, air traffic delays in Chicago made her miss a connection in Montreal, so she had to spend an extra night in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She finally arrived back in PEI early in the morning, so we decided to spend part of the remaining daytime exploring Charlotte before heading back to our campground. We started with a great brunch at a downtown restaurant and a walk around the historic downtown area.

Although we didn't have a lot of time to spend in Charlottetown, we enjoyed exploring the shops and the sites. A highlight was the skit outside the Province House National Historic Site.

We learned the history of early Canada and found out that the Maritimes weren't excited about joining the rest of Canada. Early residents envisioned becoming their own separate, independent country.

Confederation Building



One of the highlights of PEI is the abundance of historical lighthouses. Over a dozen picturesque lighthouses can be found along the coastline all the way around the island. The photo below shows a lighthouse just a few kilometers from our campground. Called Panmure Head Lighthouse, it was one of a couple that Larry explored while Annette was away. He was excited to show her his discoveries upon her return.


On the way from Charlottetown back to the campground, we decided to make a short detour in order for Annette to join in the lighthouse adventures.


Point Prim LighthousePoint Prim

The first stop was Point Prim lighthouse. This is the only round, brick lighthouse on Prince Edward Island. It's the oldest lighthouse (1845) and was designed by Issac Smith. It became automated in 1969.

This lighthouse was one of our favorites because it was in a rural area overlooking the water. It was on a large grassy shore area with trees in the background.

The PEI province has been promoting their lighthouses through the use of stamps. A dozen of the lighthouses are open to the public and stamps are available in English and French.

Check out the website for the lighthouses at http://peiplay.com/lighthouses.


Wood Island

Our next stop was the Wood Island Lighthouse. This lighthouse is in a busy area near the Ferry to Nova Scotia. A park and camping area are near the entrance. On the day we visited, a fund-raising event was beng held that included a bake sale, auction, and a young talented clogger/singer.

cloggerWood Island Lighthouse


Cape Bear

Cape Bear LighthouseThe Cape Bear lighthouse is another one that Larry had already visited and enjoyed. It's in a rural area overlooking a steep cliff. When the Titanic sank, this lighthouse received the first distress call.

After a long day of flying and driving, it was time to head back to the campground and spend the following week working.

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 9/04.