Posts filed under ‘North Cape’

Canada Day: That’s a Wrap

Canada Day was such a day. Though Canada Day 2007 will always be legendary, when we threw ourselves a cookout on Christina’s roof, I think Canada Day 2010 takes the cake for the best one yet!

I ended last post as we were driving northwest from Cavendish, heading for North Cape. We quickly left the tourist part of PEI and entered a very rural part of the province. It was so quiet—most of the residents were probably enjoying their day off at celebrations, and we had a hard time finding somewhere that sold a) gas and b) caffeinated beverages! We found a liquor store that was open on our route, but they didn’t have any Coke, and it was at least another half hour before we found an open convenience store. I think the woman in the store was pretty confused at how three girls in a car with Washington plates had stumbled into her store on a national holiday.

North Cape
We finally made it to North Cape, which might have been the least picturesque spot we found in all of PEI, actually. It was okay, just not up to the standards of the rest of the island due to an excess of wind turbines. But hey, good on ya, PEI, for creating some clean energy!

North Cape Beach
Because of the currents at North Cape, I’m guessing, the beach had all kinds of “stuff” washed up on it, including…seaweed and whatever else this is, as well as thousands of slugs. Christina relived her childhood a bit and showed us how slugs go in and out of their shells, which was thrilling for me, since I was too scared to play with bugs as a kid.

Currents at North Cape
It’s hard to capture in a photograph, but here, you can kind of see the double-current action that happens at North Cape. The cape is the northwest point of the island, and it’s also where the Northumberland Strait (on the left) collides with the Gulf of St. Lawrence (towards the right/top of the photo, the bigger waves). That spit on the right side of the photo shrinks as the tide is coming in. I stood out on the end and watched the two currents converge over my bare feet. It’s really neat, and I’m sure it’s part of why the wind turbines are effective at this part of the island. We actually spent a bit of time here, wandering around, and I think we all needed the time to unwind after all the driving we’d done.

I’d originally started to plan a trip to PEI in several years ago. I wanted to go to PEI for my honeymoon, and my then-fiancé agreed that it would be a nice spot. It would have been in 2005, if we’d gotten married, but we (obviously) did not. It’s been a long time and I’m over the hurt now, but I was nervous about what kind of feelings being on PEI would bring back for me. To be honest, I had a broken heart for a long, long time. It wasn’t until we were here, at North Cape, that I had a minute to stop and think. To my relief, it wasn’t a real sadness that I felt, or even disappointment, but I did wonder. I wondered if we would have driven out this way if we’d come here together five years earlier, if he would have felt disappointed by it like I did, or if he would have like the rugged beach. Fortunately, I didn’t dwell on it too much. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and if I’d gotten married then, I wouldn’t have the life that I’m so fortunate to have now, and I wouldn’t have had this amazing opportunity to travel across Canada with these fantastic girls. So enough on that topic. Let’s move on to the next lighthouse.

Between North Cape and West Point, we decided that the eastern half of PEI just wasn’t meant to be. PEI is a smallish island, but not small enough to fully see in a single day. I was disappointed that we weren’t going to make it to the squeaky beach at Souris, but I had to roll with it, and we made a new plan. We still wanted to see a prettier lighthouse and beach, so we continued with the plan and headed for West Point, the southwest point of the island.

West Point Light
West Point Lighthouse did not disappoint us! Jules, in particular, really loves lighthouses, so when we arrived and realized that West Point Light has actually been converted into an inn, she wished we could have stayed there a night. It would have been a great experience…we’ll just have to go back!

West Point Beach
The beach at West Point was also lovely! The sand had a reddish tint, but it was less cluttered than the beach at North Cape. A couple of families were wrapping up an afternoon there—kids were swimming while the adults were packing up picnic baskets and umbrellas. It seemed like a nice place to spend a day, for the beach types. Personally, I like beaches in smaller doses, when I don’t have to worry about reapplying SPF 85 sunscreen every 20 minutes.

We couldn’t stay too long, though, because we actually saw a storm coming across the Northumberland Strait from New Brunswick, heading straight for us. And we still had one very important photo to take.

Me with a giant potato!

My friends and I share a fierce love for potatoes, so a stop at the PEI Potato Museum was essential. It was already closed by the time we got there, and we knew it would be, but we absolutely had to take photos with the giant potato outside the museum. Now…can someone go ahead and mash that for me for dinner? Thanks.

With the storm still raging toward us, we knew it was a race for time to get to Summerside for dinner before it hit. We ended up picking the Deckhouse at Spinnakers Landing, a touristy part of town with lots of shops and restaurants. The Deckhouse seemed casual, but had a good review in one of the guidebooks, so we thought it would be a good spot to spend Canada Day. Fortunately, the patio seats were taken by the time we got there, so we sat inside and listened to a super awkward cover band sing the most articulate version of “I Gotta Feeling” you can’t even imagine. Ask one of us for a demonstration sometime, if you’re curious. The storm blew in while we were feasting on fish and chips, and it was over by the time we paid our bill. Great timing!

Double Rainbow!
And when we went outside, we were treated to a DOUBLE RAINBOW! (What does it mean?!?!)

It was getting late by this time, but we had one more spot to visit. It was a race against time, but Jules got us to Cow’s Ice Cream about 10 minutes before it closed. Cow’s is ranked as one of the top ten ice creams in the world, and is known throughout the Maritimes for its delicious flavours. I’d already had ice cream from two of the other places in the top ten (Ben & Jerry’s and Berthillon in Paris), so this made #3, and I decided that I’m going to have to hit all ten before I die. New goal! Anyone who’s kept track of this blog surely knows how I feel about ice cream by now.

Girls at Cow's
Happy girls!

As luck would have it, our hotel was close to the Cow’s Factory, but we were too tired to raid their freezers by the time we got back. In conclusion: what a day!


January 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm 3 comments


A serial road tripper chronicles her adventures.


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