Aug 15, 2007
Growing up as a base brat and living in 9 different homes before setting off for university, doesn't really offer much of an opportunity for a place you can call "home". Thankfully I have a lifetime of returning to my birthplace Island - as a child 2-3 times a year, as an adult, likely once every two years. PEI is a wonderful place to be connected to and my Mother's entire family for generations was born and raised there. I have a wonderful Island family and was fortunate to visit with my Nana, Grammy Doris, Aunt Sandy, cousin Virgina, Aunt Anne, Uncle Willard, as well as spend some quiet moments with my Grampy Lloyd and Grampy Amos.
I have learned to admire the bridge into Bordon. This is recent. The bridge has taken away the charm of sailing over on the ferries, as well as put an end to the three generations (maybe four?) of my male relatives earning their livelihoods on the ferries. I miss playing the ferry guessing game while waiting in the line of cars (will we get the Abbey? the Islander? the Vacationer?), and miss the sound of the dishes rattling in the cafeteria as we head out to sea...
A few things that I remember from our time in PEI:
Thoughts on Highway 104 to 102; PEI to Halifax
The thought struck me, as we were driving back from PEI to Halifax, that if you were to believe what you see on the highway, there is absolutely nothing in Nova Scotia. The TransCanada is a beautiful four lane divided highway, passing through nothing other than trees for three hours.
Now, I'm sure that there are lots of people in Nova Scotia. I know it's a beautiful province. I've seen lots of sights. But, from the highway - nada. Just one long expanse of gently curving road.
However, Nova Scotians at least have the good sense to have a speed limit of 110 km/h, to help you along your way from Something A to Something B through the wilderness at the fastest possible clip.
One of the other things we noticed was the complete lack of signage on the highway for what ammenities are coming up. Specifically, Tim Horton's. In Ontario, you pass billboard after billboard, screaming "Last Tim Horton's for 10 Km, next exit!". In Nova Scotia, the only sign we saw for the Tim's we were desperately seeking was after the exit. And I'm sure that there was one at each of the exits that we passed, but there was nothing to indicate it, and you certainly couldn't see anything through the dense trees (see above rambling paragraphs).
However, nothing could compare to Exit 7 on the 104 (for those really, really interested, or really, really bored, we travelled the 104 from the NB boarder to Truro, then the 102 to Halifax - Wikipedia link). Exit 7 proudly had a sign indicating that there used to be six things of interest, but they were all blacked out. Yikes.
Another quirk of the Nova Scotia highway system - the TransCanada is a toll road for a while. This struck me as odd for a bit ("Don't I have some inalienable right to drive across the country for free on the TransCanada? OK, maybe not..."), but I got over it. Until Kyla pulled out the map, and we noticed that THERE WAS NO WAY TO GO AROUND THE TOLL ROAD AND NOT PAY THE TOLL. Weird. Usually I thought toll roads exacted their toll for convenience, i.e. you can take the long way for free, or you can pay to take the nice short way. But looking at the map, the toll section appeared to be saying that you can pay to drive to Halifax through the Cobequid Pass, or you can spend a few nights trying to figure a way around it on dirt roads and unmarked trails.
Which, while odd, makes some good toll-business sense. So, along with the 110 km/h thing, the Nova Scotians seem to have the highway thing down pat.