Ready or not, PEI, here I come…

August 7, 2019

Later today, if the repairs to my car are completed as planned, I will finally drive west to Prince Edward Island, aka PEI, where I was supposed to have been for the past two days.  If you’ve ever seen PEI Mussels listed on a restaurant menu now you know what that means, this is where they harvest them.

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I’ll be driving west from where I am in North Sydney (off the map to the right) primarily along the Trans Canada Highway, highlighted in yellow in the lower right corner.  I was originally planning to drive the orange “shark fin” today but I already did that while I was based in New Glasgow, highlighted in pink at the bottom center of the map (see earlier posts).

I almost titled this post “Decisions, Decisions” as I have several options open to me today.  There are two ways to get out on to PEI, a ferry which I have indicated with a blue line at the southeast end of the island, or the Confederation Bridge, also marked in blue, at the southwest end of the island.  I know what you’re probably thinking – “It’s a no-brainer, JohnBoy, the shortest distance between two points…you should know that!”.

Not so fast, Sparky.

Believe me, I’ve been burning up MapQuest trying to work out a solution.

North Sydney to Charlottetown, the provincial capital of PEI and close to where my Airbnb is located, via the ferry is 222 miles and takes 5 hours and 37 minutes, which includes the 75 minute ferry ride.  Via the bridge it is 337 miles and takes 5 hours and 52 minutes, again, an apparent no-brainer as to which option to choose.  BUT, and it’s a big but, the ferry only runs every so often.  It isn’t like they’re going to say “Ok, you’re here JohnBoy, lets go!”  The ferry going from the mainland to the island runs at 245, 430 and 6pm, and at earlier and later times but those are the only realistic choices as it will take me 3 hours just to get there, assuming no accidents, construction delays, another breakdown, or getting pulled over by the Mounties.  Add to that the fact that there were many “primary” scenic roads I was planning to traverse during my 4 days on the island and most of them are on the west end of the island and now I only have 2 days there. Add to THAT the fact that the ferry costs $60 USD and going over the bridge to the island is free.  Like going in to Manhattan Island in New York, they let you in for free but charge you to get out!  I will pay a hefty toll to cross the 8-mile bridge when I leave PEI on Friday.

Now I know my friend, former co-worker and occasional blog commenter Shari would say I’d be “going around my ass to get to my thumb” to take the bridge, a southern expression whose source I still haven’t quite figured out.  Use it the next time you want to tell someone they are going way out of their way and see what their resulting expression is.  I know what it means I just don’t know what it “means”.

I am planning to take the bridge but may “call an audible” (an American football term for a last minute decision change) based on when I actually get on the road and what time I could be at the ferry dock (and with no reservation there is no guarantee I would actually get on it once there).

I’ll let you know how I make out….