The Maritimes, there’s no place like home. Even though I was born in Ontario, it took only one visit to the East Coast to have a 20 year love affair with the Maritimes. This relationship began with my first road trip in a white K-car to PEI. Allow me elaborate …
After two full days of driving, not only did we make our destination of PEI, we arrived in the Anne’s Land Region! As you may have guessed, this brought us near Anne of Green Gables Museum – for me, a love that never dies.
So why is it a thrill to drive through PEI? A drive through the island is akin to fall off the pretty tree, hitting every beauty branch on the way down! There’s the “pastoral” rolling hills, pristine forests, fine white sand beaches and those famous jutting red cliffs. Got that picture in your mind? Now imagine seeing it under a canopy of autumn leaves! Colour everywhere!
Now that you have a visual, let me scratch the surface for you. I would like to share the beauty that lies underneath …
In my time, folks have described me as off the beaten track. Knowing that, it’s fair to say, so too are my road trips. On this trip, many roads we drove were ofthe dirt variety. In PEI, that means they are red dirt roads made from clay and sand. How cool is that?
As we passed through a small village, we noticed that the car was low on fuel and the weather had taken a turn for the worse. Rain clouds were rolling in quick. On the far end of the village, we spied a tiny 4 pump gas station. An easy decision, red dirt turns to red mud with rain and no one wants to pump gas in mud – so we pulled in.
The clouds began to drizzle when my friend started out to pump the gas. Before they were out, an old-timer attendant in an army green slicker came to pump the gas for us.
My gosh! Is full serve still a thing??
I digress, so the attendant saw our Ontario licence plate and launched into the history and tales of Anne’s Land.
With years behind him and flare for storytelling, my friend and I were all ears. And let me tell you, it wasn’t just his personal anecdotes and an insider’s “what to see” that stole our hearts. For what seemed like the long side of a half hour, this old timer chitchatted with us while standing in the fattest pour, face soaked, slicker wet, feet in a puddle of red mud kinda rain.
It’s been a solid 20 years later and I still enjoy the memories of this warm and genuine Maritime man. So that’s where it began. 1858 km from Ontario, visiting the Maritimes, and I was home.