Island Hopping on the International Appalachian Trail
ECT Day 209&210
IAT Day 40&41
Day 209: 2 miles
This morning we woke up fairly early in the room and packed up. We’re finally leaving Campbellton today! I can’t believe how many cumulative days I have spent in this town over the last month. It really added up between this stay and my week stay when I first met up with Trucker and Sparkle.
Once we were packed we headed across the street to a gas station. That was where the bus picked up from. It got there early and was pretty empty so we were able to take our packs on with us. The bus picked up around 8:40am and would go until after 1pm. I wound up just lounging, snacking, and trying to motivate myself to do some writing. Being in cars or other vehicles just makes me tired though.
The bus dropped us off around 1pm at the next bus station. We had a bit of a “lay over” before the next bus came to pick us up. Right next door was actually a pharmacy too. So I was able to run over there and grab a few things that I needed. We’ve been resupplying at small convenience stores primarily recently. Often times you can’t find things like ibuprofen, contact solution, etc. The timing really worked out perfectly.
As soon as we got what we needed we headed back over to catch the bus. It had just arrived and was almost entirely full. All of us had to sit next to a stranger on this one. But the ride was one of the shortest of the day. After only an hour the bus arrived at a gas station where another bus was already waiting. We got onto the new bus and headed on our way. This time the bus was only half full at most.
This was our final bus of the day which was lovely news. We got dropped off around 4pm on Prince Edward Island. The ride over the bridge was really beautiful. I’m loving PEI already. The bus dropped us off outside a gas station and we had to begin walking from there. We wanted to tag the official start of the trail on the island, so we walked a mile back towards the bridge that connects PEI and New Brunswick. There was a lighthouse there which is where we wanted to officially start the trail on PEI.
It started to rain lightly on our walk over to the lighthouse. The rain came in and out so it wasn’t too bad. We hung around and took photos at the lighthouse for a bit. Then we began the walk back to the gas station where we got dropped off. At the gas station I ran inside for some drinks. The shop had Sussex ginger ale so I literally bought 4 cans. I’ve been talking about my Canadian obsession with Sussex ginger ale for ages but haven’t seen it recently. So I got one for Trucker and Sparkle and then two for myself. Sussex ginger ale is literally liquid good.
When I went back outside Trucker was at a BBQ food stand ordering himself some burgers. There was a pizza place next to the motel that we were going to be staying at tonight. I really wanted pizza later but was absolutely starving. So I got some homemade baked beans from the BBQ stand to tide me over. I ate them as we walked the road the next mile to our motel. What a scene that must have been to cars driving past.
It’s supposed to rain tonight and there wasn’t really any camping nearby on the IAT. We would have had to go about 9 miles to the first camp site today. Getting in as late as we did that just didn’t seem like the best option. So we’re gonna stay in a motel right off the IAT and then get walking in the morning.
When the weather rolled in earlier today on the island the temperature dropped quick. By the time that we got to the motel room all of us were pretty damn cold. We dropped off our bags and then walked next door to the pizza joint. Once we ordered I stood outside and used wifi to FaceTime audio my mom. We haven’t caught up in ages because of poor timing. It was so nice to finally talk for a long while.
We wound up on the phone for about 40 minutes. Which was also about the time that it took for all of our pizzas to be made. Once the food was really I wrapped up my phone call and all of us headed back to the motel room. We moved a table from the corner of the room and put it in between the beds to all eat. The pizza was surprisingly fantastic together. I cracked open a cold Sussex and feasted.
After being back at the room for almost an hour I was shockingly still super cold. We wound up turning on a space heater in the room. Then I decided to take a hot shower just to speed up the process. That had me feeling amazing. After that I laid in bed and ate a bit more pizza. We watched something on TV for a little while and then called it a night.
Day 210: 27.5 miles
This morning we woke up around 7am in the motel. That felt so late, but we did recently switch time zones again. We lost an hour which I think is the hardest thing to transition to. 7am is really 6am to my body, which I want to blame for my sluggishness lately in the morning.
Once we all got up and packed we set out. We were back on the IAT in no time. The trail was a perfectly manicured bike path the whole way. In most places it was flat level dirt all around and wide enough to drive a car down. But there are no motorized vehicles allowed on this route here on PEI. It made for some of the best and easiest walking that I had done in ages.
We wound up walking for about 3 and a half hours before taking a first break. My body felt good and we all just kept going. I have my knee compression wrapped still and it feels totally fine walking. I’m hopeful that this is just something that needs time to heal. But that I can heal it actively while continuing to hike.
The trail here on PEI has beautiful covered picnic tables every few miles. So when we came upon one about 10 miles into the day we decided to stop off. I did my stretching and pulled out some more snacks. The flat walking is great because it means that I can eat while walking. So I don’t need to scramble to force feed myself on our breaks. Honestly it gives you something to do and can help to take your mind off the walking. Especially road walking. This may be nice dirt and gravel road but it is road walking none the less. All of PEI is one long road walk.
We sat at the covered picnic table for a while before continuing on. Then walked for another couple of miles before passing a playground. It was one of the nicest playgrounds that I’d ever seen. There was a zip line! So we obviously couldn’t just pass by without stopping. All of us went on the zip line and walked around. I played on a big green frog on a spring that you could sit on and it whipped around like a mechanical bull. Sparkle went down the slide. All of us played around like little kids. Then we kept on walking!
From there we wound up walking another 10 miles or so. It was nice and easy bike path walking the whole way. PEI has been beautiful so far and everyone we have come across has been super nice. The number of benches and tables along the trail is astounding.
There was a restaurant and gas station just off trail about 22 miles into the day that we decided to stop off at. The restaurant was ran but such a nice older woman who excitedly got us everything we needed. She was astounded by the amount of food that we cumulatively ordered. All of us got milkshakes and at least two things to eat. We were hungry and the menu looked great. I got a big bowl of corn chowder which is one of my favorites. Anytime I see that on a menu I have to order it. Plus I got a big plate of sweet potato fries. It was the perfect combination of food.
We all stuffed our faces and were so content. The food was fantastic and it felt like home. At one point the lady asked us about our trip and where we were coming from. Trucker explained it all to her and she was so impressed. But she thought that we had traveled that distance by bicycle! She was even more impressed once she realized that we traveled that distance by foot.
Sometime after 4pm we finally left the restaurant. Then we stopped off at the gas station quickly to grab a couple of things before continuing on. We only planned to do another 5 or so miles today which was great. I was still feeling pretty dang good all things considering. I figure if I can wrap my knee all day and hike without pain I’m doing alright. I’m just thinking everything is going to resolve itself in time.
After a few more miles of walking we passed by a large field. I noticed an animal toward the edge of the field and pointed it out to Trucker. Both of us stopped and got to watch the most adorable fox play around in the field. It appeared to be hunting something at first. Then it wound up sitting down at the edge of the field and looking around. It yawned and eventually laid town in the grass to rest. Moments like that are why I do this. Being able to be a fly on the wall for moments like that is priceless.
It wasn’t long after that that we arrived at our camp site. Some of the covered picnic tables along the trail have space to pitch tents. This site in particular had a pit toilet and plenty of room for us to put up multiple tents. I got situated and then crawled inside to finish setting up. All of us hung out for a little while and then headed to bed. I stretched and snacked and then called it a nice. Before we all fell asleep we could hear the loud barks and whining of coyotes nearby. They were having a field day! Eventually it settled down and I fell asleep.
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