As we bike for home, an idea grows. What if we bike the entire 273 kms (about 170 miles) of the Confederation Trail from the North Cape near Tisdale to Elmira on the East Cape? With panniers
(bags attached to bikes) on our bikes we could carry all we need. We’d start out after an early June night at a B and B and bike 60-70 kilometres per day. That sort of mileage or kilometage would allow us to visit new PEI towns in the off season and complete the trail in four days. It would be our own mini-thru bike (a la the Appalachian Trail) with the added benefits of a short duration (four days), not sleeping with snoring fellow travelers in a shelter, a bed! and private bathroom, and ending each day with a fine glass of wine and a hearty breakfast the next morning. This is an idea that won’t be denied.
Potato field just off the Confederation Trail
Lunch, nap, and reading rejuvenate us for our afternoon of golf.
Green Willow Farm B & B hayfield the day before it rained
On a whim, I had packed three clubs and a putter, six balls, tees, golf glove, and golf shoes in the trunk of our Hyundai on the chance that I’d find a nine-hole course. I had no idea that across the street from our B and B is a nine-hole par 3 course at the Summerside Quality Inn. And for $7 to boot! Hannah jumps at the chance to play, too, and we have an afternoon twosome.
Quality Inn Golf course
The holes range from 70 to 120 yards so it’s short iron stuff for golfers. The greens are just more shaved versions of the fairways with weeds here and there on the putting surface. The Masters it is not. The score card says; please hold up on swing at #9 as there are people in the pool
. Oh, that’s not a lawsuit waiting to happen. But no matter. Hannah has not played in 30 years since we golfed in Arizona. But she’s a Phys. Ed. major from the division 3 sports powerhouse, the College of Wooster
in Ohio (look it up!) and is up for most any athletic challenge. You all may remember her willingness to climb Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park
for a second time when the rest of the family said, “No mas.”
We get to the first tee and I exchange my sandals for golf shoes. It’s 96 yards long with pine trees sprinkled throughout what must have been an old hay field. We play two balls each for the practice, as our games are rusty and there is no one else on the course. After hitting her first seven iron, Hannah sees a cute red fox approach. How PEI!
The red fox moves in
The fox slithers over and stands above Hannah’s Titleist. Before we know it, he grabs the golf ball in his mouth and skitters off into the brush. Stunned, Hannah is incensed. She runs toward the fox with her 7 iron, but the fox is too sly and too quick (You all remember The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
from high school typing class which contains all the letters in the alphabet. That’s truer than I realized.) In a flash, we are down one Titleist. Given fair warning, we are ready to go mano y mano (or animale) with this PEI fox. For the second hole, I walk half way down the fairway (some 50 yards) and wait for Hannah to hit, prepared to wave my wedge at the offending fox when he reemerges from the woods. This strategy seems to work but doesn’t discourage the fox from trying.
Hannah and her Seven Iron
At the third hole 79 yards, the fox lurks. Bold as can be, she comes within ten feet. Hannah jumps into action. Grabbing the flag stick from the third hole, she starts down the fairway waving the pole with its red flag chasing the fox. The fox wants no part of this highly motivated athletic woman and scoots into the underbrush. On the fourth hole he’s back. At this point, the fourth hole flag stick will be in our hands at all times. I go down the fairway, wait for Hannah to hit and then return to the tee box and hit my shot. We repeat this dance for each hole.
Hannah with flag stick in hand
We yell and wave the red flag when he reappears. Fact is, Hannah plays well. She’s an athletic talent of the first order. She hits through the ball and follows through nicely.
Dan looking to hole a birdie putt
We each hit some good shots and enjoy the ninety minutes on a sunny 70 degree day without losing another ball. Returning to the hotel desk, we mention the fox. And the receptionist, clearly not a golfer, says, That happens all the time. She is smiling and oh so Canadian. She adds in a perky way, Sometimes people have to stop playing because they run out of balls. “Perhaps, you might have mentioned the fox before we went out to the first tee!” we think.
That night we get takeout pizza for dinner. As we walk back Hannah steers me across the street to this sign below at a local Wilson’s gas stop on the main drag.
I wish you Hannahs in your life.
Our take away – We’ll be back to bike the entire Confederation Trail next June and be ready for the quick red fox.
A June 2013 return to the Confederation Trail