More Hiking on PEI

Now I’m sure our friend Nora, and probably Cathleen, Nora and Lynn, will laugh at what Laurent and I call “hiking” but it sounds more athletic than “walking”. Nora is a hiker par excellence having done the Camino de Santiago and a hike around the Island’s 700 km perimeter as a member of the group mapping out The Island Walk. However hike or walk these little jaunts give us a chance to explore our Province, take in the sea air, and the beauty of where we have chosen to live.

Back in early September we had done the Greenwich Dunes Trail; one of the three routes marked out and maintained by Parks Canada at Greenwich National Park. I wrote about that hike in an earlier post.

It was a warm, off-and-on sunny Saturday a few weeks later and we decided to head out to Greenwich and tackle the second trail: Tlaqatik. It traces a path through some of the Sanderson farm land but also that of previous settlements of the Mi’kmaq peoples and early European settlers. The French colony of Havre St Pierre (St Peter’s Harbour) was the commercial centre of the Island from its founding as a cod fishery in 1720 until the Deportation in 1758. The third trail small trail at Greenwich explores the area where the village once stood.

The Tlaqatik Trail begins at the junction of the Dunes Trail and goes through the fields overlooking St Peter’s Bay to the shores of the Bay itself. It loops around through a small patch of woods to the back of the Greenwich Dunes and returns to the junction by another forested path. To be honest it’s an easy hike but one that both of us enjoyed.

I decided to end the video with a panorama shot of St. Peter’s Bay taken from a belvedere on Highway 2. I had mistakenly thought that the Bay had been named after the guardian of the pearly gates. However it turns out it takes its name from the original principal shareholder of the trade expedition to the North Shore of what was then called l’Isle Saint Jean: Louis-Hyacinthe de Castel, Comte de Saint-Pierre.

The word for October 24th is:
Hike /hīk/: [1. noun 2. verb]
1.1 A long walk, especially in the country or wilderness.
1.2 A sharp increase, especially in price.
1.3 American football: a snap.
2.1 To take a long walk, especial in the country or wilderness.
2.2 To pull or lift up (clothing).
2.3 To increasing something sharply (price).
2.4 To snap a football.
From English dialectal hyke (“to walk vigorously”), probably a Northern form of hitch, from Middle English hytchen, hichen, icchen (“to move, jerk, stir”). Cognate with Scots hyke (“to move with a jerk”), dialectal German hicken (“to hobble, walk with a limp”), Danish hinke (“to hop”).
Notice it says “a long walk” – well I consider 4.5 km a long walk, so I guess we did a hike!

Hiking on PEI

Well we didn’t do as much beaching or hiking as we said would – the best planned lays of mice and men etc. – the past few months. Not sure what happened but time and the summer just seemed to get away from us. Having said that one cloudy/sunny/cloudy/semi-sunny (hey it’s PEI we can get that combo in 5 minutes) day we decided to drive out to Greenwich National Park and hike the Dunes trail known for it’s floating boardwalk. It is floating in two senses of the word – it is suspended above the forest and marshlands floor but also floats on Bowley’s Pond rising and falling with the water levels.

A goodly portion of Lot 40 north of St Peter’s Bay was owned by the Sandersons. Charles Sanderson’s eldest son Garbert owned 375 acres the rest was divided between sons and sons-in-law. It remained farmland until Cyril Sanderson sold it to developers in 1979. Several projects were touted and then jettisoned before the property was purchased by the Federal Government and declared a National Park.
Meacham’s Illustrated Historical Atlas – 1880

The western tip of the peninsula that forms St Peter’s Bay Greenwich became a National Park in 1998 with a mandate to protect the natural and cultural resources of the region. The land had been farmed by Charles Sanderson as early as 1820; he passed it on to his sons. His grandson Cyril farmed it from 1939 (he was 14 at the time) until it was sold in 1979. The buildings gradually fell in to disrepair and were eventually torn down. The fields and wood lots have been gradually reclaimed by nature but outlines are still distinguishable.

Despite devastating budget cuts during the declining years of Snake Eye’s mandate in the early 20-teens Parks Canada has done an excellent job of maintaining facilities and posting information about the site and its environment.

Here are some of the flora and fauna that they identify on the information signs that pepper the route. Unfortunately it is not possible to put a caption on them on this page however a left click will take you to the slideshow that identifies a small selection of the bugs, the birds, the beasts, and the blossoms on the Dunes Trail.

Once again through the magic of iPhone and iMovie you can join Laurent and I for a few minutes on our hike to the Greenwhich Dunes. Surely, but far to slowly, I am finding out a few of the tricks of smoother video making but I still haven’t mastered the Hinterlands Who’s Who voice over but I’m sure that will come.

Yesterday (September 26th) we headed out to Greenwich once again this time to hike the Tlaqatik Trail. Tlaqatik is a Mi’kmaq phrase meaning “At the Campsite” and archaeological research has revealed that the area has been a living place for the past 10,000 years. I’ll try and get a video of that jaunt up within the next week or so.

On our return to the entrance to the trails this apple tree appeared to be covered with what looked like gold sparkle dust in the sun. It is all that is left of what must have been the Sanderson’s apple orchard.

The word for September 27th is:
Apple /ˈapəl/: [noun]
1. The round fruit of a tree of the rose family, which typically has thin red or green skin and crisp flesh. Many varieties have been developed as dessert or cooking fruit or for making cider.
2. An unrelated fruit that resembles an apple in some way.
3. the tree which bears apples.
Formerly spelled æppel in Old English, it derives from the Proto-Germanic root ap(a)laz, which could also mean fruit in general. This is ultimately derived from Proto-Indo-European ab(e)l-, but the precise original meaning and the relationship between both words is uncertain.
It is interesting that in the “Latin” languages French takes its word from the Latin pomum but Spanish uses the Latin derivative matianum while Italian take it from the Greek malum.