Monday, August 24, 2009

Cavendish, PEI

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I brought along Darwin's “Origins of Species” thinking I'd like to read the original of the monumental work that has had such a profound effect on the direction of human civilization. The essence of the book is his explanation of natural selection and the impact it's had on all facets of human life. His style of prose is ponderous at best so the book is best read in small bites. Still, it took an enormous amount of courage to publish this book, considering the implications and inevitable backlash. That being said, I still struggle with it. To reach the next level in nature's endless struggle for survival, one must master the changing technology and data streams that it provides. Survival of the fittest must give way to survival of the smartest. Discipline and will power are the great engines one must possess to be successful in any enterprise, even one as modest as a vacation in Canada. How much easier it would be to pick up some cleverly entertaining bit of fiction, like the all engrossing, “Feast for Crows”. I will finish Darwin's tome, though, before returning to Arizona.

Meanwhile, back in the campground, I had to return to the contemplation of more immediate needs. Sadly, I looked around knowing this was a moving day and I’d be unlikely to see this place again. Once the work is done, the Casita re-attached to the van and all our belongings stowed away, my mood changes to excitement. “Carol,” I say. “Get that beast in the van and let's roll. There are places to go and things to see”. The engine turns over and so does our world.

Still not ready to leave the island, we knew that the Cavendish side of the PEI National Park was just 40 miles away. Yeah, probably more of the same, but the same is pretty darn good, so we drove in that direction. The entire area in and around Cavendish is a noted tourist destination. There are amusement parks, restaurants, golf courses, parasailing, boat rentals and charters, tons of cottages and motels plus shopping malls loaded with gift shops; in short, this is the entertainment capital of Prince Edward Island.

Since the weather has been so sunny of late, Carol naturally decided she ought to buy a bikini. Now I must say, for a fifty something woman, she still looks pretty darn good. However, there was no way I was going into a beachwear store and witness the endless changes while submitting to a rhetorical question for which there can be only one answer. Therefore, Nicky and I waited in the van and hoped for the least expensive outcome. Carol was out in a jiffy, having bought the first one she liked and tried on, and it was a bargain. Good wife.

Cavendish National Park is a very popular destination. By the time we arrived there was a sizable line waiting to purchase a campsite. Most of the sites were reserved in advance so we felt fortunate to get one with electricity and water; however, there was one problem. Directly behind the picnic table was a fresh water bog which could only mean one thing: mosquitoes. Therefore, I resolved to go back to the registration booth and see if there was anything else available. As it turned out there was but it was more expensive. Reluctantly, I parted with the extra cash but soon came to the realization that it was money well spent. Not only did we see and feel few mosquitoes, the pull thru afforded us more privacy, space, and a significantly better view than the one on mosquito coast. Sometimes it's the little things in life that make a big difference.

Our quick bike tour around the new campground yielded some valuable information. The beach was nearby and picture perfect, the laundromat and showers were within hailing distance and perhaps most interesting of all, our immediate neighbors had a Pomeranian that looked exactly like Nicky. Same face, same coloring, but gnashed her teeth at the sight of our Nicster. The owner told us that her name was Princess. Say no more. Later we tried attending the ranger program whose title “Salty Tales” sounded interesting. Unfortunately, it turned out to be more of a sing along than a serious account of pirates and sea battles. So instead, we turned around and walked down the beach into another russet red sunset.

Back at the Casita, we settled in for the next installment of Ken Burns' masterpiece, “The Civil War”. Two hours later, I was returned to my world. It's that good.

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