What an epic adventure this became! We began our Island Walk last September hoping to finish in October after 31 days of walking (we did one double WP day). However Hurricane Fiona had a different plan for us and for those walking mid-September.
Along with everyone else, we were forced to abandon our walk after reaching WP18. Fortunately, we had a safe place to weather the storm. The ride back to our car in Charlottetown the morning after Fiona was surreal. Being from Windsor, Ontario, we have never seen the destructive force and damage done by a hurricane. That concluded our Island Walk, 2022!
On our ride back to our home we began to think about how and when we would be able to finish our Island Walk adventure. We checked in frequently on The Island Walk page and followed the incredible efforts done by so many people to repair and ready the trails, roads, homes and businesses around PEI. As we saw that the route would be cleared for 2023, we planned our return.
Fast forward to 2023, we returned to PEI in May and began walking on the 25th, at WP18. We immediately noticed the destruction and damage done to the landscape and buildings, and the work it must have taken to repair the Island. As we walked WP to WP and at our stops, we were greeted by many Islanders interested in our walk and happy to see people returning. We did come across a few others on the trails and roads, glad to be back on the Walk.
We finished our adventure on June 6th in Charlottetown. We did not realize how emotional we both were going to be as we crossed the bridge and walked into the park. The adventure that we started in September of 2022 came to a finish in June of 2023.
The emotions we felt were obviously because we finished, but upon reflecting also came from meeting so many wonderful and caring people that we met on PEI. Our takeaway and best memories we will treasure came from the people we met; people offering to us to come in for a cup of tea or asking if we needed any water or to use their washroom. People wanting to talk and be friendly. We learned about mussel harvesting, watched lobsters being unloaded and clams being dug up. We saw work being done on the trails and houses being repaired. We ate a lot of good food (probably gained weight!) and spent nights in warm and welcoming accommodations. We left with nothing but respect and thanks to the people of PEI.
Special thanks have to go to Bryson Guptill (we finally met in Charlottetown), and those working on The Island Walk; to Bill Kendrick for providing our walk itinerary; to our hosts at each of the places we stayed (no camping for us!); and finally to the people of PEI for being so special. Thank you.