What’s in North Cape, PEI?

Originally posted to ontheroadagainagain.com on September 12, 2016

Although it was going to add a couple extra driving hours, I decided to stop at North Cape, PEI. Doing so would mean I hit all four corners of the island and I was promised a look at a fascinating house made from glass bottles. Not sure it would be worth it, but I have plenty of time – why not?!

North Cape is at the extremity
of Prince Edward Island

Seems as though North Cape has such consistently high winds that not only does it host a wind farm, it’s become a center for research on wind as a renewable energy source. 

They even have a wind museum. Outside on the grounds were the components of a wind turbine. A single blade that’s more than 130 feet long. And a nacelle with openings for the blades tall enough for me to walk through without ducking. This stuff looks a lot bigger on the ground than it does at the top of a 200 foot tower!

Inside I was disappointed to discover that the “museum” was buried in the back of a gift shop.

Surprise! A self guided tour took me back to Chinese windmills thousands of years ago and its migration to the west. I learned that in the Netherlands they used windmills to pump water into canals from areas below sea level. Land that had been underwater became farms. And I learned that the blades were attached to a dome that rotated atop the eight-sided mill so they would always face the wind. And a host of other fascinating but probably useless information.

All this in a corner of the world so remote that only by deliberately driving to the end of the world – or at least to the end of Prince Edward Island – could I see it.

Oh, and by the way, I never found the glass bottle house.

P.S. Renewable energy idea: Place windmills wherever politicians gather. Transform that unlimited wind into something useful.

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