Horse and buggy, cart, sleigh, train, and boat were the most common
conveyances when Montgomery was growing up. The mainland could be
reached from Prince Edward Island by boat only when the water was
free enough from ice. She did not have her first train ride until
she was fifteen (see Out
West) even though the nearest train station was only 13 miles
/ 20 kilometers away in Hunter River.
The success of her novels brought
Montgomery a new world of travel. While she had crossed Canada by
train with her grandfather when she was fifteen, and had made trips
to Halifax for school and work, her first adult traveling adventure
was to Boston to meet her publisher in 1910 when she was thirty-five
years old. When she married the Rev. Ewan Macdonald a year later,
she was able to pay for their honeymoon to Scotland and England.
In Leaskdale, she bought their first motorcar in 1918, and though
she never learned to drive, she thoroughly enjoyed motor travel.
She organized family outings to Niagara Falls, to the Kentucky Mammoth
Caves, to Indiana to Ewan's brother's home, to Muskoka, and of course
to Prince Edward Island. The Muskoka trip proved to be so enchanting
that Montgomery broke her well-established pattern of using the
Island as her setting, and set The Blue Castle in the Muskoka
lakelands. For some years now, the Macdonald's arrival in Bala,
Muskoka in 1922 is re-enacted and her happy holiday is celebrated
at the Bala
Only a few of Montgomery's characters
travel far or extensively. Anne Shirley Blythe and Gilbert go on
a second honeymoon to Europe just before the outbreak of the First
World War, but this is only mentioned and the novels do not take
us overseas. Dean Priest, of the Emily series, goes on yearly travels
to exotic places, but we learn almost nothing of these deliberately
mysterious journeys. Similarly, Hilary Gordon, the hero of the two
Pat books, travels to Japan to study architecture, but we do not
go with him nor do we actually see Hilary's and Pat's house in Vancouver.
Half of Jane of Lantern Hill is set in Toronto, but it is an
unhappier half, and Jane and the reader look forward to the
trips to the Island.
Montgomery's return to Prince Albert,
Saskatchewan, in 1930 showed her just how much Canada had grown
and changed. The latter parts of Montgomery's years are punctuated
by trips home to the Island and excursions to do her many public