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August 4, 2007

Prince Edward Island Photo Log

My friend Amy and I take at least one trip together every year. Last year while we were in Idaho, we decided to take a bike tour this year ('07). She had a friend who had once biked from his land in Prince Edward Island back to New Hampshire when his van broke down in PEI. Since that was really all we'd heard about bike trips, we thought, hey, why don't we bike from her family's house in Peterborough, NH to PEI? We never got around to further trip planning, so when this summer rolled around, we thought we'd better stick with the "plan" we had. But then we ended up only having about 7days, so we decided to drive up to PEI and just bike around the island.

We called up Marcus, the friend who'd biked down the other year, and he needed a ride up to his land, so we picked him up and drove the 12 hours to Miminegash. We got there in the middle of the night, so when we woke up the next morning we got our first views of the island. Spectacular! There was so much to explore in Miminegash, that we didn't get around to getting on bikes for a few days, but we did eventually do a 3 day tour around the western third of the island. We didn't take a camera (must travel light you know when on a bike), but we have photos of the earlier days of our trip.

Marcus is a furniture maker in Gardener, MA. He bought 10 acres in PEI six years ago and has been building a utopia up there at the end of his red dirt road.
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Here is his main cabin/shack. Many of the buildings, including this one, were damaged by vandalism earlier this year, hence the plastic over the windows.
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A tour of some of the other things he's built so far... Most are set apart from each other in the woods, with winding paths connecting them.
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Here is his workshop for furniture-making. Notice the double-decker treehouse behind. There was a raccoon living inside when we showed up.
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Nearby there is a future water garden...
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The toilet...
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The compost...
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...which is used along with layers of seaweed and such in the "lasagna garden":
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Back down by the main shack, next to Miminegash Pond, is a screen house and teepee. The teepee is for a solar shower.
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And around the other side, there's a deck overlooking the pond.
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But my favorite place would have to be this one...
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The first day we walked the short hike to the coast and then into the harbor, where fishermen were readying lobster traps and buoys for the second lobster season, which was opening on August 9th. This meant no lobster for us during our visit.

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After stopping into Deagle's Store for coffee and being introduced to Benny Deagle, we ran into Rodney, a friend of Marcus', who invited us to go for a swim on one of his fishing boats that afternoon, which ended up being a great time, despite my fear of deep water.

Later that evening, Jeff and Ryan stopped by for a visit...

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... while we were making a dinner of mixed beans and rice... and magic ingredients molasses and Bragg's.
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Amy and Marcus scoured the woods for berries to make a salsa topping for the beans and rice. They came back with raspberries, blueberries, currants, and bunchberries, as well as rose hips and fireweed (I think).
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Later on we had a dessert of thick molasses cookies warmed over the fire with molasses dribbled on top!
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The next day we drove up to Tignish and the North Cape, where you can see tides coming together from the east and the west. There was lots of wildlife in the tidepools, and we gathered a bit of Irish Moss, the seaweed that's been an important part of the livelihood of the western side of the island. It contains carrageenan, used as a thickening agent in many many foods, like ice cream and cottage cheese. We later decided to make a currant glaze for our molasses cookies, and threw some Irish Moss into the pot. In just a few minutes, it had melted in and thickened the berries up into a jam-like paste. Tasted good too.

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That evening Rodney came over and we sat around the fire sharing stories, mostly Rodney's, which were amazing. Check back here in a bit and I'll have some of them posted.

That night we decided to sleep on the beach in the hopes that the mosquitoes wouldn't be as bad with the breeze coming off the ocean. After some music by the campfire, we set up tents just in case of rain and got as close to the base of the bluff as possible. (None of us know much about tides.) It was almost a full moon, and sometime in the middle of the night we woke up with a crazy wind flapping our tents all around and the tide only a few feet away. Amy was the only one to stick it out the rest of the night, moving up to the bluff.

On Tuesday morning we finally had breakfast and got our stuff packed up and loaded on the bikes to start our 3-day tour. Unfortunately the camera died just as we stood for our formal girls on bikes portrait, but you sorta get the idea.

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We were off, and there are more stories to tell about the tour, but that will have to wait until I get more of the audio edited. We didn't have a camera along, but we did have digital recorder. Here's a little bit from when we went to see Green Gables in Cavendish.

... and we left Marcus to his solitude on his red dirt road.
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