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Fish Tales – Prince Edward Island

"Well. I bet you won't say that after being here all winter".This comes from a fisherman who looks like he could have walked out of a movie with his wild white hair and deeply etched face that bore the weathered years at sea.We were riding out the north east coast of Prince Edward Island through very rural coastal roads with few houses and a hand full of villages that consist of two or three houses and a sign marking the spot.  We had reached Naufrage Harbor, and I had decided to make this quiet biking day a little more fulfilling by going down and chatting with the fishermen.This man was with two buddies and they were scrubbing the green slime off the bottom of fishing boat that listed on its side.   All three were in knee-high Wellingtons and they worked quietly and methodically, scrubbing and talking.I pulled up and said hello and commented on how beautiful the island was,  With a wide-eyed scoff he started talking about the hard side of living and earning a living on this island.The harbors freeze, and ice drifts down from Greenland and Labrador in huge thick sheets and stretch far out into the sea as they pile up against the island.  The ice sheets crash into each other driven by wind and currents and cause huge ice ridges to rise out of the ocean.All of the boats must come out of the water.  We have seen them parked in front yards before the freeze destroys them in their harbors.  They perch like monuments in front of modest houses, testament to the many months of the year where there is no work for many residents here on the island.He generously answers my questions .... Lobster season starts up in May and every boat can

A Gentle Place – Prince Edward Island

Pastoral.I've never thought of a place I've traveled as "pastoral" until now.  But now I know what "pastoral" looks like.  It looks like Prince Edward Island - the smallest Provence of Canada and an island just north of Nova Scotia. I am on a three week bike trip with a friend from Seattle.  We flew into Charlottetown, PEI with vague but unscheduled plans of cycling much of the perimeter of the island before moving on to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  Reality quickly set in about how much distance we could cover without killing ourselves.  And after a couple of loop rides out of Charlottetown, the capital, to break-in and adjust the bikes while seeing the surrounding area, we decided to travel PEI for quality rather than distance. So we are choosing the routes and locations that interest us most, with plenty of detours and stops in between to explore.And, as usual, choosing to travel with the quality of the experience in mind rather than "Doing PEI" has meant we have found ourselves with the freedom to explore some beautiful countryside and in the company of incredibly kind local people.  It's such a change from when I started to ride a decade ago when goals were about completing a hundred miles, or riding faster or climbing higher or riding "EFI" ... Every F... Inch of a long tour.  Now the beauty of a self-supported bike tour is the freedom to go where you want and stay as long as you like.  And No, you can't see everything.  And No, you can't say you cycled the grand distance.  And Yes, we are figuring out where we are going next the night before and then finding a place to stay last minute.  And Yes, we are learning that this rural island shuts down after

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