PEI Postponed

Was it a rash decision to scrub this ride? Or was it a bad idea to squeeze this increasingly shrinking bike tour into this busy week?

It’s been distracting, fielding the phone calls and emails from a NH attorney, my sister in Maine, and the Northwood Lake realtor. It’s just too complicated, I’ve decided, to close a real estate transaction while pedaling around PEI.

Solo bike tours have a critical component for success — peace of mind. The lonely trail is no place for a racing mind. Yesterday was some unique form of torture as I rode 5 hours in solitary. There are too many loose ends with this pending estate sale.

Of course, I should have predicted as much, but when the offers came in on my parents’ cottage on Northwood Lake in NH, I never stopped to think when the deal would close. It must’ve been right around the same time, too, that I’m finalizing the details for this bike tour. I guess that betrays that I doubted the cottage would really close, but I shouldn’t have. We had multiple offers before we accepted one — and people waiting in the wings if this deal fell through.

20121020-180204.jpgBack in Charlottetown after a change of plans.

All this after a lengthy ‘discussion’ with the agent over the listing price — you guessed it, she wanted a lower price, but I stuck to my guns. This lakefront home sits on 2 lots at the end of a long dirt road. There are no neighbors to the south for 1000 ft; this place is private and it hasn’t been on the market since 1967. No wonder we had multiple offers.

I was with my Dad the day he found the property. Camp Wah Tut Ca sits at the far end of the lake; this Boy Scout camp was where my Dad spent summers and now I was about to. But first he wanted to drive around the lake and when he got the the end of the road he stopped to stretch his legs and ask the owner if he knew of any cottages for sale. It so happens he did know and a month later my parents bought this little jewel for only $9,000, furnished, with a boat and motor, on 190 ft of waterfront.

It was the end of the season by then and subsequent summers I’d be working to pay my way through college, but my 5 siblings would spend long, lazy summers up at the lake for many years. I would meet my future wife at this lake. It’s a magical place.

But times have changed. My parents are both gone leaving me as executor. Most of my siblings are on the west coast today, a long ways from the cottage.

Like second home markets in many locales, prices have been down. Today the appraisers are the one’s who decide whether a deal closes and historic comps are low. But exceptional properties, priced right, will move and this one has. I just never nailed the closing date into my calendar.

As I started to mumble my revised itinerary to Diana at the Historic Maplethorpe, I was more than a little surprised, “I’m going to Charlottetown right after I serve you breakfast.” That the rain was bearing down on me never influenced my thinking, well, maybe a little.

By 11am I was checking back into the Charlottetown hotel where this abbreviated journey started. There were surprisingly few questions asked when I returned the bike barely 24 hours after renting it.

Tomorrow I shuttle van to Halifax where a suitcase of dress clothes awaits. Next Thursday and Friday I’m speaking at the National (Canadian) Angel Summit there, but I can easily fly down to Boston by Tuesday or Wednesday to sign the papers and close out this long chapter in all our lives.

PEI, I’ll be back.

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It’s the final day of cleaning out the cottage — 45 years of memories — everything must go.

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