directions for the NS-PEI 500 - William Matheson's Journal
Aug. 3rd, 2006
12:05 pm - directions for the NS-PEI 500
Things are humming along nicely here. I’m going into Charlottetown by myself tomorrow to pick up Arthur and Jim at the airport, which should be fun. My first cousin once removed Marion will be coming up with her two grown children (she’s already made it as far as Stratford, where they’re staying with my Aunt and Uncle there - you remember them Catherine, with the really tall house?), and she hasn’t been to P.E.I. in more than thirty years. (I first met her in Toronto in 2002.) Also, my cousin Mary is coming up with the entourage of well-to-do relatives from New York, and they’re landing in Halifax and going to rent a car to come up here, which necessitated some hastily-written directions from yours truly:
Hi Ruth! Here are the directions you requested! I hope they strike the right balance between detail and readability. Can’t wait to see you here; sorry if this has been any trouble for you! If you have ANY problems, please don’t hesitate to call my mobile at 902-877-9455 and I will be happy to provide assistance. Love, ~ William
1. First, drive out of the airport. This is easy, because there’s only one road in or out. When you get to the freeway at the end, you want the first ramp on the right (so don’t drive over the highway). It will say “102 NORTH, Truro,” or something to that effect.
2. Drive north on Highway 102 for 65 km (40 miles). You’ll stay on this road until virtually the very end.
3. When you’re at the last exit (15), the directions split. If you decide to take the ferry (recommended for speed and fuel economy), you want EXIT 15E, Highway 104 East to “PEI Ferry (Caribou) / Cape Breton.” That’ll be the very last ramp before the end. If you prefer to take the bridge, just keep going straight and through the trumpet interchange. It’s signed as “EXIT 15W” and you’ll end up on Highway 104, but going west towards New Brunswick.
If you take the ferry:
4. After taking exit 15E, drive 55 km (about 34 miles) until you get to EXIT 22, Highway 106 North to “PEI Ferry / Pictou. This is easy because there’s only the one ramp to get off - on the right. You’ll circle around the trumpet and end up going north on Highway 106.
5. After about 11 km (7 miles) you’ll come to a traffic circle (“rotary”). Skip the first exit to Pictou and take the second north (and it’ll say something like “Highway 106 North P.E.I. Ferry”).
6. And drive to the end and wait for the ferry!
* * *
7. On P.E.I., take the second right (not counting driveways and minor roads), you want “Route 315,” and it will go north to Montague. The first major road off is “Route 4 Murray Harbour,” you want 315, which comes on the right as soon as you come around the curve after the Route 4 turnoff.
8. Drive 23 km (14 miles) to the end of the road. Now you’re just outside the town of Montague. Take a left turn onto “Route 4 North - Montague / Souris”
9. Drive to the end of the road (there’s a very steep hill with a light at the end - be careful), and turn left to continue on Route 4 towards Souris.
10. Just drive straight now through the rest of Montague, and straight on through the countryside. Go all the way to Albion Cross, past my father’s farm.
11. There’s a little bit of a detour here (literally just past Springwater Farms) because they’re fixing the road. All you need to do is follow the signs... turn right onto “Shaw Road” and take it all the way to the end. Turn left and take that road all the way to the end. Now you’re in Dingwell’s Mills, where Route 4 ends on Route 2. Turn right onto Route 2 and head east.
12. Drive on Route 2 for just a few miles - keep your eyes peeled for an overhead sign that says “Route 340 - Fortune.” Turn right onto this road. You can pick it out because there’s also a gas station at that fork.
13. At the stop sign, turn right. (You’re going onto Route 310.)
14. After crossing the little bridge, bear left.
15. The Inn is a mile or so ahead, on the right.
If you take the bridge:
5. After taking Exit 15W and merging onto Highway 104 west, continue on for 107 km (about 65 miles). There’ll be a toll plaza between exits 10 and 8, the fare is $4 per car.
6. Cross into New Brunswick (you’ll see the flags as soon as the kilometre posts on the side of the road tick down to zero), and continue west on Highway 2. You won’t be going very far.
7. In fact, you’ll take the very first ramp you come across, which will be Exit 513 B (I think. But I know for sure it’s the first ramp), “Highway 16 North, Port Elgin, P.E.I.”
8. Continue North on Highway 16. After about 25 km (15 miles) you’ll come to a traffic circle. Ignore the first turnoff to Port Elgin. Instead, take the second, which will let you continue north on Highway 16.
9. It’ll be another 15 miles or so to the Bridge... just keep driving straight and you’ll get there.
* * *
10. On P.E.I., bear left at the fork that appears as soon as you get off, the right ramp just leads to Gateway Village, a tourist trap that you’re probably keen to skip. You want to follow “Highway 1 East - Charlottetown” at all times.
11. At the traffic lights, go straight.
12. There’ll be an interchange coming up - PEI’s only! The right ramp would take you to Summerside and it’s signed as Highway 1A. Don’t take it. You might wonder why I need to include this in the directions, but you’d be surprised how many people end up going west to Summerside when they should be going east to Charlottetown.
13. Drive the 25 miles or so to Charlottetown. You can save some time by taking the bypass. Just before you enter the city you’re going to cross a wide bridge with an island and go-kart park on it. At the top of the hill after that, take the first left at the lights onto “Upton Road.”
14. Turn right at the Perimiter Highway (or it could be called “Arterial Highway”) - it looks like the major road that it is, so you can’t miss it.
15. Continue straight through *three* (3) sets of lights.
16. At the fourth lights, take a left onto “Highway 2 East - Souris.”
17. Proceed 49 km (30 miles) until the end of the road in St. Peter’s. There, take a left, and then take the first right to continue on Highway 2 towards Souris.
18. About 13 km (8 miles) out of St. Peter’s, watch for signs advertising the junction with Route 4 and the way to Montague / Wood Islands. You don’t want to go that way, but it means your turn is coming up in just a mile or two.
19. Keep your eyes peeled for an overhead sign that says “Route 340 - Fortune.” Turn right onto this road. You can pick it out because there’s also a gas station at that fork.
20. At the stop sign, turn right. (You’re going onto Route 310.)
21. After crossing the little bridge, bear left.
22. The Inn is a mile or so ahead, on the right.
... anyway, I hope we’ve passed the punchline of this story and that they don’t have any problems getting here. There’s a lot that could go wrong, and it’s a good thing I proofread my directions because at one point I originally wrote “right, then left” when it needed to be “left, then right.” I know from experience that when one is following directions, you tend to treat them as gospel and turn your brain off, so they can be as much of a hazard as a help.
The Hellers and Collishaws went down to my Grand Aunt Elsie’s yesterday for tea, which I wouldn’t necessarily blog about except that they raved about her biscuits, which she was making specifically for her son Earl, and we were also (later on) talking about many hours it takes to get from Halifax International Airport to the Inn at Bay Fortune by car, and we’re thinking “five, four if you take the ferry and time it right” but some of the New York relatives heard “three,” which was a big contributor to last night’s confusion. Upon hearing “three,” Uncle Shane remarked, “Well, Earl could do it.”
Further updates as events warrant. Oh, here's one: my car is now fixed! Only $325 to procure and install (and pinstripe) a door from a donor junkyard Chevrolet. The colour was a perfect match. What luck to be out of it so cheaply (and not suffering the ignominy of driving a two-tone car).