William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

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Tales from the Road


Came over Blue Mountain. Was a nice drive, and on the Pictou County side of Blue Mountain the road was pleasantly smooth. Unfortunately, the Gysborough County side was almost all rough and tumble. I probably would have been better off going by way of Antigonish.

My Macpass worked for the Cobequid Pass toll gate! Back when I got my Macpass, I took the extra steps of setting up accounts with Cobequid Pass, Confederation Bridge, and even the Saint John Harbour Bridge, just because I could. ;-) The latter two were by far the easiest – I could set everything up online – but with Cobequid Pass I had to mail in a form.

Today I pulled into a “Cash or E-Pass” lane just in case, and I had my window down and wallet at the ready. But sure enough, the green light came on, the LED lights said I had paid, and off I went, with a little fist-pumping “Yeah!” that I hope wasn’t misinterpreted by the booth attendant.

Here at a Wendy’s in Amherst, I’ve got about a quarter of a tank left. I’d like to wait until I reach Prince Edward Island to get gas, since it will probably be cheaper. None of the kinds of stations I do business with are on this side of town anyway.

There’s a Tim Hortons with this Wendy’s. I wish there were a way to get a burger and fries from Wendy’s and a Tim’s coffee (or other hot drink) as part of one combo. I’ll manage with a soda.

Memo to self: Don’t bring the netbook into fast food joints. I look like I’m a city slicker putting on airs.


Going to get some gas at Esso. I last filled up way back in Bedford and I still have more than a quarter of a tank. Not bad. Maybe I’ll just use the washroom and leave it until I get to Souris. But the gas is more than seven cents a litre cheaper here. At any rate, it’s good to take frequent breaks while driving. This definitely isn’t a race, and I can feel reasonably confident that I’m the only person heading from Sherbrooke to Souris today!

The driving’s been fantastic. For a while on Route 16 in New Brunswick I cruised along at 110.

One thing I noticed is that the rotary on Route 16 isn’t nearly as broad or gentle as its counterpart outside Pictou on Highway 106. In other words, when going to PEI or otherwise, take the Port Elgin rotary more slowly than you would Pictou’s. I think it has to do with the fact that Highway 106 is really a Super-2 / two-lane freeway (sounds odd, but true!) but NB-16 is just a broad two-lane road except for its newest Super-2 segment just before the Confederation Bridge.

A lot of folks probably aren’t much interested in all this. ;-) I should probably be blogging about Christmas presents and whatnot. I have to say, I really love the convenience of this netbook. I can just leave it on standby in its sleeve, and haul it out to use it whenever I want. It’d be even more awesome in a way if I had mobile internet, and this model of netbook was made to accommodate the necessary cards internally, but I really can’t afford the monthly bills or the distraction. I’d probably be checking Facebook right now instead of writing, and I write so seldom now that I feel any writing is good writing!

Time to freshen up and get on with the adventure! I hope to stop in Charlotteown and pick up a mouse for this bad boy. The touchpad is just pitiful. I mean, good job for cramming it into two square inches, but it’s really only suitable for the odd incidental thing – trying to use it for intricate tasks (which is everything on a small screen) is positively painful.

Oh, by the way, the PTB in Borden and probably Tourism PEI play a nasty trick on incoming drivers. There’s a divergence as soon as you get off the bridge, and it says that the scalehouse is on the left, but Borden and all kinds of other things are on the right. It’s set up to make you think that through traffic should keep right as well. Don’t believe it. It’s just a trick to get you to drive through Gateway Village, and you’ll end up having to stop at a stop sign before you can even get back on the highway.

Instead, keep left, and when the scalehouse comes up, you keep going straight (this time there is a sign that indicates the appropriate path for through traffic). You’ll be on the highway right away, and if the lights behind Borden are green, you won’t even have to stop! In my case, I wanted to stop, so I probably even should have gone right. But if you don’t want to stop, you don’t have to, and that’s how.

[You might still want to get gas in Borden, though. Their price was 94.0, but Charlottetown was 95.9 and Souris is 96.1.]


After 450km of driving, mostly non-freeway, am I tired? You bet.

Much to my chagrin, I discovered everything in Charlottetown was closed! Whoops. No Sunday shopping on PEI after Christmas, apparently. I guess that’s it until next summer. Uncle Shane’s talking about going in tomorrow for the sales, though. Maybe I’ll go in, too.

My sisters liked their Christmas presents, which was gratifying. By the way, if you’re tempted to give a book for Christmas, be aware of this rule: Bigger books linger longer.

One of my cousins has one of the most impressive beards I’ve ever seen. Imagine a thick sea-captain kind of beard, and imagine it neat and straight and all black. Like holy crap I wish I could grow a beard like that. Mine gets wiry and scraggly past a half-inch. I think he had a full three inches going on – even on the sides! Wow.

That’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed the update. I’m going to work harder at accomodating the needs of my frequent readers while not alienating my casual ones with trivial minutae and my bargeloads of puns. I have to find a way to write more and irritate less. ;-)
Tags: charlottetown, driving, dundas, pei, roads, sherbrooke, souris

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