NJ to PEI - Trip Report
6/27 – left NJ and drove via NY Thruway to Mass Turnpike. Avoided all the CT traffic during rush hour. Per the GPS, this route was only 20 minutes longer than the CT route. Also were able to stay in front of the rain storm. Went to get fuel on Mass Turnpike and service areas are VERY small for trucks. Fuel prices were less than in NY. WalMart in Leominster, MA did not allow overnight parking. Stayed at Minuteman Campground in Ayers, MA. Ted stayed past 9pm and met us as soon as we pulled in. Walked me around to two campsite options and picked the back in site. He helped me back in because it was dark.
6/28 – slept a little later but got on road around 9am. No traffic on I495 but the rain started overnight and did not let up all day. Went to stop for fuel in ME and stations were too small. Had to look for ‘Truck Diesel’ on the highway sign. Moved over to center lane at one point and evidently a truck from Smith Transport thought I was too close. He pulled to the fast lane, blew his horn and flipped me the bird. I blew my train horn at him. He then cut me off, slammed on his brakes, so I let him go as he was going way too fast for the rainy conditions. But I did call Smith Transport (phone number was on the back of his truck) to report him. Turned off I95 in Bangor and again fuel was not too easy to find. Did find a station in Brewer where I topped off. Went through Calais, ME and Hilltop Campground was about 14 miles past. It was pouring. Had a pull through site and set up quick. Did not bother to unhook toad. We went to Bingo at night.
6/29 – got up early to get across the border before any holiday traffic. No wait and no problem at border. Only had to show our passports. However clearance was low (below 13’) so had to go around the 2nd booth in St. Stephen, NB. Got on a new section of Highway 1 and the GPS was none too happy as it was trying to figure out where I was. Found fuel around Exit 86 and bought some drinks. Going through St. Johns, there was some bridge construction. Not sure what my passenger side mirror hit but the top fish eye mirror glass flew off. Stopped later to straighten out the mirror and saw the falling mirror chipped up the door in a few places. Stopped in Mocton to top off tanks again. Clear drive to the bridge but some motorcycles were going way slow on the bridge. Wove our way across PEI for about 45 minutes to get to the campground. Arrived about 2pm. Found that mass was at 6pm so we drove around, found Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster dinners in North Rustico (good pies, even Kath said so) and went to 6pm mass at Stella Maris church.
6/30 – Went to Green Gables but it was CLOSED. Did walk around and went through the haunted woods to some relatives house. Went to Avonlea Village and walked around for a few hours. Had GREAT mac and cheese in the café. Carriage ride, saw play, fiddle music, ate some blueberry ice cream. Pretty nice place. Came back and napped for a few hours. Dog was barking in camper a few down so went for a ride to see the sunset at Cedar Dunes park (but it was 1.5 hours to get there!) Walked along the beach but was cloudy so did not wait for sunset. Drove back and stopped at real good ice cream stand in Kensington.
7/1 – dealt with some work stuff early. Went through the Green Gables house which was now open. Drove to a Preserve factory that also had a restaurant. Had Lobster pot pie and raspberry cream cheese pie. Then stopped at a soap factory and bought $159 CDN worth of soap! Went to another craft store called the Dunes but did not buy anything. Drove around and looked at houses we would like to buy. Beautiful views, cheap home prices, 2+ day drive from NJ… Came back to rest for remainder of day.
7/2 – Drove into Charlottetown and found everything we didn’t want to see in PEI. Traffic, stop lights, strip malls, etc. Went to the Provincial Governors house and no one showed to give the ‘every 30 minute’ tour. Went across the street to tour a Victorian house owned by a ship builder. However he was building sailing ships when everyone was going to steam and steel and lost it all. Walked around Confederation Landing, had lunch and a funnel cake. Drove to the Cow’s Factory store and took the tour. They sell some pretty cool tee shirts. Drove back to the campground to start packing up for the drive tomorrow.
7/3 – Left around 7am to drive to NH. Paid the toll at the PEI Confederation Bridge. $59 CDN makes the $13 I pay for the Lincoln Tunnel in NYC seem like a bargain! Based on conversations with some people at the campground, stayed on HWY-2 to Frederickton. We continued on HWY-2 to Woodstock and cut over to US I-95. Stopped by duty free shop to spend the rest of our Canadian money. Border crossing went smoothly. They came on board for a quick look but that was it. Stopped for fuel at the first exit. Drive down 95 was much better than the drive up 9. Longer distance but you’re going 70mph. As we got lower in ME, traffic was building but all going North for the holiday weekend. Arrived at Green Gate Campground in Exeter, NH around 4:30PM (gained an hour going over border). Campground is a little run down but the owners were very nice. Walked around Exeter at night (they have a river walk).
7/4 – 4th of July and our 26th Wedding Anniversary. Kayaked with some friends somewhere near Portsmouth, NH. Had a BBQ and then went to see fireworks on Rye Beach. With the curve in the shoreline, you can see fireworks from a few different towns.
7/5 – Wife had great idea to stop by the King Arthur Flour Company in Norwich, VT. Was 2 hours out of our way, but she is a baker and that place is Mecca. Easy drive on 93, 89 and 91. Took 91 back down to 90 and did the killer climb on 90 in western MA. I snapped a serpentine belt on that climb back in 2007 with my old gasser but the diesel climbed with no problems other than temps that were approaching the redline. There is a truck stop at the top where we stopped to cool things down and fill up. Were going to stop at the Newburg, NY KOA but no one answered the phone. Decided to just continue on home and arrived around 7PM.
No mechanical issues on this trip!
Tom and Katharine
'07 Winnebago Tour 40TD, 400hp Cummins
RVing for 19 years & 150,000+ miles