Traveling by GPS

Seattle's Pike Place Market

Seattle's Pike Place MarketSince I live about 2 1/2 hours from downtown Seattle, and we have a number of relatives living in the vicinity, it has been a common  weekend destination for my family and I.  Whether we are in town for an event, like a Seahawks or a Mariners game, or if we are visiting our favorite haunts, such as Pike Place Market, the Boeing Aerospace Museum, or Seattle Center, there is always great fun to be had.

I’ve been there enough times that I can always find my way around, even though Seattle is laid out in one of the most convoluted jumbles of streets and highways that I’ve ever seen.  I’ve always said that when I’m in Seattle, I can find anything – I just won’t find the shortest route to get there.

Seattle has a myriad of one way streets so when you want to turn left, it’s a one way road to the right. Even when you aren’t facing a one-way the other direction, they will have a sign up that says you aren’t allowed to turn left at that intersection, anyway.

For me, the worst part might be trying to figure out how to get back on the freeway going in the right direction when I’m ready to leave town.  I usually end up zig-zagging back and forth, under and over, across I-5 trying to find an on-ramp that will get me on the freeway headed toward I-90.

I’m fortunate enough to have an Android phone with Google Maps and navigation.  I didn’t purchase the device only for maneuvering around the streets of Seattle, but it sure has come in handy.  Now, when I’m ready to get back on the freeway and head home, I just punch my home address into my phone’s GPS and I’m on the road again.  Life is good.

If I didn’t have GPS available on my phone, I would definitely be looking to purchase a GPS unit.  You know, once you become accustomed to doing things a certain way, it’s hard to go without.  I’ve become quite spoiled.

Save on Top Rated Garmin GPS Units

Garmin nüvi 40LM 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Maps (US)
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Yakima SkyBox Cargo Carrier

Yakima SkyBox Pro 16s Rooftop Cargo BoxSo, how do you take a 5-hour trip to the beach to spend a week with 5 adults and two toddlers in car seats with everyone traveling in one car?

First, it helps when you drive a Ford Expedition.

Second, you get a cargo carrier to mount on the top of your SUV, van, crossover, or station wagon.

As a disclaimer, I don’t own the Yakima SkyBox Cargo Cargo Carrier.  I have been the happy owner of the older version, the Yakima RocketBox, for Many years.  We purchased it to use on our old Chevy Blazer.  After we sold our Blazer in favor of a pickup, we loaned our cargo carrier to a friend who used it on their Suburban.

Today, we are using it for trips with the family (kids and grandkids) so we can all travel in one vehicle.  It’s had so much use and abuse, yet it still works the same as the day we bought it.  I couldn’t be more satisfied with it.  Without our Yakima RocketBox, we would not be able to carry enough luggage to travel together with our entire group.

When we chose which of the Yakima products we would purchase, I selected the long box as opposed to the shorter but wider version.  My reason was so that in addition to regular cargo for trips, it could also double as a carrier for our skis.  I haven’t been skiing in a number of years, but the box we selected is still very useful and versatile.

Today, there are too many sizes and styles to mention.  Yakima will have a cargo carrier to suit your individual needs.  Take a look at the selection below. The medium sized SkyBox is the same one that I purchased years ago (only they used to call it the RocketBox).

Yakima SkyBox 12 Cubic Foot Rooftop Cargo Box
Yakima SkyBox 12 Rooftop Cargo Box, Small

Yakima SkyBox 16 Cubic Foot Rooftop Cargo Box
Yakima SkyBox 16 Rooftop Cargo Box, Medium

Yakima SkyBox 21 Cubic Foot Rooftop Cargo Box
Yakima SkyBox 21 Rooftop Cargo Box, Large

Here’s what our old Yakima RocketBox looks like when it’s mounted on our Expedition.  I’m amazed at how much cargo it can carry, even though it looks so sleek and slim.

Expedition with Yakima RocketBox