OUT ON A LIMB: Blindly obeying my GPS leads me into trouble

Despite the fodder it provides for movie comedies, I like road trips

Well, I’m back from two weeks on the road. Annual summer vacation road trip.

Despite the fodder it provides for movie comedies, I like road trips. You get to see a lot of places and I just love seeing the miles roll under my tires.

We went from here to Seattle for a few days and then scooted across Washington state to Spokane for a few more and then headed north to the Kootenays before turning our wheels to home.

One of the stops we made was in Cranbrook, B.C. I have some history with Cranbrook in that I fell in with a bunch of people from Cranbrook during my university days. So I feel I have a connection with “The Brook.”

It’s a nice place being so close to the Rockies. I have to say, though, I was surprised to see how many restaurants that city of only 20,000 has. Where our hotel was on the highway strip, there had to be more restaurants in a two or three-block stretch than in all of Campbell River. And I don’t mean just fast food places.

Is their highway that much busier than ours? I wonder. There’s not as much attempt at attracting business along our Inland Island Highway as there is in those Kootenay communities. Does the amount of traffic warrant it?

And speaking of traffic, man is Seattle a horrendous place for traffic. American cities do seem to love those cloverleafs and off ramps. Vancouver’s traffic is bad enough for me but Seattle is worse.

We navigate with our GPS a lot now. Because it’s taken the place of the old fold-out map on the lap, whenever it blared “take the exit on the right” I had no idea where I was. We had to trust in the GPS and that sometimes wasn’t always a good thing. A couple of times when the GPS declared “You have arrived” we looked around at a residential cul de sac it had plunked us into when we were expecting an office building or a restaurant.

My favourite was when the GPS told us to take the exit on the right, which I dutifully did and then it almost immediately told us to merge to the left and back onto the same freeway we had just come off! What was that all about?

Meanwhile, back home just before I left, that steel container issue had blown up. Of course, everywhere I went in Washington and B.C., I saw steel containers. My hotel in Seattle had one in the parking lot. They were doing some renos on the hotel but it made me laugh to see it sitting there.

Before I left, I had asked if Ted Arbor was serious about the containers being used as alternative housing. Well,  Ted e-mailed me some links to places where the containers were indeed being used as alternative housing. And some of them were pretty nice. They didn’t just move furniture into the steel box, of course, they were modified. They looked very feasible, particularly as cottages and rural cabins. But they could also serve as sheds and service buildings.

Maybe I’ll get one.