JAG & River Roadtripping: DAY 1 - Barfing and Olympia, WA

April 1 was the start of our field trip. I’d been ‘planning’ it for month. I say ‘planning’ but it isn’t really accurate. The itinerary built itself with a bit of my cajoling. Thanks to facebook, I was able to reach out to people I knew all along our route and set up gigs.

I just bought a brand new 2013 Mini Cooper Countryman S and my goal was to drive it all over the country for two years and then get rid of it. Our first destination was a return to my birthplace, Santa Barbara. So that was the spark that created “The Pacific Coast Tour” so to make a long story short, by the time April 1 rolled around, we ended up with the following:

April 1, Olympia, WA*
April 2-3 Portland, OR *
April 4 Lincoln City
April 5-6 Eugene*
April 7 Coos Bay
April 8 Gold Beach
April 9 Eureka
April 10-11 Pacifica, CA
April 12-14 Santa Barbara*
                   day 1 (Goleta)
                   day 2 (Aunt)
                   day 3 (Uncle)
April 15-18 Anaheim
April 19 Chula Vista
April 20 (tbd)
April 21 Ventura*
April 22-23 San Rafael*
April 24 Medford, OR
April 25 Portland
April 26 Seattle, WA

Click on the links above to read the individual entries, or use the arrows at the bottom of this page to view the Newer Entry and follow along in order.

There are some gaps yet to be filled in, but there’s still time. The cities with *s are the ones that I have teaching gigs set up in. I’m still working on getting something going in San Diego, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do in Medford, OR. I just chose that place because it was an appropriate number of miles from San Rafael.

I’m able to change my Motel 6 reservations up to the day before, so I plan to adjust the schedule as I go.

So, after months of preparation and thought and manifesting and imagining and coordinating and brainstorming, April 1 arrives. I’m packing and cooking up a bunch of food to take with me and cleaning up the house. The only thing really noteworthy is that River threw up.

Not in the car, in the kitchen. (This is precious, but I’ll get back to that) I don’t know if it was something he ate, but there really wasn’t any food in the vomit. It was just bilious. I feel like he was picking up on my anxiety about packing. Once he vomited, It made me aware of how I was being, and even though I felt like I was being calm, I made the choice to be “more calm’.
Now, I have to admit that I was delighted when River threw up. And this goes back to why it’s precious to me, too.  The way I see it, he has a choice of three surfaces to puke on: carpet, wood or tile. Of those three, I’d much prefer the tile, but to him in makes no difference. What I’ve done is whenever he’s giving signs of being vomitous, I’d usher him into the kitchen where cleanup would be a breeze. He would usually look at me like, “I’M TRYING TO BARF, HERE!” ‘Yes, River, but I want you to barf here!’ Well anyway, what he did today was got up from where he was lying in the living room (carpet), walked through the dining room (wood) and came into the kitchen (tile) to hurl. Isn’t that precious?

He was fine after that. So without further incident we make our way happily down the coast. 

River is motoring like a champ. He was initially very nervous about Thumper (the car), but I took him on some brief trips to some really fun places and gave him treats and massages when he was in the car, so now he loves to be in it. At first, I had to nudge him and lift him to “help” him in, but now, he climbs right up. Of course he does wait until I’ve prepared the seat and I’m in position. There’s a part of our routine where I reach around to click the seatbelt in, and almost every time I do, he bops me once on the face with his nose. I have no idea what it is, but I’ve chosen to love it.

Once we got on I5 South and were driving for about fifteen minutes, River curled up and rested on the seat. He wasn’t nervous at all. Still a little unsure, but able to relax.

I passed a Rest Area. And I love stopping and taking a run break and maybe throw a ball or tug on a rope and use up some energy and stretch our legs and our lungs. So I hardly miss a Rest Area when I’m with him. But he was so peaceful, I thought I’d go ahead and stop at the one that was 46 more miles.

We did and it was fun to run in the grass, but we didn’t stay long. We did the rounds of the place once and chose the best spot for pooping and continued on to Olympia, which was only another ten minutes away by now.

I had placed an ad on Craig’s List saying I was passing through town and I offered services as a personal trainer, yoga teacher or body tuner, and I had a response who wanted to set something up as soon as we checked in. So he appeared there in the open doorway just as I brought the last things in from the car. We greeted each other and the guy started walking in the room. River gave one growl and the guy backed up in surprise. I reassured the guy that River didn’t know you were allowed in our room. But once I shook his hand and invited him in, River was relaxed again and slept in his crate during the whole session.

After that, I ate some food and showered and we headed to the Motion in Balance Studio in Olympia. I led a two hour version of my Free Dance Playshop. I love this work. I love to teach. And I love to teach this work. So I had a fantastic time. I really enjoy seeing the transformations and the realizations that the students have as we go through the playshop. And today was no exception. Every time I’ve taught this playshop, the students free dancing immediately changed and gets more creative, confident and free.

At one point, before the class started, I wanted to go get River’s crate out of the car, so a woman offered to hold his leash while I went. I said, “Ok, he’ll bark, but he should be OK”. But when I got back, the report I got was that he sat perfectly still, looking at the spot where I disappeared from his sight until I returned.

After the playshop, we climbed back in the car, headed back to the Motel, showered and went to bed.

When River and I went camping, we got into the habit of sleeping together. It was cold and I wasn’t sure how warm the blankets he was sleeping on were, so I let him crawl into bed and share my warmth. But that habit continued when we switched to the Motel 6, even though it was heated. Strangely, he never did it at home, even the first night home after a trip. Never once.

This time I vowed to break that habit. So the first thing he does when the lights go out is to rest his chin the bed and give me a little whimper. And then, when I don’t respond, he props his front legs up on the bed. I said, “No. River. Go home.” (that’s what we call his cage) and in the darkness I heard his legs plop down to the floor and the familiar rattle of him entering and collapsing down into his crate.  I was surprised how easy it was.

The kick is, this happened about every two hours pretty much as I described. So we managed sleeping in the crate on the road! Now it’s just a matter of relaxing with it, like everything else. 

Well good night, thanks for reading. Catch up with you tomorrow. 


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