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Showing posts from June, 2013

Leaving Las Vegas and Loving Zion

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It was already 105 degrees in Las Vegas at 8:00am.

I took a drive back to Yoga For the Soul to pick up my abandoned iPhone. Last night, I couldn’t upload my pictures and videos, I couldn’t make a phone call, I couldn’t check or send emails or even use the phone to call Wendy and ask if she had my phone. The Internet connection was so terrible in the room that I complained at the front desk and they refunded my $3 connection fee.

As we high-tailed it out of Las Vegas, we cut through Arizona to get to Utah. That section of Arizona was fantastic. I found myself taking way too many pictures as I couldn’t actually believe my eyes. I’ll be merciful and only post a few here.

But then, getting into Utah, the scenery got even more spectacular. The reds in the dirt contrasted with some of the green vegetation and some layers of black rock and other layers of white sandstone made for quite an artists palette of colors.

My navigation showed some parks nearby just as I was getting antsy in the car,…

ROCKIN: From 7000 feet to 115 degrees

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Another amazing, incredible day.

I woke up in Flagstaff in the biggest Motel 6 I’ve ever seen. This one had two four story buildings. I had to wake up a little bit earlier than usual to make it to Flagstaff Athletic Club to teach Rockin. It was a rare day of using my alarm to wake me up.

There was a dozen Flagstaffians in class and we had a blast. As I mentioned to them, I’ve changed my playlist every time I taught this routine. I’ve got over 90 minutes of routine, so I keep changing out songs because I love them all, and I’m always playing around with what order they should go in.

Flagstaff is at about 7000 feet elevation, but by now it isn't effecting me at all. I was more disturbed by the extreme air conditioning. It was actually COLD in the middle of class. I know a lot of people like it, but I don't like exercising in the cold.

One of the students remarked to Stephanie Galloway, who is the local Nia teacher and my producer, that I was doing a lot of the same things that …

Arizona Heat Wave

Today was a resting day. The plan was to wake up in Holbrook and do some leisurely sightseeing as we made our way 90 miles west to Flagstaff.

Originally I had been looking at seeing the Petrified Forest National Park and Holovani Park. But Arizona has been hit by a massive, record breaking heat wave, and upon closet inspection, neither of those places seemed too inviting. They were both rocky, dirty, wide open, shade-less places that just seemed hot and dry and unpleasant. So, as much as I think I would have enjoyed both of those places, I changed my approach.

I looked for city parks, or parks that were basically grass and trees. I found a little gem in Holbrook called Hunt Park, so when we checked out of the motel, we gassed up and then stopped at the park for about two hours.

We ran a bit, and then we walked around for a bit, and then we sat at the picnic tables and finally, laid a blanket on the grass under a big shady tree and I did some light yoga while River rolled around.

After w…

Arizona Bound

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I started out the day with a delicious breakfast. I’m so happy when my cooler is stocked and I don’t have to resort to skipping meals or eating crap. I had a bowl of quinoa with a handful of almonds, a handful of blueberries, lots of cinnamon and a 1/4 cup of coconut milk.

I had planned, many times to cook the stuff that I bought at the store, so I’d have cooked food on the road. But I was being so social that I never got around to it. Today was my very last chance, so I had to decide not to go to the Creating a Sacred Livelihood session of Kelle Rae Oien’s White Belt training.

I did the laundry, cooked up some food and cleaned up the apartment to erase any evidence that I was staying there. I was on perfect time as my last dish came out of the oven, with just enough time to shower while it cooled before putting it in the cooler. 

I was making a few trips to the car with my luggage. On the first trip, I could hear River barking from inside, all the way from the parking lot. So when…

Rockin the 'Burque

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This morning I got up early to do some laundry and then River and I met Mark Frossard for breakfast at the Santa Fe Baking Co. He is part owner of StudioNia Santa Fe where I taught on Tuesday. He bought me breakfast and we chatted about (what else?) Nia. And as usual, River got lots of attention from passers-by, which he loves.

After breakfast I came back to the house I’m staying at with the intention of cooking up the food I bought at the co-op, but Michael’s house cleaner was there, so I sat and kept River out of her way while she finished cleaning up.

Moments after she finished, Michael came home as per our plan, to ride to Albuquerque together where he had a work-related meeting and I was teaching later that evening. While he was in his meeting, I met up with an old friend of mine from New York who had since moved to the ‘Burque. (that’s what the locals call Albuquerque).

This friend of mine had survived a very aggressive cancer and chemotherapy and so we talked a lot about that ov…

State Parks between Pueblo and Taos

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I missed a day of writing because instead of going to Motel 6, I stayed at a friend’s apartment, and we stayed up chatting until we were tired and I went straight to bed. So today I’ll sum up the past two days.

I woke up in Pueblo; refreshed and ready to give it another chance. I got on the highway headed south and at the very next exit, a truck entering the highway came straight into my lane. I wasn’t even in the far right lane. This truck entered the highway and immediately went into the center lane, forcing me to swerve away and slow down. It was the second time since owning my car that I used the horn in a true emergency warning type of way. So it sealed the fate of Pueblo, Colorado. I’m afraid I will always think of it as a driver’s nightmare.

From Pueblo we went to Lathrop State Park. I had no idea what to expect, but I wanted to see something natural and I’ve always had good luck with state parks. Lathrop was an expensive one at $7 for a day use pass. But it was pretty spectacul…

Rockin and Drivin in Southern Colorado

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I had packed most of my stuff into the car last night to ease the pressure of this morning. I woke up at 8, showered, walked River, ate and had my coffee and was on the road by 9. An hour away, I rocked Jasmine Lok’s class while she was in Telluride and had such a great time with ten of her Nia students. Even Ali, co-owner of Mayama Movement Studio stayed and took the class. The students were thrilled to see her in the room as it is a rare treat that she joins in on the Nia classes.

Immediately after class we loaded back into the car and drove to Boulder, where we joined Marty and Jackie Diner as they were in the midst of a White Belt Intensive. We turned it into a rock and roll jam. I guess both them are rock fans but haven’t done a lot of Nia to the good old tunes, so since I was passing through and bringing my rockin Nia, they decided to jump in and rock with me. It was a blast. And Marty chose to put my White Rabbit song at the end of the routine as a cool down instead of how I’d…

A Day of Rest

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Today turned into a day of rest. I had intended to drive east of our location today, just to explore and hopefully find a park or somewhere we could play. But it became pretty clear that neither of us were entirely motivated.

River was licking his paws this morning. I have been constantly aware of what surfaces he’s walking on in this blazing sunshine, and there were a couple of times that I feel like he was standing or walking on burning pavement. Three times, in fact, I picked him up and carried him until we got to a place that was less torturous. One time was a while back when we were on the high plains and I realized we were trekking over thorny brush, and the other two times were in town, when I felt like the sidewalk was burning. Being a barefooter my whole life, I can appreciate how a hot parking lot can take all the fun out the day.

So not only did we both get coconut oil treatments when we got in last night, but this morning, I also pressed cold wet cloths onto the pads of…

Colorful Colorado

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The plans that River and I had for today were changed unexpectedly due to a miscommunication between me and someone I thought was a friend. So we were left without a place to sleep or any plans for how to spend the day.

But while my clothes were in the drier, I looked around on the internet and found some pretty fun things to do instead. From Cheyenne, it was about a ninety minute drive to Longmont, where we spent the day.

I was surprised how little I drove before I was in Colorado. It seemed like only five or ten minutes. It was a hazy day. When I was growing up in the San Fernando Valley, we used to use ‘hazy’ as a euphemism for smoggy, but in Santa Barbara, we had a legitimate marine haze in the mornings, so I’m not sure if what I was seeing was smog or some kind of weather effect, but it sort of dampened the splendor. I could still tell that the immense, rolling landscape was a watercolor of green, yellow, orange and red, and the rock formations were awesome in their seeming intri…

Crossing Wyoming

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Last night over dinner, when I told my new friend Lisa that I was going to drive to Cheyenne, she told me how she used to take the drive from Lyman to Cheyenne a lot, and she found it incredibly boring. I was fascinated by the newness of the beauty of Wyoming from my North/South drive yesterday, but I could see how, seeing it every day, one would get used to it and it could quickly become a long, monotonous ride. I have noticed that the cars with Wyoming plates were the ones that didn’t seem to have any patience with me going the speed limit as I gawked at the scenery.


The terrain today was all flat and pretty uninteresting. There were some of those awesome mountains off in the distance, but Lisa was right, they lose their novelty pretty quickly. You can see in the first section of the video, there’s nothing around. I pulled off the road after about an hour of driving because my body was really protesting being in the C-shaped-spine car seat position. I folded up a blanket and put it a…

Western Wyoming-ing

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Well, once again words and pictures (even video) cannot even come close to describing the kind of day I had today.

First of all, here are a couple of pictures I took last night after I had published my blog. This is River sitting under the table as we waited for my dinner order, and then my view from the same table. It’s pretty, right? I bet it’s amazing in the winter, too.

Last night, in the motel room, I kept hearing a buzzing coming from the TV. After a while I realized it was a flying bug, not an electronic buzz. And then, I saw it. It was a huge wasp, but it seemed to be content to stay behind the TV console. Every once in a while it would venture up the wall, but then it never flew from there, it was just crawl back down inside and all of the buzzing came from within. It was strange. I decided it wasn’t going to hurt me, so I slept in the room with it, with no incident.

This morning, we woke up in Jackson and I went to get Thumper a bath. After our dirt-road adventure yest…

The Slow Road to Jackson

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This morning as I looked at the day ahead, I noticed that the road I took to the ghost town was the same one that I could take to go to Jackson. I had seen this sign last night, but I wasn’t sure it was referring to the same Jackson as I was going to. 

So, I didn’t want to redo the same route, and I certainly didn’t want to drive on I-15 the whole way, which was another option. I wanted something scenic and maybe a bit adventurous, so I took off, not knowing which way I was going to go. I saw a highway on the map that I was going to keep a lookout for, and I knew that if I got too lost, I could always ask my Mini Nav to get me back on track.

The reason I wasn’t using Mini Nav from the beginning is because she has a tendency to give me the most direct route, and I wanted to take some detours and hopefully drive through some forests or Yellowstone.

So, I took off driving, and got about fifteen minutes down I-15 before I saw a road that looked intriguing. This one was more of a rocky, …

In and Around Dillon, MT

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Even though we had a short drive and a lot of time to do it in, we still had to get up and out early due to the early check-out time in Missoula. So we were on the highway by ten am.

We stopped at a few rest areas. Those are always fun. At one, we set up a picnic lunch at the tables, but at most of them, we just run around and play in the grass.I was shooting some video of River enjoying the scenery and I felt something on my toes. Then I looked down and noticed that I was standing in a colony of ants. There were very big ants, and they looked menacing with the combination of red and black. I expected to be bitten, but I wasn't. Right after shooting the video, I felt something on my head, reached up and rubbed it and an ant fell off my head. I imagined them falling out of the trees, crawling out of the dirt and coming from behind the picnic tables. I decided I wanted to be back in the car right away, so we left. I've been trying all night to get the video posted on YouTube bu…