Hello Montana!

Today we added two new National Forests to River’s growing list of places visited. 
We passed through and enjoyed the Idaho Panhandle National Forest and the Coeur d’Alene National Forest. 

We also passed by Elmer’s Fountain. It caught my eye from behind some trees off to the right of the highway. I thought it was a waterfall with something in it until we got a little closer.  It was through some trees, and I was driving, so I didn't get a great look at it. And then I saw a hand painted sign that said "Elmer's Fountain" so I remembered the name and looked it up when I got to the motel room. I don't know why it caught my eye or why I care about it, but I thought it was neat. The trip from Spokane to Missoula was not leisurely. I would have loved to stop and really absorb the new forests, and to investigate the fountain or to pull over and take a picture of Coeur d’Alene Lake. But as it was, we really only had time to stop at a rest area in Montana for a quick bathroom break and a walk in the sunshine. 

I took this photo. My first photo of the famed Montana Sky.

The reason we were so tightly scheduled was because I took longer than expected getting ready this morning. We didn’t hit I-90 until 9am. It’s a good thing I filled the tank up with gas the night before, because we ended up having no time to spare in the morning. After we got back on the road at the first rest area, and I had adjusted the car clock to Mountain Time, I became aware that I wouldn’t be able to stop for lunch like I had hoped. Instead we just drove straight to the Downtown Dance Center in Missoula where I'd be teaching.

We got to the space and parked in front, but then I grabbed an apple, some nuts and a box of spinach so I could eat something while I took River off in the opposite direction to find some grass. We made it back to the studio in just enough time to comfortably settle in, get set up, meet everyone, and start on time.

River spent the duration of the two hour playshop in his crate, although not peacefully and quietly the whole time. As usual, he fell right to sleep as soon as i started teaching Nia, but the first half-hour segment of this playshop was a lot of me talking and explaining, then demonstrating and then the class doing different activities. River doesn’t feel quite as soothed by this type of class, I guess. At one point he was biting the cage, and another time he scratched the floor of his cage like he was going to tunnel out. And then he pulled the blanket the was under the crate to protect the floor, in half way through the bars. It was like, really jammed in there, too. It was hard for me to pull it back out after class. I apologized to the class, but they didn’t seem too bothered by it.  He also chewed on his bone for a good portion of the time, which can sometimes get noisy.

I may be making it sound worse than it is. The truth is, except for the pulling of the blanket trick (which I don’t know how he did) he was only doing these things for about as long as it took you to read them. In fact, it was probably much louder for me, holding the space, than it was for the participants in the playshop.

We had a great time. It was a really fun, enthusiastic group, ready to rock. What I really love about doing this work is when I ask, “Who here can do a push up?” and only one or two people out of ten will raise their hand. But then, once I show them the secrets of Super Human Strength, everyone in the room does at least one push-up! Some did more. I had to caution them not to overuse their new powers unless they wanted to be really sore the next day. And then we practiced turning their new powers on and off and adjusting the ‘volume knob’ of their strength up and down, depending on what movement we were expressing in the context of a Rock n Roll Nia class. Suffice to say, it was a blast!

Tonight’s Motel 6 is worlds better than the nightmare I slept in last night. I felt like I was in a minimum security prison last night and today it feels like I’m in a residential apartment building. Even River seems much more at ease tonight. Last night, especially when we went through the hallways, he was very edgy. But it didn’t take those famous dog sensibilities to get creeped out by the energy in this place. In all of the Motel 6s I’ve stayed in, I have only ever had bad feelings about two. Most of them are nice and decent and occasionally I’m surprised with extras. Like tonight, the wi-fi was free and there’s a refrigerator in my room, so I saved $3 and my cooler gets the night off to dry out. Also, there’s an easy chair.

For some reason, this room was build for two beds but only has one. The headboard for the other bed is still there, as well as the nightstand, installed in the wall, but there’s a big easy chair in the space where the bed would go. I don’t mind. It gives River a nice big floor to stretch out on. 


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