Preparing for JAG & River Mountain States Tour, 2013

I literally spent all day Friday in the kitchen. Except for a few breaks, to shower, to take River on two walks and one pee break and to eat lunch and dinner, I was busy cooking about ten meals to put in my cooler for the road trip.

I used all recipes from my new book and the yummy meals are entirely comprised of friendly foods. I will not be following The Plan while I’m on the road, but , as always, I will make every effort to eat as healthfully as I can. I learned a lot about my eating habits from the experience of readying The Plan, and one of the things that I learned was to rely on seeds and nuts for my daily protein. So I stocked my cooler with plenty of those, too.

In my cooler, I’ll have carrot/beet salad, homemade hummus, baked butter nut squash, herb and lemon roasted chicken breast, sweet and spicy chicken thighs, mango/cucumber salsa, about five cups of brown rice, cheesy sauteed shiitake and broccoli, and thai vegetable soup. 

That should last me for at least four days, so I won’t have to look for groceries again until I’m in Jackson Hole. I froze the vegetable soup, so it will not only help keep the other food cold, but it will stay fresh for a long time. Some Motel 6 rooms have refrigerators and microwaves and some don’t. I don’t know what I’ll be getting, so I have plenty of foods that can be eaten cold.

On Saturday morning, I was ready to go. I had my coffee and made my breakfast and then I started loading my bags into the car. 

It was my birthday that morning, so Zeke presented me with a gift. It was a driving cap. Ever since I had gotten the Mini Cooper, I was talking about how I needed an Andy Capp hat to wear while I drove it, but I couldn’t find one that I wanted to commit to. This one was perfect. Not too crazy, and yet not too conservative either.

So once the car was packed up, I hit the road; first stop, Spokane.

The drive was mostly I-90. We stopped along the way at a couple of rest areas. At one of them, we saw a guy with a pet cat. The cat was walking around, exploring the trees and shrubs in the area near the guy, who was sitting on the ground, under a tree. I got a kick out of it. I’d never seen a cat at a rest area before.

At the second rest area, about an hour later, I put River on his 30’ leash so we could run a little bit. When we started running, we were all alone in the far end of the rest area. But a woman on a slow jog worked her way around toward us, and she was quite fascinated with watching us play and run. She called out, “Good Exercise!” And would clap her hands whenever River was running fast. 

At one point, River ran up to her and jumped up and barked. He didn’t jump ON her, but just jumped in front of her. And his bark was not aggression, but more playfully encouraging her to wrestle with him. But she, understandably, didn’t know how to interpret River’s actions and was startled. She looked at me and said, “He shouldn’t do that!” I said, “I know. He’s just feeling playful.” She seemed satisfied and continued running. River didn’t give her another thought.

While we were running, it became obvious that it was a nice, warm day. It was 85 degrees, actually. So when we got back into the car, River was panting. It's rare that I see him get so warm that he fully pants with his tongue hanging out. It was so much fun to see, I had to take a picture.

When we got to Spokane and had checked into the room, I was making a trip from the room to the car to get another bag, and as we descended the stairs, there was a big German Shepherd standing at the base. In the past, this could have been a problem. River would have gotten very excited and wanted to meet the dog, but didn’t have proper etiquette, so he’d just charge the dog. This would mostly result in the other dog feeling threatened and the meeting would not go well.

But since we’ve been working with Stephen at Nitro K-9, River has better impulse control. We stopped at the top of the stairs and waited. I didn’t even have to tell him to stop, because it’s part of the whole deal; when I stop, he stops. And he did. 

There was no human with this dog. No leash. So I called out, “Is this dog ok!?” But there was no answer. The dog was very calm-looking, and River was being calm, so I decided to descend the stairs and let them meet. They did their sniffing thing and then I continued out the door. I was so proud.

Tonight I have nothing going on in Spokane. I’ll just look over my music and write some notes for tomorrow’s class. I have to get up and on the road earlier than usual tomorrow. I have a long drive to Missoula where I’m teaching class at 2 P.M. And I’m passing over into the mountain time zone so I’ll lose an hour. According to Google Maps it’s a three hour drive, but with the time change, that makes it four. And since we like to stop at rest areas a lot, that adds about another hour to the time. So, if I want to get to the studio space with time to spare, I’d need to be driving out of this motel’s parking lot by 8:30.  

That’s usually the time I wake up, so I’ll have to get up about an hour early so I have time to shower, eat breakfast and pack up the car.

Settling into the first of many Motel 6s


Laura Marshall said…
I love the food choice's. I would just grab the nuts from Buccee's, along with beef,pork,turkey, and bison jerky. I love cheese, so that would have to make the trip.
So far I have been unsuccessful in selling my husband on a long road trip, but I'm thinking I could manipulate vicariously through you. LOL
Thanks Laura,

I did bring some cheese, too. Goat ricotta, to be exact.

And I'm not a big jerky fan (too much sodium for my blood) but I do plan to get some bison when I'm in Jackson Hole, WY. Maybe jerky, maybe steaks.

If you ever need me to tell your husband how much fun it is, I'm happy to.

Anonymous said…
Great driving cap!!! I love the pictures of River. You guys are having so much fun. I really admire your courage, your sense of adventure and your love for River and life itself. Have fun on your Mountain Time road trip!!!

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