Playing in the Payette

Today was the penultimate leg of our Summer Mountain States tour. I’m so thrilled that I was able to pull off my goal of teaching my ROCKIN routine in all of the mountain states, ending with Boise, yesterday.

I still had one more class to go, back in Washington. A dear, passionate woman named Beth Waddell had just opened a new movement studio called Living Sage and she moved forward the date of her Grand Opening to coincide with my being in the area. I was honored to be there for the inauguration.  Well, in truth, I had a little trouble finding the address, so I actually missed the inauguration ceremony, but I was part of the symbolic ribbon-cutting in that I was the first to teach a class on the new floor.

The day before, I mentioned that the drive from Ogden to Boise was lame, but today more than made up for. The drive from Boise to Clarkston, Washington is one of my favorite drives of this whole trip. It was long; five and a half hours, but it was all beautiful, so that makes a big difference.

We drove through the Boise National Forest and the Payette National Forest as well as driving alongside the Payette River (which we stopped to play in, twice) and the Salmon River, which I was dying to stop and play in, but had to press on.

I found a place where the river was wide enough that the water wash rushing madly. It was actually a boat launch place that asked for $3 to park and use the area. I wouldn’t be there for long, but I had no problem paying to use it. This is where River really got into splashing and playing in the water. He gets really vocal and excited and at one point he let out a loud single bark and heard his echo off the mountains. He then looked around for a long time trying to find that other dog.

As I was gearing up to leave the river after having been playing there for probably 45 minutes, I saw that I only had one shoe. And then I remembered that I had seen one of them floating in the water right near the shore and didn’t think much of it at the time. So I looked down river and there it was!  It was still floating and still near the shore. I was lucky because if it had drifted out to the center of the river, the flow could have taken it far away; it was still a pretty significant flow.

So I swam after it. It felt SO GOOD to actually swim. I used to love to swim, and I haven’t in a long time. Swimming toward the shoe was easy. And then I turned around and started swimming back to our beach, and this was going against the river; not so easy. It took about three times longer and a lot more vigorous effort to swim back to where River was waiting and watching. Afterwards, I stood on the shore with my rescued shoe in hand, breathing heavily. I don’t know if we were in altitude or if my swimming muscles are just out of shape, but I was surprised at how winded I became.

When we weren’t driving in majestic forests or near picturesque rivers, we were passing by lush, rolling, green grassy hills spotted with mustard and lavender.  And the fact that the temperature was below 90 most of the way didn’t hurt either.

I took some video on this trip, mostly of the Payette River and the surrounding area, but my computer is acting strangely and I think I may have lost all of it. In any case, I certainly can’t access it right now. I’ll take my computer into ‘the doctor’ and if they can retrieve it I’ll post it. But I may have a new computer in my near future. When we were passing through the Salmon River Canyon, I was listening to music from my iPhone, so it was hooked to the car and I couldn’t access it to take video. But trust me, it was worth going back, so when I go back, I’ll take some video.  I did get some still pictures.

River, the Payette River and the Payette National Forest

cows in the distance

That's a scary smile

Payette and environs

Big Pit Bull smile, taking a break in the shade

A rest near the Salmon River Canyon

Train trestles from the 1800s

It’s a good thing I passed from the Mountain to the Pacific Time Zone on this drive, because without that extra hour I wouldn’t have had the time to shower and shave before heading to the studio for my class. As it turned out, the address I had for the studio, when entered into my GPS, brought me to a whole different area of town, and I was about half an hour late for my scheduled arrival. I usually like to arrive early, so I can leisurely set up River's crate and play some music to set the mood, while I soak in the atmosphere of where I'm teaching, but this time, I hurriedly got River set up, plugged in my iPhone and immediately started teaching. Not that it didn't go well (it went great) but it's just not how I prefer to do it.

There were ten dancers in class and I don’t think it could have gone any better. I set the focus of class on "Appreciating and Being Grateful for Life" We all had a good time dancing and I know the studio is going to have a wonderful, productive and positive future. I'm so grateful to Beth for setting it up and for all of the students for sticking around and waiting for my arrival.

Tomorrow, I head back home. I managed to cover new ground every day. I won’t officially close the loop until I get back on I-90 tomorrow. I’m very much looking forward to being home tomorrow. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m scheduled to be home, but I really feel the urge to be home. It will be interested to see what happens when I put together and pull off my Autumn Tour of the Great Lakes and Texas.  That’s a giant loop and is probably going to take at least six weeks. I hope I’m not three weeks into that one and thinking I wish I were home.

I guess only time will tell.


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