Showing posts from September, 2013

Mile 5555: Kansas and Oklahoma

Although today’s drive was a bit longer than yesterday, it wasn’t nearly as arduous for either of us. Because I asked River to sit still in his cage through two classes and a very long car ride, all back to back without release or complaint and he did remarkably well, I wanted to reward him today with a lot of attention to his comfort and needs.

Before we hit the road from Kansas City, we stopped to play in a park. River hadn’t had a chance to really break into a full on run in a while, and he was making up for lost time this morning. 

Once he seemed to peter out, I got him in the car and we hit the highway for Oklahoma City. 

Mini Nav was taking me on a route that was going to go down Missouri and Alabama and then cut across right into Oklahoma City, but since I already drove through Missouri yesterday, I altered my route to go through Wichita and then down south from there, so I could drive through Kansas and Oklahoma.

Kansas was pretty, considering how much nothing there was.…


Today was sure to be an interesting day. It was the most ambitious undertaking of this entire trip.

I woke up in Caseyville and headed over to Edwardsville to teach a 90 minute MEGA ROCKIN class at Gaia Studio.  Tracy Stamper put the ball in motion, when we connected on Facebook, but passed the torch onto Sally Burgess who organized and hosted the class. 

We had a nice group of very seasoned Nia teachers, and the class went great. It was over before I knew it. Usually after class I like to stick around and chat and let everyone who wants to, meet River. But today I had to make a quick getaway and only had time for a few pictures and brief conversations as I was breaking down the cage and loading the car.

I didn’t even have time to shower or change clothes or eat anything. I loaded the car and headed to Kansas City. 

Google maps said it was just over a four hour drive from Edwardsville, Illinois to Kansas City, Missouri. It was now noon and I had a class at 5pm in KC. Wh…

Our Lakebound Journey Turns into a Southwestern Trek

Two days ago, our journey continued east, just past Buffalo, past Lockport where we saw the Erie Canal, and to a small town in New York called Olcott. Here we found beach access to Lake Ontario and satisfied the first part of our quest for this tour; to touch all five Great Lakes. After playing for less than a minute in the cold water, we went back to the grassy park nearby. 

That was three days ago. Ever since we sat in that grandstand at Olcott Beach Park near Lake Ontario, our lives have pretty much consisted of driving, southwesterly, over not too terribly interesting terrain.
We drove from Olcott back to Cleveland the first night and didn’t get back in until about midnight. The drive took about ten hours total, each way. Pretty long drive to go to a park for fifteen minutes. But this was a very special park for a very special reason, so it was worth the long drive. 

On the way out to the lake, I was concerned that I had only brought my short pants with me, but it d…

Visiting Lake Ontario

We slept in a little bit this morning, and I decided to do some laundry. So we didn’t get started right away.

The only way I was going to be able to fit Lake Ontario into my itinerary was to stay two nights in Cleveland and use the second day to make a day trip to the lake. It was going to be about four or five hours each direction.

First, we drove through Ohio to get to Pennsylvania. As we got further east, I noticed more and more colors in the landscape. Purples, different kinds of greens, yellow, white, red and shades of amber.

We stopped to eat at the Pennsylvania state line.

Back on the road and soon we were passing through New York wine country.

It was three hours into the day and we were still next to Lake Erie. I had to rethink being impressed by taking a whole hour to drive all the way around Flathead Lake in Montana.

We drove over the Erie Canal and finally, Lake Ontario started showing up on the map and I could start looking for beach access.

I was lucky, becau…

Lunch on Lake Erie

Today we woke up in Ann Arbor and played on the grass outside of our room for a while. We met a few people who are big fans of dogs and especially pit bulls. River made a lot of friends that morning, as he was being particularly playful and sociable. I think he liked the idea of having a big lawn right outside the room door.

We headed to the local farmers market, which I found out was on Wednesday mornings. It was a nice one, and I got a few things before I found out that dogs weren't allowed. :(  So we had to cut our shopping spree short.

So we got in the car and headed east. What I typically do is look on the map and find a city that has a park near the shore of the lake I'm interested in, and then I set my GPS to navigate us toward that city. Once I'm near the lake, I zoom in and look at which streets go closest to the shore and especially those streets with a park.

Driving into Ohio, I was struck by how industrial it is. There are signs on many of the highway exits …

Finding Huron

We got a relatively early start this morning so that we could have all day to track down this elusive thing known as “the shore of Lake Huron”. 

Yesterday we came up pretty empty handed considering we not only didn’t get our feet wet in the lake, we were not even able to find a decent, unobstructed view of it.

Last night I looked at a map and noted two cities that were right up against the shore of the lake and had parks in them. I entered those two cities in my GPS and hit the road.

We drove past what seemed like corn fields for about two hours until finally we came to
our first stop, which was in Sanilac. I found a park right next to a harbor. So we were able to see the lake and we could play near it, but it still escaped our reach.

I captured a pretty funny video of River being scared by a drinking fountain that looks like a lion head.  Here, you'll see us driving through the corn, then the scary lion in the park and finally, our connecting to Lake Huron.

Then we got back i…

Super Human Rock & Roll FloorPlayShop

Jason is bringing Super Human Rock Nia back to Olympia. This time in the form of Super Human FloorPlayShop.

Wednesday, October 23
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Motion in Balance Studio
219 Legion Way
Studio 203-A
Olympia, WA

Contact Julia Annis on Facebook for more information or to reserve your spot

In this playshop, JAG will discuss, teach and demonstrate how we can use our bodies in the most efficient way possible, allowing us to tap into our own Super Human capabilities. And then he uses classic rock music to guide us in a Nia routine that allows us to practice being Super Human in many of the major Nia movements.

There will be a fun, extended FloorPlay section in which JAG will play around with many ways to condition and heal the body using a big wool blanket and a slippery wooden floor.

Come and rock! Come and play! Come and get your Super Human on.

River, the wonder dog will also be there. He loves meeting new people. He'll hang out in his cage while we do our work, but he'll be availab…

Lake Huron (almost)

This morning it was so nice to sleep as late as my body wanted to, and to take two hours to get ready and on the road. We passed the 3000 mile mark for the trip on our way out of Chicago. I’ve discovered that BP has a 93 octane gasoline and I’ve been using for the last few tanks. My average MPG has gone back up to 30.3 as of today.

We left Chicago through a village called Rosewood and saw a lot of really cool parks. We definitely want to come to back to Chicago and spend some time; it seems like a really cool city. 

The goal for today was to get to experience Lake Huron. It was a long drive. We passed through Indiana, appropriately nicknamed the Crossroads of America, and soon we were in Michigan.

We stopped at Rest Areas now and then, to eat and stretch our legs, but other than that made a pretty straight shot to the lake. It was almost sunset by the time we got to the shore so we didn’t have much time. I found that the places where the map showed close access to the lake, it was a…

Chicago and Lake Michigan

It’s been three days since I had to pack everything into the car; I didn’t miss that. But today was my last day in Brookfield.  Again, I wasn’t able to sleep in as late as I’d have liked, especially considering how late it was before I went to bed last night. But I was going to meet a friend from New York who had since moved to Chicago and wanted to make me lunch.

It was only about a ninety minute drive, but I had to get up early enough to pack everything into the car, shower, check out and get my coffee.

We had a lovely meal with my friend Kelly, her husband Letham and their twin son and daughter.  They were still pre-speech toddlers, but when they saw River they would make barking sounds at him. He was interested in the children, as they were in him, but they weren’t interested enough to want to get close to him. In fact, at one point when Kelly put one of them on the ground to interact with River, upon being face to face with the dog, he immediately started to cry.

Kelly made a w…

ROCKIN: The Seventies - Wisconsin double-header part 2

I woke up early this morning to have a massage client in the room. 

After he left, I took River to the local farmers market here. It was packed! I drove around the parking lot for five minutes, along with many other drivers, just basically waiting for someone to pull out of a parking spot so I could slip it. Finally, it happened.

As we were getting out of the car, I had River on his long leash so we could first run and play in the grass. My theory is that if he has been run a little bit ragged, he’s more likely to surrender to being obedient in an exciting situation such a walking through a farmers market. A couple with a chihuahua on leash were walking toward us as we approached the grass. River was interested and was about to head over in that direction, but the little dog barked ferociously and lunged at River, who playfully skipped away in the opposite direction. I was impressed with his response. It felt nice to be able to say “Good Dog” as the couple were disciplining their …

ROCKIN Milwaukee: Sixties-style

Today was a good day. It was nice not to pack up the car in the morning. River and I slept as late as we wanted and then got in the car to get some coffee at Starbucks and then we went to the park and played for about an hour.

We found a stick, because we seem to have lost or destroyed all but one of his toys. And the one toy we do have is a rope, which I don’t to play with outside because it gets too dirty and smelly.

But we still had a great time, running and chasing the stick and then I’d get River to chase me. We had the park all to ourselves. I learned a lesson; if you’re wearing long sleeves, don’t run with a half a cup of coffee in your hand unless you don’t mind stains on your sleeve.
After the park, we came back to the room for lunch and a shower.

I still had plenty of time before I had to be in Milwaukee for tonight’s class, so I sought out a pet supply store where I could get us some new toys. I found a good store that doesn’t sell animals, and that even partners w…

Leaving Roseville! Relaxing in Milwaukee

I had set my alarm to go off at 7:30am and despite my wanting to go back to sleep at that time, forced myself to get up, load the car and hit the road. We drove pretty much straight through to Milwaukee, where I had an appointment to have my scheduled maintenance done at the Milwaukee Mini dealer.  Glad to get that taken care of. 

We stopped at a rest area for lunch, and then at another for a break from driving just to walk and run around a bit.
The drive wasn’t remarkable. It was mostly either rolling vegetation-covered hills or a corridor of trees. In either case, there was a smattering of autumn colors throughout the landscape. Bits of reds and yellows were showing up in the trees.

They were gushing over River at the Mini dealer, and were enthralled by his love for bananas and all of the tricks he’ll do to get one. We were in and out of the Mini dealer in just over an hour, and now all  is well. They even gave her a quick vacuuming, which she desperately needed.

Brookfield is…

Twin Cities

It was raining when I woke up in Duluth. I’m SO GLAD we decided to go to the lake last night when it was beautiful and clear. By the time we got in touch with our local friend, Jason, he was on his way out of the house, so he told us where the Food Co-op was and I left River in the car while I got some food. I wouldn’t have done that if it were sunny, but it was hoodie weather and I only wanted a few things...

He was fine. Sitting right where I left him, but with his seat belt unbuckled. I wondered if he’s figured out how to unfasten his seatbelt or just did it while fussing around.

Because of the rain, it wasn’t as fun to stop anywhere and run around, but we did, luckily pass by a rest area at a time when the rain had stopped where I could eat some of the food I bought and as I was sitting and mentally rehearsing for class that evening, I got in a phone call with Liz Anema, producer of my Nia class at The Marsh, to check in and make sure I was on track. I also took River for a little …

Lake Superior

Less than ten minutes after getting on the road this morning we passed from North Dakota into Minnesota, and less than ten minutes after being in Minnesota, I was frustrated with the speed limit situation. 

I’m not a speed demon by any means, and I’m not impatient, but I felt like all of the posted speed limits as soon as we got into Minnesota were at least ten miles per hour too slow. It felt very, very conservative; especially after driving all the way from Seattle at 70 MPH.

What is the big difference between 45 and 50 miles per hour?  Is it really different enough to warrant posting a sign saying 50, and then 100 yards later, one that says 45, and then in another 100 yards, back to 50 again?  really??? But no matter what road I was on and what the posted speed limit was, I felt like I was crawling. At one point I was on a straight road with nothing but grassy marsh on either side as far as I could see. And I couldn't go faster than 50!  I was on a similar road, only with more…

I-94 from Miles City to Fargo, ND

After a brief play in the courtyard in front of our room at Motel 6, today was all about driving, driving, driving...

The first part of the drive was incredible. I didn’t realize I was going to get to see the Badlands.

As I drove past the border to North Dakota I was impressed by the landscape. It just kept getting more and more painted and sculpted and I thought, ‘Why aren’t more people talking about how gorgeous North Dakota is!?” Then I saw the sign that said these were the Badlands, and I was reminded that at least one of my friends has told me I’d love that drive. He was right.

But then, more driving.

Another Rest Area --- and then more driving.

We made it to Fargo by dusk and there’s now 1807 miles logged on this trip.  Tomorrow we should see our first Great Lake!

Rockin in Billings

1340 miles so far. Miles City is where we will spend our fourth night.

We woke up in the state capitol (Helena, Montana) and filled Thumper with gas and got her a wash. The other day I used a gas called Holiday, because it sounded fun and appropriate and because it contained some sort of good detergent that kept everything clean. Well, as soon as I drove out of that Holiday station, I felt like I had left the parking brake on or the turbo wasn’t clicked on, but it was. It was just crappy gas. No more Holiday for us. 

Today we drove on US 12 to good old I-90 on our way to Billings, where I would stop to teach my ROCKIN Nia class. Not much happened, but I did have a pretty big WOW moment when I got my first taste of the long, straight road. I drove through Big Sky Country today. I tried to capture it on video but again, it doesn’t seem to capture the awe of it.

I pulled into Billings and it immediately reminded me of Missoula. I parked on 29th street where the studio was in an urban di…

Flathead and Big Fork

The day started out great because we found a farmers market that allowed dogs, so we went and got some green vegetables (broccoli, kale, cucumber and zucchini) and some peaches. And I also couldn’t resist getting the cookie shaped like Montana. While we walked through the market, a man stopped me to ask how I trained him to be so responsive to my reminders to walk at my side whenever he forgets. I briefly explained the training philosophy and the theory behind the prong collar and he said he’d probably get one for his Chow that he can’t keep from pulling on the leash. As we chatted his toddler and River spent some quality petting time.

Driving through Kalispell is charming; especially the Historic District, which looks like a set from an old western. There was even a saloon with swinging wooden doors.

We spent the rest of the day around Flathead Lake.  I learned that it is the largest fresh-water lake in the USA after the Great Lakes. It was enormous. It look an hour to drive all th…