Monday, September 30, 2013

Missouri

Waiting for the bus to St. Louis at a depot in Edwardsville, IL
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. When I started up my navigation, it told me that I would be arriving around 4:15pm. I was relieved to see that, and to know that I might have time to stop if I need to.

My gas gauge showed that I had almost exactly the right amount of gas to get me to the studio; with maybe a half gallon to spare. 

So all was going well on the drive as I watched the numbers adjust due to current conditions. As we were leaving the St. Louis area, I saw The Arch. I was surprised at it’s size. It might have just been an illusion from the perspective I got, but I expected it to be bigger.

As i drove, my ETA changed from as early as 4:08 to as late as 4:29, and my gas gauge showed sometimes that I could drive to the studio with 15 miles worth of gas left, or that I would run out on the way if I didn’t refuel. I kept weighing the options of stopping for gas or a quick bite of food, but decided to keep pressing on.

I drove over the Mississippi River. It’s the first time I’ve seen it, but have heard about it all my life. And just as we were driving over the Missouri River, our trip odometer passed 5000 miles.

In this video, I shot the Mississippi River as we drove over a bridge, and then I shot Kansas City as we drove into downtown.
video

About 50 miles outside of Kansas City traffic stopped! Literally stopped to zero MPH as if we were all parking there in a long row. After a minute or so, the congestion moved as a unit as a snails pace. I tried not to panic, but I saw my ETA go from a luxurious 4:20 to a more risky 4:39. And the amount of gas that I was using went up in the 20 minutes of stop and go traffic, to the point that I was concerned that I’d need to fill up before I could make it. And with my arrival time pushing closer and closer to 5pm, the option of stopping for gas was starting to mean that it would make me late. 

Finally, we passed the spot where the road construction had closed down one lane, and once we got to the point where both lanes were open, we started to flow again. 

And we made it to the studio at about 4:40.  No one but my host, Marcelle, was there. She was setting up a reserved parking space for me right in front of the studio door, which was very thoughtful. Moments after we arrived, throngs of people started showing up. I was able to visit the rest room and take River on a quick pee break on a nearby lawn before going inside and setting everything up. 

Poor River. I have never made him stay in the car without stopping for this long. It was over four hours and he never complained. He mostly slept the whole way and sat up once or twice to look out the window.  Having his head in my lap and scratching his ears lightly as I drive does wonders for keeping me relaxed in traffic.



Speaking of which, what is up with you, Missouri?  Why so rushed and rude? So far I’ve found three states that absolutely refuse to follow the speed limit and not only that, give me attitude for not joining them in their flagrant disobedience of the law. When the speed limit is 70, I set my cruise control for 73. Generally two or three MPH over the posted maximum speed limit. But in Missouri, Michigan and Ohio, they weren’t having it. I was not only being passed on the left and right, but I was being flashed with headlights, tailgated and flipped the finger and honked at. I’m trying to figure out what they are communicating to me. It seems to be, “How dare you go the speed limit when I want to speed.” If I were going under the speed limit, at least their obnoxious behavior would make sense to me, but no, they are incensed that I won’t break the law along with them. It sort of makes me sad to think that they are so anxious and suffering from “There is better than here” syndrome. Maybe they need a dogs head in their lap to calm them down and allow them to enjoy being where they are. 

We had over 30 people in class in Kansas City. and it was a ROCKIN great time. I love to see all the smiling faces as the familiar songs come on and to watch them as they dance my moves to these classic tunes.




After class, I was able to drive to the nearest gas station, although my indicator said my tank was empty and the number of miles I could drive was at 0.0. Just to be safe, I put it in Neutral when could and coasted down the street to the nearest BP.

River still seems to be suffering from his Swimmer’s Itch. Or at least that’s what I’m thinking it is as the onset seems to coincide with our explorations of the Great Lakes. It breaks my heart to see him every once in a while go frantic on himself. I can relate to the feeling of having itchy skin for whatever reason and how irritating it can be. I can also see how strongly he reacts when I scratch him; something he didn’t really used to care about that much, now sends him into ecstasy. I’ve put coconut oil on him twice, but I think we may need to go for something stronger. 


Bedtime

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