The ride from Durango to Albuquerque was beautiful in parts. I drove through some pretty impressive red rock formations.

At the Motel 6, the young guy checking me in had his arm in a sling so it was a struggle for him to do the simplest things. I found out that it was a snowboarding accident. This is the second time on this trip that I had this happened to me at Motel 6 (and only the second time ever in all the many years I’ve been staying in them, so it might be a new policy) but for guests paying with cash, they ask for a cleaning/damage deposit.

The first time it happened, I thought it was because of it being a Studio 6, and maybe people take off with or damage the pots and pans or the kitchen. But this time it was a simple, no-frills Motel 6 room. Since I had arrived after 6pm, they had already charged my credit card for that night, but I was staying two nights, so I still owed them for the second night. If I wanted to pay cash, I had to leave an additional cash deposit. I said to go ahead and run my credit card, but he told me he couldn’t; he had to swipe it. I thought it was odd because just about half an hour ago, they charged my card for the room, and I know I have a credit card on file with them. But I went out to my car and grabbed the card to pay that way and avoid the cash deposit.

Funny thing about this property asking for a deposit. Because the desk clerk’s shoulder wasn’t the only thing non-functional. Fortunately I was able to use the laundry room, but the ice machine wasn’t working. And the art work that was hanging above the beds in my room were missing, with not a lot of effort made to cover up the fact that they had obviously been hanging there for quite a long time.  On the upside, they did have a working microwave oven in the lobby, which is a big deal for me as I don’t much care for eating cold sausage.

The next day I lazed around a lot. I took River on a couple of long walks in some parks and we went to the grocer and the pet store to stock up on food for both of us.

Class was that night at Studio Sway. In the past, the management has balked at having River in the studio, and in fact, one year I almost didn’t include a stop in Albuquerque because they weren’t going to allow River to come inside. But he and I have both made great strides and progress toward him being a real, independent dog. And the last class I taught, in Durango, was with him waiting in the car. So I decided that I didn’t feel like bringing his crate. It would have required breaking it down in the room, loading it into the car, loading it into the studio and setting it up, then breaking it down after class, loading it into the car and then loading it back into the motel room and setting it up again. I opted, instead, for leaving him in the car during class. I knew that there was an open air, covered parking garage so even if the temperatures were higher than they were (low 70’s), he wouldn’t get too overheated in just an hour. 

Class went great. That group is so much fun. As my host, Erin, described it, ‘we have a lot of five-year-old energy here.’ It’s true. They love to play and make a lot of noise. It makes my job as a teacher so easy when I’m in front of a group so easily excited.

And River was fine in the car. After class, I went out to get him and brought him to the steps outside the studio where he could meet some of the students who were interested in seeing him.

That night I had a burger. I saw a sign at Bob’s Burgers saying they served Santa Fe style “Ranchero” burgers so I wanted to experience that. It was so good; loaded with spicy green chilis. Next have to have something with red and then something 'Christmas style' with both red and green.


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