Monday, May 16, 2016

Texas Part 6 - Driving to Austin in the Rain & San Marcos River

I was up at 4am so I could have my leisurely coffee and shower, walk the dog and load the car up taking everything down those stairs.
I was getting flash flood warnings on my phone all night and it was still pouring rain when I first woke up, but it had died down and mostly stopped by the time I was walking River and loading up the car.
It was still dark when I hit the pavement for Austin. And it wasn't long before the rain started up again. Hard! My windshield wipers couldn't keep up at times. One time, some guy had braked hard on the highway. It was raining particularly toretially at that moment so I suspect it was why he braked, but I didn't know for sure why he did it or that he was going to do it until he had done it and was rapidly approaching me. I didn't slam on my brakes, but I pressed them gradually and quickly. My mind went immediately to hydroplaning right into the guy, so I tried to brake gently. I stopped in time. No harm, no foul.

I stopped for gas in Kenedy (sic), and shortly after that, switched from US 181 to TX 123.

Texas roads flood quite readily. I guess they're flat and have poor drainage. But it can make for some scary moments when on those farm roads with the speed limit of 75, you suddenly run into half of the road being under a foot of water and having that wrench the steering wheel hard to that direction.
All in all, it was a very eventful drive; not boring. One of my favorite things about it was getting to see the sun come up. And I'm glad I couldn't actually see the sun in my eyes while I"m driving, but I got to witness the sky growing brighter, which was way cool.

I got to the studio with an hour to spare. It was my fourth time at this studio, so I got there with no problem and knew where to park. River had been very calm for our exciting early morning ride, so I got out the long leash and let him run around on the grass of the business park that housed the Balance Dance Studio.

My host was Sara, and she had put together a whole week of Nia events, calling it NiaPalooza in Austin. Maybe it was too much excitement for Austin to handle, haha, because my class was very small. It was not a regular class time, which is always an uphill battle. And I'm sure people had to make choices about what they wanted to spend on, so it thinned the crowd a bit.

No matter. It was a small room. So we filled it with the four of us. Sara's husband, Sasha (sp?) was there. The theme for my segment of NiaPalooza was "Men Can Too Do Nia". I didn't change anything about what I do, I'm already a walking testament to that. I taught my Amazing routine and Sara said she smiled so much her face was going to be sore. My heart went out to Sasha, who is brand new to sensing his body, much less moving it. He stayed with it and kept smiling. The income from the class just about covered the rent for the studio. So, I took my $10 and got a double burger at Five Guys.

But not before driving to San Marcos. Today's route looks like this.
US-181, TX-123, I-35
I went from the bottom to the top and then worked my way back down to stop at the Motel 6 in San Marcos. 
Upon arriving in San Marcos, as I mentioned, I first got my Five Guys burger, and then I took it to the Rio Vista Park. I was told there was good access to the San Marcos River. 
Whenever we encounter a fresh body of water, River looks for access. We're so alike that way. 

I ate my burger and then River and I played in his name sake until the room was ready at the Motel 6. 


At one point a guy was practicing rolls in his kayak, and that got River's undivided attention. And then, when a guy dove into the River a few feet from him, he started barking. It was a really good barking Not a ferocious out of control like he sometimes does. This one was metered and full bodied and he didn't move. He planted and voiced; it was glorious. I wasn't sure if he was barking at the kayaker or the diver, but he was really excited. I let him bark for a while and the people just looked at him and smiled, then we ran the opposite direction to explore something else. 
When I got to the room, I took a short nap before feeding River. He's totally konked out right now.

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