Showing posts from July, 2016

Idaho: Boise to Chubbuck, via the Moon.

I woke up in my friend, Cheryl's comfortable guest room bed in their super-quiet neighborhood.

I had my coffee and we chatted about life as she ate her breakfast. I never got to see her husband, Chuck, who was always out on long walks, basically keeping their dog, Rigby, away from River while we were there.

After a quick shower, I left for the Dojo to teach Amazing. Boise was one of the communities that contributed to the co-creation of the routine. We did the song that ended up being the opener of the routine: Calling All Angels.

The class went smashingly and we stuck around in The Dojo for several hours afterward, talking about Nia and life and the Amazing routine and stuff. This will be my last visit to the Dojo, where I've enjoyed teaching several times in the past. But Britta Von Tagen, who owns it, is shutting it down in August. I hope she quickly comes up with another place to house her Nia business, so I can come back and teach Orchestra when I pass through Boise again…

Woodstock in Walla Walla

I woke up in Richland and headed to Walla Walla, about an hour away.
I followed the address to an old repurposed library and upstairs they were setting up.
We opted not to use the mirrors and since it was a hot day, opened all the doors and windows. There was no A/C so we were going to sweat.
We had a full group of Niaficionados FreeDancing to Woodstock music.
There was a group of people who road-tripped up from Pendleton, OR and a woman who was brand new to Nia but had heard it would be good for her as she heals from three replaced joints.
We did an extended playlist, almost 90 minutes of dancing, and it was a blast.
One student told me that his sister was going to go to Woodstock, but she got there and couldn't find a place to park so turned around and came back home.
Fortunately there was plenty of parking in Walla Walla.
After class, my host, Sara, took me to a restaurant called Olive and bought me a delicious thin, crispy crust pizza with Adobo marinated steak, jalapeƱos an…

Winding through Washington

I've been in my own home for about a week. I made a conscious effort not to decompress from the inertia of the road trip. I used the opportunity to leave River in the comfort of home while I did some much needed errands and lightened my carload by several items that I've decided aren't necessary anymore. But I didn't unpack any of my bags. I continued to live out of them, but in my house.
I did this because I know from experience that it takes a big effort to get the inertia going strong enough on these trips that I find myself flowing through it.

So it was much less jarring than usual this morning, as I packed up the car for Act 2. I was ready for it. I was so confident, that I didn't even allow any time for hitting traffic. (when will I learn?). Fortunately, I ended up having enough time to stop for gas and to sit in the small amount of traffic I did run into and arrive at the studio at exactly the moment I was shooting for.

From Seattle, I drove up through Lake …

Mt. Rainier National Park

I've lived in Seattle for over a dozen years now. On a clear day, part of the stunning scenery is a view of the majestic Mt Rainier. It seems like it's a part of the city, but it's actually about two hours away by car.
Today, Zeke, River and I got in the car and drove those two hours to get a closer look at the mountain and its environs.
It was a cloudy day in Seattle, but as we approached the mountain, we could see that some sunshine was hugging it.  The mountain is such a huge force of nature, that it actually has an effect on the weather surrounding it. It can bring its own clouds to a sunny day and it's own sun to a cloudy day. Because of this, it also affects the weather in the towns around it, often dumping record-breaking snowfall on a town called Paradise.

 The northwest forest is a special, peaceful place. There is green all around.
 Except some of the creeks. All of the rocks are the same place white color, and the water, itself, has also taken on a milky hue…

Northwest Traffic Horror

I do a lot of driving and I've encountered some thick, slow heavy traffic in my travels. So I've learned that it pays to allow a lot of extra time to get places. But what happened today went beyond my wildest imagination.

I woke up in Seattle. I had slept in late and spent the day tooling around the house, doing laundry, cleaning out the car, and playing in the park with River. I was scheduled to teach a workshop and class that evening. The class was going to be held in Centralia, which is 85 miles from Seattle, and was scheduled to start at 5:30pm.  I would be teaching a 90 minute version of my Nuts & Bolts of FreeDance playshop and then we'd do my Woodstock Experience Nia routine from 7-8pm.

Since the trip was just under 2 hours, I left at 2pm. That gave me an extra hour to be stuck in traffic or get lost, or to deal with whatever road mayhem may befall me, and still be there half an hour early.

But I hit thick, slow traffic immediately upon departing Seattle. When m…

Sleeping in Seattle

Originally, the plan was to stay in Portland last night. It was after seven pm before I got out of the studio and it would have been so easy to go back to the room and chill for the night. And then, I was going to move north to Centralia, where I have a class on Friday night.

But Portland is only three hours from Seattle. And by the time I was done with class on Friday night, I could feel the pull of home calling me. I made the trek and was home by ten pm. It will be simple enough to go to Centralia for the FreeDance and Woodstock events we have planned there.

It was nice to cook my dinner in my oven and sleep on my own pillow.

I will take this opportunity to clean out the accumulated debris from the car, and give it a vacuum. I'm also going to be removing things that I had packed but haven't used in the past three months. And I made an appointment at Mini of Seattle to take a look under the hood and see if they can determine why she's been dragging at lower speeds lately.…

Portland: Nia Mecca

On Friday, I woke up in Springfield and we took our time waking up. I had a leisurely coffee as River walked around in the lush grassy area. Our checkout time wasn't until noon; we're used to an 11am checkout time, so the extra hour seemed like a call to be languid. Add to that, the fact that we were less than two hours from Portland, where we can't check in until 3:00, and you can figure we were in no rush.

On the way out of town, I stopped at one of my favorite natural food stores in Eugene, Sundance Market.  I filled up my water jugs there with filtered water and stocked up on coffee grounds, bread, corn chips, hummus, fruit, avocados, cheese and cookies.  River stayed in the car and barked.

I also stopped along the way to fill up (or rather let some other guy fill up) my gas tank.  And I asked him if it would be OK to wash my windshield. At first, he thought I was asking for a dog treat for River. haha. I said no thank you and motioned to my windshield. He asked if I w…

Woodstock in Bend, McKenzie Pass and Amazing in Springfield

This was my first visit to Bend, but my relationship to the town goes back several months. Last September someone was arranging a gig for me, but a week before the date, we were contacted by the venue with a bunch of legal documents to fill out and to add their names to my insurance policy. Now, I'm not the type to jump through corporate hoops on a good day. And when I'm traveling, I'm 'out of the office'. So I ended up putting the kibash on the whole thing and said, let's plan for next year when I can take care of these things while I'm in the office. Cut to March of this year when I was working with another person to get something for me in Bend and the same thing happened. I'm due to teach in July and a week beforehand I'm contacted by the venue and asked for an insurance policy in their name and a full background check on me, I was to fill out the questionnaire, which I didn't even look at and wrote back saying this wasn't going to work …

Crater Lake National Park

Last night I slept for ten hours and when I woke up my headache was gone.

This morning, we packed up and headed for Crater Lake National Park on our way through to Bend.
River got restless on the way there, and started whimpering, which is his signal that he needs to go right away. Turned out to be a false alarm, though. And all he really wanted was to lie in the sun.

So I let him lie there in the dirt for about half an hour until he moved over to lie in the shade. "If you're going to be in the shade, you might as well be in the car," I said, and loaded him back in.

Upon entering the park, the first thing I saw was petrified steam.
A volcano erupted and lava flowed down over a river gulley. As the steam rose from the water underneath the layer of lava, it created a solid mass of rock sediment in the shape of the the flumes of steam. Over the next several thousand years, the softer, surrounding rock was eroded away, leaving this sculpture behind.
The longer I looked at the…

FloorPlay, Farm Roads and Freeways. Then Oregon

I woke up shamefully early today, after being up late last night, stimulated from an amazing day of traveling and sightseeing. On four hours of sleep, I packed up the car (no small task in the motel, since parking was far from my room) and headed to Nevada City.

From my car, I had to walk to the far end of this brick wall, enter through the ONE door and then walk halfway back through the property inside, to my room. I make about six trips, so this took a significant amount of time that I could have been sleeping.

This was a FloorPlay class and it was so much fun. At this studio they have thick padded floors. I think there's at least three inches of padding, so we could've been kneeling the whole time and we didn't even need knee pads. It was a perfect floor and the students were happy to play and eager to try new things. I gave them a good workout and explored new levels of FloorPlay, making it a whole routine. I do intersperse some dancing 'on the feet', but about…

Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite to Lake Tahoe to Auburn

This was another unbelievable day. Sometimes I am so amazed at my life. I'm so lucky to be able to spend my days doing this.
I woke up in Mammoth Lakes and we drove around a little bit before leaving town. I wanted to make it up to a place called Devil's Postpile, but no cars were allowed, and dogs on the shuttle bus had to be muzzled. I'm not opposed to muzzling River, but I was afraid of the scene on the bus. If there were dogs on there besides, River it could be a very long, uncomfortable ride. So we skipped it.

I got back on good old US-395. I actually fell in love with it today.  It is full of scenery worthy of stopping for and provides access to many very cool attractions. I took it to Lee Vining, where I switched to CA-120 to head to Yosemite.

Even the ride up to Yosemite is breathtaking.

I stopped several times before even getting to the entrance.

Once we did get to the entrance there was a huge line of cars. So long that I couldn't even see the gate or the fro…