Sunday, September 11, 2016

Whizzing through Wisconsin / Rest and Relaxation in Roseville

My host for today's class, Jill Campana had warned me in advance of all of the construction going on, and I had been facing it since yesterday, coming in from Green Bay. Getting into the Milwaukee metro area and suburbs it began. A lot of construction. Lane closures, route redirections, newly constructed traffic circles that weren't even in my navigation system yet!

So I allowed plenty of time for any kind of non-sense and planned on arriving very early and playing with River on the property. So, I left the Motel without giving River any but the most rudimentary of his morning activities. I let Mini navigation take me on the Green route which is a mysterious backroads adventure every time. I hit no construction or any kind of weirdness until a block from the studio when I see a sign that said Road Closed.

A car was in the process of driving on the gravel road around the sign to enter the paved part of the road I was on. Had it not been for me witnessing that, and the fact that I could see the Sacred Space studio from my car, two blocks away, I don't know that I would have handled the roadblock this way, but I did: I drove around the Road Closed sign and onto the unpaved, potholed road.

I didn't mention that it had been POURING rain the night before. It was only sprinkling this morning and had stopped almost entirely by now, but the road was still puddly and muddy.

So I splashed on the unfinished road for about two blocks and then drove past another Road Closed sign. This time, from behind, onto the paved driveway of the parking lot where Sacred Space resided.

I parked at the opposite end of the very sizable parking lot, intending to take River onto the large lawn behind the car. But as soon as I let him out of the car, he started to cross the parking lot, away from the lawn. Toward the studio. I called him to the lawn and we played in the muddy grass for a while. There were several trees and different grassy sections at the far end of this shopping complex, so we spent a good half hour playing. On rocks, in gullies, grass, trees, running jumping....and occasionally looking off in the direction of the studio.

Mind you I have made no indication of any intent to go to this studio. I know my appointment there isn't for an hour and I have a date with the grass. But River is drawn to it so much that when I decide to follow him, giving him the entirety of his 50 foot leash, he walks straight for the front door of the studio.

We've been to this studio several times before, and he obviously remembers it well enough to sniff it out from across a giant parking lot. We have never parked in that part of the parking lot before.

Anyway.... I put him in his crate and accepted Jill's gifts to him on his behalf, while I accepted my own. Jill is a giver.

We had a great group of Nia-ers for class. Several teachers and belted students, as well as a student with Lyme disease, and another recovering from a stroke. The feedback after class was that many of the students felt a visceral charge from the sense of connection and that there was a basic exuberance and joy of life in the class. I was thrilled at how much fun it was and how well-received it was.



After class, my original intention was Duluth, but I decided instead to skip it and go straight to where my next gig is. Of course, I wanted to take the scenic route, so I decided to go across to LaCrosse and then follow the Mississippi River up to Minneapolis.

Sorry to miss Duluth, but all the driving has been getting to me. I've been to Duluth once before and I had an amazing time. I met someone into health food and he showed me all around. I told myself I wanted to see more, since I had run out of time and it started pouring rain, so I left.

Taking the trip this time wouldn't have offered much more time to explore as it would have taken all of Friday to get there, leaving right after class. I'd have had Saturday to explore Duluth and environs, but would have to make to to the suburbs of Minneapolis that night. Roseville was at least two plus hours drive from Duluth and any exploring I was interested in was northeast of Duluth, adding double to any drive time I took toward those interesting National Forests.

My shoulder seems to be aggravated (caused?) by driving, so I thought I'd skip visiting good ole Duluth and miss seeing more trees in favor of heading straight to the town of my next teaching destination and waiting it out for a couple of nights in Roseville, MN.

River has gotten so good with driving that now he can last longer than I can. I find myself needing to stop and he's snoring away. And I have to admit I've been pushing myself to GO rather than to stop and BE. I'm a slave to my ambitious scheduling. I'm having indescribable adventures and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but I do find myself wishing I was home more frequently as the months wear on.

My shoulder is feeling much better in general. I'm starting to wonder if it's actually nerve damage or impingement and not skeletal or muscular. But I also feel like something is chronically out of alignment in one of my ribs or my shoulder girdle, and I sometimes reach a point where I can't compensate for it as well and it tweaks an old, recurring injury. And I think it goes back to when I was 16 and dislocated my collarbone in wrestling practice. I was out for the rest of the season while it mended. Our collarbones continue to develop until we're about 27 years old, so I think I developed mine incorrectly back then and I'm now paying for it. I guess this is probably something I should see a therapist about.

So, I'm driving to LaCrosse, through Wisconsin, passing lots of farms. River, in the meantime, is tearing into one of two big bones, his gifts from Jill.

On my way to LaCrosse, I got hungry and was inspired to stop at a burger place I saw called Roadhouse Saloon. I stopped there, and when I looked back, I see that River had reduced a giant, smoked, meaty femur to one tiny bone fragment. I was astonished.

I ate a decent burger on the picnic tables outside the restaurant while River protected me from anyone walking into the restaurant from the parking lot. When I went in to pay my bill, I was surprised to see a Route 66 sign on the wall. I chuckled at how wrong it felt way up here in Wisconsin.

It wasn't until leaving the burger place and getting back on Capitol Road that I saw that Wisconsin Dells is a serious THING! Tour boats, roller coasters, zip lines, cotton candy, Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to get out and participate or drive quickly away. Since I had River with me, it was a non-issue. He would hate this sort of thing and not appreciate the kitch value at all. So we left.

Driving up the Mississippi River was surprisingly moving. I felt very connected to Americana. It turns out to be funny that I noticed that Route 66 sign and felt that that degree of Americana was out of place, but here I was feeling it with the big river. I started thinking about all the history and was struck by how big and powerful it seemed.

I wanted to record and post a video of how awesome it was to drive alongside it, but I couldn't take a safe video that was any good.

We did stop in Lake City, MN at a place called Lake Pepin, which isn't actually a lake at all, but just a widening of the Mississippi River. It was the only good shot I got of the river because I was able to get out of the car. Too bad, it wasn't at it's most mighty-looking. I guess it mellows out when it gets this wide. So mellow that they call it a 'lake'
video
It still looks pretty cool. In this next video, I was trying to hold the frame still and let River move in and out of it. I'm not sure if you'll be able to see the movement of the river in the background, but that was really my focus. It was mesmerizing. So vast and ceaseless. 
video

I got to Roseville and checked into the Motel 6 just as the sun was going down. I was hungry and ordered my requisite Dominos pizza and snacked on some of the salt water taffy that Jill gave me.
I fell asleep early.

The next morning, my shoulder felt great. It was almost as if it knew it didn't have to drive today. I spent the entire day in the motel room. I know it might sound depressing, but it was wonderful.

I had my coffee with some of the grain-free, coconut and flaxseed flour 'scones' with chocolate chips that Jill's husband, Frank made and wanted me to try. They tasted great and they had that soft freshness that's so hard to get without using grain flour! But they crumbled as soon as I tried to pick one up. It was rare that I got a very big piece all the way up to my mouth from the bag. It didn't detract from the joy of eating them, but it prevented me from taking a big bite at once.

I did laundry at the motel and have been binge-watching Hotel Impossible and Hotel Hell episodes on YouTube. Can you imagine a worse show for me to watch? But strangely, it's comforting. The host yelling at the owners for shoddy housekeeping or bad service, etc. really makes me smile. And sometimes, when a neglectful owner rediscovers their passion for running a nice hotel, it can be very gratifying and moving.

It also makes my Motel 6 rooms and experience seem very clean and profession by comparison to these places I see in the show. Why I stick to the chain is that they have a modicum of operational procedure that emphasizes guest experience, safety and cleanliness. Basically, it's enough and no more, but at least it's enough.

I took River out for his poop, and he did one, and then attempted another, but started over and then tried to do it again, but was unsuccessful. And he tried at least five more times in different spots, but with no result. He scooted his ass across the grass a couple times and tried some more places. I finally felt bad for him but had to take him inside so he could give his digestive system time to do some catching up.

During all this, he also barfed up what I would describe as two handfuls of bone fragments. I had to stop him from eating them up again.

I took him out again a few hours later and after his first few failed attempts finally got something out, but then scooted a few more times, so it clearly wasn't all out. Again, after watching him try and fail for a while, I took him back inside for another respite.

Later, he finally passed a lot of big BMs and I got the feeling that everything was back to usual in there. He seemed happy and interested in running in the long grass. Whew!

During a later walk, after I switched him from the six foot to the fifty foot leash in the parking lot next door, he ran around sniffing at a few trees. I noticed his nose was Rudolf the Reindeer red. I blinked my eyes and thought my mind was playing tricks, but no, it was seriously glowing red. I called him over and inspected.

The sun must've been catching the blood on his nose, making it seem like it was glowing. His nose was mysteriously bleeding? Or had some blood on it. I wiped it off once and either I didn't get it all, or it came back, partially. I looked at his nose, but only briefly because I didn't want to alarm him. I could see a tiny, bleeding scrape, that he kept licking at.

It didn't look serious at all, and the bleeding only lasted about as long as I described. I checked again a few minutes later and couldn't see anything. He healed up so quickly, it was as if I had only imagined it. But I have the blood stain on the towel to prove it was real!

Right now, he's sleeping in his crate. I'm sure he'll be fine.
Rest well, weary vagabond companion. Tomorrow, we're back on the road.

1 comment:

myjoyfuldance said...

I just got around to reading this today. I'm so glad your shoulder is healing! But I'm sorry that you never got a full big piece of the chocolate chip scone/cookies that Frank made. They are tasty though. And WOW, I'm REALLY sorry that River puked up some bone fragments. Darn.

Folks are still talking about you and your AMAZING routine. Lots of fun for sure!

Thank again for coming to Sacred Space Studio this year! Perhaps we'll do it again sometime in the future!