Billings to Riverton - Nia in Billings

We woke up and went for a morning walk in Billings. In the parking lot across the street, I saw a rabbit bouncing away from us, but River was so preoccupied with whatever he smelled in a bush that he didn't see it. When he was satisfied with the bush exploration, I led him in the direction of the rabbit. I found it crouched down, playing dead. I pointed River at it, but he never even saw it. Kudos, Mr. Rabbit; your camouflage technique really works.

I had to check out of the motel at noon, but class wasn't until 4:30, so I had time to do some food shopping and fill up my water jugs at the local food co-op and get dog food at a boutique pet food store.
Food @ Good Earth Market, Billings
Dog Food @ Lovable Pets Bakery; 1313 Grand Ave.; Billings

Inside the pet store there were at least three off leash dogs that came to greet us at the door. The smallest of the dogs yipped aggressively, which panicked River. I had to pull him away to a corner of the store and appease him, while the clerk picked up the offensive dog and  held it behind the counter. Other big dogs moseyed over but sensed River's tension and didn't stick around. 
As I paid for my purchase a man came in with a small dog on a leash. That dog wasn't in the least concerned with River, which allowed him to calmly sniff her. It warmed my heart to see River actually interacting with another dog in a normal, socially acceptable way. 
We paid and left and I gave him lots of praise for being a good dog. 

We still had lots of time before class, so I stopped at the nearest park and we hung out on the grass under a tree for about three hours. 

At one point, a dog from on the other side of a fence saw us and engaged River in a barking contest. River bolted toward the dog and I reflexively grabbed his leash, which ripped through my hand, giving me open, wet third degree burns on the fingers of my left hand. Luckily, I travel with a small supply of band-aids, so I was able to cover it up while the skin grows back. I"ll spare you the visual. 

Nia @ Sky Studio: Billings
Finally, it was time for class. We had a nice passionate group of dancers and had a great time doing the Amazing routine. It is one of only two times I'm teaching this routine on tour this year. It felt good to bring it out again.

After class we returned to the same park so I could have a meal. I ate some of the salami I got at the store that afternoon, with bread, avocado, and sauerkraut.
It was about 7pm before I got back on the road and a good five hours drive to Riverton. But we puled into the Motel 6 at midnight.
They were all out of downstairs rooms, and the one room they had was on the other side of the property from the spiral staircase. Fortunately, I discovered a back lot with a hidden staircase leading right up to near the door to my room. Score!
Once we were loaded into the room, I ate and showered and fell right to sleep.


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