Nia in Lyons - Secret Park
My original plan for today was to visit Rocky Mountain National Park after this morning's class at Mayama Studio.
I loved it so much when I was there before and it was only just over an hour away. But then, considering all the driving I'd been doing without a break, and all the unexpected and unprecedented crowds with Eclipse Fever, I decided against it and instead found a city park in Lyons where River and I could chill for an hour in nature.
So I got up and drove to Lyons first thing in the morning. I don't like to stop for gas on the way to an appointment, and Babe was saying she had about 100 miles in her tank. So I could go to class and back on this tank. I wasn't TOO worried.
This system of Babe telling me how many miles she has in her is similar to that indicator of how many minutes until your download is finished. It can vary wildly depending on conditions. I can find myself accelerating up a steel incline and watch the indicator suddenly drop from 42 miles to 12 miles in a few moments. If THAT happened on my way to class, I'd be bummed and could be in trouble. Also, if I hit traffic, my gas usage estimates are higher than if I roll right through. I had heard there was a BlueGrass Music Festival in town today, so traffic was a distinct possibility.
I risked it, and was fine.
I got to class in plenty of time and we had a great turn-out. It's a lovely, bright studio and lots of happy smiling people came to partake in the mornings' festivities.
Before class, I had set up my computer to record bits of the class. I set the computer on top of River's crate, so these videos that you're seeing of my classes are actually kinda from River's POV. If you just imagine a row of bars in front of you, that's about it. But anyway, he's developed this tendency to pull the blanket that I lay out to protect the floor up through the bars of his crate. And I also wrap this floor protective blanket around and over the crate so it serves dual purpose as a floor guard and the wall and roof to his den. But today, as I was chatting on the other side of the room, he was working his blanket trick and scooted the computer off. I heard a crash and turned to see it on the floor. It was fine, but when I set it back up, I didn't take the time to align it properly and unfortunately the shot is half floor and half class. It's a lovely floor, though.
I mentioned to Jasmine, the owner and my host, after class that I was planning to go to Bohn Park. She advised against it as it was under construction and sure to be packed with people. She told me about her secret spot that she takes her dogs. She tells me to drive to through this residential neighborhood to a dead end and walk through the construction site and over the barbed wire that has been trodden on. She said it would be a clear path and I'd have no problem knowing what she was talking about. She described cliffs and rocks and a river to play in and she said no one goes there. She assured me it would be our private oasis. She was so right on all points:
After playing there for a while, we went back to Fort Collins. Leaving town, there was a huge, long line of stand-still traffic trying to get into Lyons. I was glad I was going the other way, even if I was driving on fumes at this point. I passed a place in Lyons because there were already cars idling and waiting for a pump to open up. Babe said she had enough petrol to get us to our destination, so I motored on.
It's about a 45 minute drive to and fro. I was very low by the time I got back to Fort Collins and I stopped at the first place I could find on the edge of town. Of course, I got price gauged. I did a double take when I saw that this place was charging $3.30/gallon. Thirty cents more than that place I drove away from, and sixty cents per gallon more than the average price in town. Sheesh. But it was nice to have a full tank of gas, even if it was very expensive.
I hit a bit of a highway snarl on the highway after that, and I was SO glad I had stopped to fill up. Suddenly the extra sixty cents was all worth it.
Later that night after getting cleaned and feeding River, I took a drive to Fort Collins Food Co-op which is in a really cool area of town I'd never seen before. I don't see the best when I stay at Motel 6s all the time. But I got some provisions at this little organic shop and headed back to the room to eat and sleep.