Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Nia in Durango - Dolores River Trail Park

It is a luxury on these trips when I can stay in a motel room for more than one night. I appreciate and relish not having to pack up the car and check in to a new room.  So this week, I'm living like a king while I stay in the Motel 6 in Farmington, NM for four nights!!

The main reason I'm staying here is that I'm teaching Nia in Durango on Monday morning. 

It was about an hour drive to Durango, so I got an early start. It was cold! This high desert weather... I forget how much the temperature drops when the sun goes down.  I was shivering as I parked in front of the studio and walked River on the dewey wet grass.

The class was delightful. The gang at Durango Nia are strong and playful and willing to try new things. Evonne has a strong group of devoted students and many of them remembered me from the three or four past times I had taught there. 

In the room, before class started, and also during the first few songs, the sun was streaming in the windows, creating swatches of warm light and dramatically lighting the dancing bodies from behind. It was almost surreal in the beauty.

After class, I was planning to go to one of my favorite and most memorable burger places from my burger-eating adventures of last year, but when it came time to do it, I couldn't bring myself to it. I had a polar reaction to my burger gluttony last year and since I had gone this far on the trip without having a burger, I decided to keep that abstinence going. 

I didn't have anything to eat (I had eaten an apple before class) and instead I took off for an afternoon at the park. 

I had originally intended to go visit Four Corners, but after talking to locals and reading more about it, I decided it was going to be boring, so instead, I set my sights on Canyons of the Ancients, a National Monument in southwestern Colorado that I somehow missed on my National Parks tour last year. 

Along the way, I passed Mesa Verde National Park, which I went to twice last year.  And I stopped at a rest area on the way so River could relieve himself. As he did that, I was checking my phone to hone in on exactly where the entrance is to this major attraction. The location of the National Parks are often not obvious and difficult to find on my Mini Nav, so I've learned it's easiest to determine what town the entrance is in and just navigate to that town, keeping an eye open for signs. 

So I set the navigation for Dolores, CO.

Just as we entered Dolores, and having still seen no indication of where to find the entrance to Canyons of the Ancients, I noticed a beautifully big grassy park with access to a river. It was perfect for us!  I was concerned that River was going to be prohibited from most of the Canyons of the Ancients, as is often the case with artifacts, and that there would be no shade and the grounds would be harsh with rocks, dirt, brush and cacti. So we stopped instead at the Dolores River Trail Park. There was access to a fishing spot at the far end of the grass. There was parking near the river access, but I thought it would be more fun to park at the other end of the huge lawn and take a long walk to the river.

We spent a good, long time there. Although we didn't spend much time in the river because it was obviously melted snow and was extremely cold. Also, River was a bit uncomfortable around all the guys fishing, so we just got our feet wet and then spent the rest of the day playing on the grass and climbing on the big rocks. 

After all of our playing, as we sat in the shady, I realized it was almost 3pm and I still hadn't eaten. I was getting a headache and had no food in the car. I drove home (nearly a 90 minute drive) with a growing painful headache that didn't go away once I finally ate.

I suffered for a while, stretching, taking a hot shower, drinking lots of water and massaging my scalp and neck, but I couldn't relieve the headache. Finally I relented and took a couple of aspirin, which helped. 

I was going to do a load of laundry, but I saw a sign on one dryer saying "The dryers are out of order." I double-checked at the front desk that the pluralization on the sign was accurate and both of the dryers weren't working. She said she didn't know. I asked her if there was someone she could call to find out for me. She called the manager who told her that the serviceman had just come and worked on the equipment so that the top dryer is working.

I was glad to hear that and set about getting my load in the wash. The first machine I opened smelled like a science experiment gone bad. Like water had been sitting dormant in there for years. It was awful, musty and mildewy. I opened the other one and stuck my head in to take a big sniff, but it smelled fine, so I used that one. 

When I went back to retrieve my clothes from the dryer after a full 45 minute cycle, I was bummed to feel that they were not completely dry. I took the load back to the room and folded the pieces that had gotten dry and hung up the ones that were still damp. 

While I was out, I left River in the room alone. Usually he just sits and waits, staring at the door until I return, but on this last trip, he got frisky and found his way into my cooler. I had left it unzipped. He pulled out a couple of packages of my instant oatmeal and tore them open, leaving a big pile of oatmeal on the floor in front of the door. So while I know I was partially to blame for leaving him access to my food, he lost his privilege to be outside the crate when I leave the room. 

After dinner, we took a walk down the street. One of my favorite features of this particular Motel 6 is that there is a filtered water vending machine half a block away. And it's only a quarter for a gallon of water! I think I end up drinking more water just because it's so convenient to refill.

I like to see the signs welcoming people to the town. Oftentimes there is also a slogan that speaks to how beautiful the town is, or how friendly the people are. The sentiment is usually that its a nice place to live. But here in Farmington, the welcome sign has a different perspective. The slogan is "Jolt Your Journey" which makes me think that this is a good town to score some crack on your way through, but not necessarily a place I'd want to settle down. 





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