Kimberly is addicted to Zumba. She’s been known to plan our traveling schedule around Zumba classes at various YMCAs around the country. Dennis sometimes attends them as well, and usually finds them quite enjoyable. But with her it’s an obsession. So with only about a day to spend in Denver, we just had to ferret out one such class at a YMCA branch – after a false lead to a YMCA that really wasn’t, but was instead some other type of health club with a YMCA affiliation. It was next to a rugby stadium, which is something you don’t see every day in this country. Anyway, we finally located the real thing, and both of us had a great time at the Zumba class, taught by a fantastically high-energy teacher.
Then it was on to Cheyenne, where again we caught a Zumba class after spending a day at the library working. This library is a relatively new one, and it’s quite a facility. In fact, it was named as library of the Year in 2008, the third such library we’ve been privileged to visit. (The other two – Fayetteville, AR and Farmington, NM – we’ve performed at several times.)
The next day we were in Laramie, which, like Cheyenne, is a town proud of its historical significance, but is decidedly subdued nowadays. It was even more so during our visit, because the University of Wyoming was on spring break – we were there, in fact, on the first day of spring. We’d planned on working at the University library, since it normally opens a couple of hours earlier than the public library, but we arrived there to find it closed all day. So it was a short day of it at the public library after all. There wasn’t even a YMCA in town for another Zumba class.
On Sunday, we drove on to the town of Saratoga, site of our next engagement. We got there about noon and spent some time soaking in an outdoor pool of hot spring water, open 24 hours a day all year long – and free of charge! Next to this pool is a larger one, apparently having cooler water, that seems to be open only in the summer. But the pool that is always open has very hot water indeed – in some places, it’s so hot you hardly can stay in it. And it can leave your skin feeling warm for hours afterward. But it’s certainly a refreshing dip. So Saratoga, WY becomes a welcome addition to the list of places where we’ve encountered hot springs: Hot Springs, AR; Glenwood Springs, CO; Pagosa Springs, CO; and Truth or Consequences, NM.
After we’d put ourselves through the pampering, we drove on over to the community center, where we’d be performing the next day for the school. We were met by the person who booked us, and we were invited to spend the night parked right next to the loading door. It was especially convenient because there was an electrical outlet on the outside of the building, and we were able to plug into it. We also picked up a wireless signal that enabled us to get online, even though service proved to be a bit spotty. We were home.
It had been a windy but sunny day, with hardly a cloud showing its face. We were skeptical, then, we heard that the forecast was calling for heavy snowfall. But by late afternoon an ominous cloud cover had blown in from nowhere, and by bedtime the white flakes were indeed beginning to fall. And they continued to fall all night and all day Monday, while we were doing our presentations for the school.
We started Monday morning with a performance of two of our current stories in the community center theatre. (The colorful lobby features lamps and other fixtures constructed of antlers.) It’s a fabulous, well-equipped theatre of professional caliber, and we were pleased to be able to have a chance to perform in such a space after strutting our stuff in so many cafeterias, gymnasiums and so on. Then we had a full day of performance arts workshops in the classrooms at the school – it was only about half a block we had to walk in the driving snow to the school building.
After a productive day of workshops, we had a little time off in the afternoon before returning to the theatre for an evening performance of our other two stories. It was pretty well attended (especially considering that other things were going on tonight), and well received. All in all, Saratoga has been very good to us, and we hope to return.
We’d originally planned to put in some miles after the evening show, but the snow was still piling on, and we heard that sections of the roads were closed – they actually close Interstate 80 in these parts during a snowstorm, because the ferocious winds can blow hazardous snowdrifts onto the road. So we stayed put in our cozy little parking spot for another night.
This morning, the snow was intermittent, and the sun actually peeped through for a while. But it wasn’t very windy, so it was safe to start driving. But first, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to return to the spring. Now we can say that we’ve been swimming in an outside pool while snow was falling!