No, not the book Flatland written by Edwin A Abbott, which I thoroughly enjoyed when I read it many years ago. The actual land that I saw much of the day in my second day of 6+ hour drives. The problem with driving that many hours when the land is flat, as I’m sure many long-haul truckers would agree, is that what was interesting and fun becomes boring and tedious after you are too far into the drive to turn around.
Yesterday, after rising at 5 AM Eastern Daylight Time, we flew to Denver from the East Coast. It was a great non-stop flight and we were again pleased with Southwest Airlines. We picked up an SUV rental (my travel-genius husband got us this car for $20.10 per day with UNLIMITED mileage) and headed up to Kyle, SD on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The land flattened out about the same time my body started to rebel against all the sitting I had been doing. But with stops to stretch, we persevered.
We got to our room about 7:30 pm Mountain Time (9:30 pm EDT). Then we went to visit our Lakota friends for a while. We left there about 10:30 pm because we finally realized our bodies thought it was after midnight! Besides, we had to be up early today.
We are taking my Lakota friends to Salt Lake City, UT so they can see her daughter who is in a program there. If you’ve read my stories about my “goddaughter”, you know the kind of issues she has had. If you’ve read my posts about Pine Ridge Reservation and my friends, you know there is no way she could make that 12 hour trip to see her daughter if we did not take them. We found out last night that in addition to my friend and her husband, we were taking her 20 year old daughter and her 5 year old grandson. Very tight quarters – if we’d known ahead of time we might have rented a mini-van instead!
We picked everyone up about 9 am and set off through the rez, with its many road construction projects, headed for Casper, WY. After the fourth hour or so, the land began to flatten out quite a bit. While the incredibly long freight trains, many hauling coal, were out some interest initially, there are so many trains that even they could not keep interest from waning as the vista of flat land began to tire our eyes.
Tomorrow we have a six and one half hour drive, not including pit stops. The first couple of hours may be flat but the final hours will be through the mountains – a better way to do it in my opinion. It will wake us up with varying vistas as we tire of riding rather than the other way around.
After a visit and overnight stay, we’ll have to reverse course to get back to the rez. 12 more hours of driving over 2 days. It will be interesting to see how my fibromyalgia reacts to 5 straight days of riding 6+ hours in a car. I know, I can hear you saying, “But all you’re doing is sitting on your butt in a car.” Absolutely true. But that can make my muscles just as unhappy as doing some physical activity too long. I don’t know why! But it is a fact and I usually try to balance my activity better than this. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do and deal with the consequences afterward.
I think the change from flat land to mountains will be good for my brain, my eyes and my fibromyalgia – at least I won’t be sitting as still in one place. I don’t think I could ever live where there was nothing but flatland. zzzzzz………