Westward Ho! Day 2

Interior, SD (9 AM) to Billings, MT (5:30PM).  393 miles.

I slept like the dead.  Then, the alarm on my phone went off after I thought I’d turned it off (I was pretty boo-boo faced last night after my four hour learning curve on the Microsoft laptop).  I fell out of my oh-so comfy king-sized bed trying to find the Dream-Killer.  As is inevitable after the alarm goes off, Nature called, and I slammed my head into the bathroom vanity in the dark.  Which made me use new and Technicolor swears while laughing.  So much for sleeping in.

FrostyInstead, I did the Sun Salutation until my aching back started to unknot (thank you, Jinjer) and puttered.  Before I left the Circle View Ranch, I spent some quality time with Frosty, one of the hosts.  It was nice to be claimed by an unknown cat.  Sort of validated my whole existence as a human being.

Wyatt's HideawayMy mood slid south while I pointed Corvus northwest.  I wasn’t surprised by the depression after Sunday’s giddiness; too much tension, too tired, too much of too much.  Moderation was required.  And another validation of who I am as a human being.

The Badlands became foothills, which looked like mountains to me.  At a rest stop outside Piedmont, I pondered my life as a Flatlander.

IMG_0342Here were ranches and homes tucked into the crook of these huge elbows of rock.  Didn’t people get claustrophobic?  How did they orient without a horizon?  How could they prepare for bad weather if they couldn’t see it coming?  Maybe there was a sense of safety and comfort in being nestled up against a mountain-ish thing.  I don’t think I’d like it.  I’d always be looking over my shoulder.

antelopeThe speed limit out here is 80 mph on the freeway (or “motorway,” as John calls it).  I couldn’t bring myself to go that fast.  Even 75 felt out of control and dangerous.  I’m sure a lot of colorful swears darted through the whooshing air as everyone passed me, but what with zipping up and down mountains on curvy roads, and juggling a water bottle, and maybe changing out the audiobook, I thought prudence should prevail.  Besides, I might have missed the little herds of antelope grazing on the slopes, and they were too sweet to be missed.

Tonight, my hosts, John and Coreen welcomed me into their home.  It still feels a little odd barging into someone’s home to stay the night.  I know that’s my bipolarness talking.  I know I’ve paid them to let me sleep in their pretty guest room.  We had a wonderful conversation about mental illness (Coreen’s sister has BP), Habitat for Humanity (which is John’s post-retirement job), the plight of Native Americans, and some religion thrown in for spice.  I sat in Coreen’s kitchen, slurping my Ramen noodles while she prepared their supper, and John complained about being hungry.  It all seemed so normal.

I can sit with my moments of feeling like an intruder.  They’re just another bit of bipolar not-good-enough muddying the view.  I can counter them with the warm fuzziness of meeting kind and generous folk at the end of a long day’s journey.

Depression and antelopes.  Speed and hospitality.  It all evens out.


17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robert@65
    Mar 28, 2016 @ 23:17:47

    perhaps some Sting or John Hiat? Doobie Bros if you can take the heat?

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Cheryl LaVille
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 07:32:14

    After forty five years, I still marvel at the beauty of your use of language. I am there with you. I, too, love the herds of antelope. So pretty and free! I think I’d feel the same “barging in” that you feel–human nature, maybe. Gosh it sounds like you’re having a wonderful time. Moving forward…where will you land tonight? Can’t wait to read about it.


    • Sandy Sue
      Mar 29, 2016 @ 18:14:52

      Thanks for traveling with me. Tonight I meet my dear Bloggy friend Linda in Spokane. Sitting on the front stoop of tonight’s host right now, enjoying the air & light until she picks me up.


  3. LindaNoel
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 09:16:38

    Those ppl zooming by while you were paying attention to what counts whereas You — not the kind of traveler who misses what is Real in order to take pictures of it — YOU slowed down where the antelope play to smell the…. antelopes! EXACTLY! I am thrilled w/yr AdventureJournaling here! I will be Very Calm, you can Relax when you get to Spokaloo (Spokane, Wa).


  4. Leslie
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 15:29:43

    When those of us who live with no view of the horizon get to somewhere where we see it, we are amazed. I remember a visit to New Mexico a long time ago and I couldn’t believe how far I could see. I hope you are enjoying today!


  5. David Kanigan
    Mar 29, 2016 @ 19:53:51

    Look at Sandy, on the road traveling. Who’s covering Henry?


  6. Catherine Cheng, MD
    Mar 31, 2016 @ 15:05:07

    Hi Sandy!
    I have a lot of catching up to do on your blog! I like this one. Strangers who welcome us voluntarily feel like instant friends. Gives me hope for humanity. 🙂


  7. Alice
    Apr 27, 2016 @ 12:11:57

    “It was nice to be claimed by an unknown cat. Sort of validated my whole existence as a human being.” ❤ ❤ ❤


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