Yes, I've been through there on I-70, at least 12 times, as well as both North and South Dakota each once, and Eastern Montana several times. I'm aware of how others dread it, but I can't tell you how much I've actually enjoyed all my drives through Eastern Washington as well as Kansas (except maybe not quite so much the time I rode the Greyhound 22 hours on Christmas Eve, or the time it was a sheet of ice most of the way, or the time I was still fevering a bit from a 24 hour flu which had delayed our trip and I started to panic mildly, feeling whatever the opposite of claustrophobia is, about midway through our trip when we stopped in Hays).
Having lived all but only a few months of my near 37 years in places within eyesight of mountains, I could go on and on about my fascination with wide open spaces like these. As someone who has always had mountains around me in my peripheral vision, getting my bearings from them constantly, I'm intrigued and drawn toward the prairies. It's a matter of what I know and have experienced from the life I've lead and the places I've lived it. There are states in our country I've wanted to visit since I was a young child: Kansas was one of them (so different from what I know), Maine (far at the other end of the country from Seattle), Alaska (also far away).
Whenever I'm driving through these places, it's all I can do to not take a sharp right or left turn on some unknown road and just drive some dusty dirt road far from any easy interstate, immersing myself and fully experiencing the beauty of all that space, attempting to overcome any apprehensions I may have. I would expext there to be more freedom to think and feel and breathe.
My heading at the top of the page may state that I'm "knitting and breathing under the big sky" but I know full well that Kansas has got Montana beat on it's claim to the "big sky".
The beauty in mountains is a lazy, easy one, rarely disputed. Fewer people make the effort to see, feel, and appreciate the beauty of the wide open prairie-type lands. When I lived at the edge between the two, literally a couple of blocks from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, CO, I would beg friends to take a day or a weekend, find a lesser travelled road heading east, just driving and seeing where it would take us. No one ever accepted my offer. Boulder-ites tend to look only towards the west for their recreation, heading straight for the hills if anywhere. Sometimes, I would take our dog to a park east of town to walk her and as I'd come up over a small rise in the land, seeing the front range of the mountains before me, try to imagine what it would have felt like to come across the country on foot or wagon and to see those mountains for the very first time after so many miles. Beautiful? Intimidating? Both?
I can't imagine that there is a place on this earth, big, small, wide, or narrow, that wouldn't hold some degree of intense beauty or at least interest for me in some way.
Someday in my travels I hope to step out of my comfort zone and take that sharp turn in the road.