I’m a little late in posting this, but better late than never, right? I want to thank everyone who donated books to the library at Windswept Academy on the Cheyenne River Reservation. I received another box today. Don’t worry. All donations I receive after my return from Eagle Butte will be either mailed or taken when I go back next summer.
My trip up there this past summer was rather uneventful until I got the brilliant idea to drive straight through the night. Being a night person, I wasn’t really very sleepy when I had originally planned to stop at around 10:00. And since I hadn’t reserved a hotel ahead of time like I usually do, I didn’t have any need to stop. So, I thought, why not drive for an hour more. I had a book on tape that I was listening to, and since it was so interesting, I didn’t feel sleepy. (Thank you Cracker Barrel for making books on tape available for bored travelers.)
I wasn’t worried about any trouble that I might come across by being on the road so late at night. I have a relatively new car, and since I was on the interstate, I didn’t have to worry about gas stations. Indeed, not only did I find well-lit gas stations everywhere, but I was also surprised at how many other people stopped at them at that time. It felt nice to know that I wasn’t the only one crazy enough to be out and around so early in the morning.
Around this time, the world started to become a little surreal. I never lost my focus on the road. I made sure of that, but at one point when I made a pit stop, for a moment, I had the feeling that I was in a dream. Do you know the feeling? That sensation that you get in a dream when you think you’re awake. Well, I had the same sensation, but since I was awake, it felt like I was in a dream. For a moment, I wondered. But, I reasoned, if it were a dream, if I were sleeping, then I was asleep at the wheel. Since I wasn’t having a car wreck, I must be awake. So, on I went.
It was after lunch when I realized that I’d finally reached my limit. I pulled over at a rest stop and took a 30 minute nap. More refreshed than I expected to be, I continued my journey and made it to Anne and Ilhami’s later that evening early enough to spend some nice time catching up with them. While I’m glad for the experience of driving through the night, I don’t plan on doing it again, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else. If you do try it, the key is to know your limit, and when you reach it, do as I did, and stop to rest.
I only had one full day to stay and help because I had to get back in time to begin classes at UNA. I didn’t have time to do as much as I would like, but I was able to unload and somewhat organize the book donations that I had brought with me and those that others had brought earlier. Hopefully, if someone else doesn’t beat me to it, I’ll have a chance to organize them even better when I return next year.