Introverts like mountains while extroverts like the flatlands, according to this research that graphs out flatness and extroversion by state and shows a relationship. Also they say extroverts like beaches while introverts like mountains.
I'm half-n-half -- neither introvert nor extrovert. (Apparently there's a word for this: "ambivert".) I land in the middle on the "introvert-extrovert" scale on Big 5 and Myers-Briggs personality tests, and it seem to fit as I can be by myself for hours and I don't mind and I can be with other people for hours and that's fine, too.
Having said that, the flatlands vs mountains theory is new to me and makes no sense. It seems like, some people, like my mom, like the "big sky" feeling that you get in a place that's very flat. Others like the scenic feeling from mountains. When you get very high up the scenery becomes quite dramatic.
My mom grew up in west Texas and I've been there many times to visit my grandparents and it is the flattest place I've ever been. The graph shows North Dakota as the flattest state, and I guess the problem here is they're using whole states and some like Texas are pretty big. Texas has some hills on it's eastern side where it borders Louisiana. But on the western side, well, I've been to both North Dakota and west Texas and I can tell you west Texas is flatter.
I live in Denver and maybe Denver is the perfect place for the half-n-half ambiverts who are neither introvert nor extrovert, but something in the middle. Look east, and you're on the flatlands. Look west and you're in the mountains.
I love the Canadian Prairies, they are home, though the flatness around Regina is a bit overwhelming. However I also love the mountains -- sooooo much to see, and many awesome vantage points, and differing perspectives. The place I'm in now is nearly ideal -- a big enough city in a wide valley, surrounded by mountains. I think I'm definitely an introvert though.
@Sandy B, I didn't know where the Davis Mountains, Chisos Mountains, and Christmas Mountains are, so I had to Google it. All of them are in a stretch of mountains that goes from New Mexico to Mexico and a little bit of those mountains crosses the western border into Texas.
The "west Texas" I was referring to is the huge flat expanse around Lubbock. My grandparents used to live in Lubbock and I've been there many times, and that Google Street View link above goes to a spot on a freeway coming out of Lubbock. It's not a special spot -- I could have picked any spot on any freeway in that vast expanse of land and it would look the same. That's how it looks for hours and hours and hours driving out of Lubbock back up to Colorado -- flat as a board as far as the eye can see. Once you get far enough out of Dallas where there's some hills, that's how a vast expanse of the western side of Texas looks until you get all the way into that part that sticks under New Mexico and you run into the mountains you identified. And the flatness actually doesn't stop with Texas -- it extends up through the west side of Oklahoma, most of Kansas and the eastern edge of Colorado, most of Nebraska, most of south Dakota and the eastern edge of Wyoming, most of North Dokata and some of the east side of Montana, and even extends up into the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. The "great plains" are truly great -- a vast expanse of flatness. But west Texas is, at least in my experience, the absolute flattest part of that vast expanse of flatness.
If you like flatness, the most "scenic" drive you could possibly take would be to start in Lubbock -- or actually, you could start a little south of Lubbock, like in Abilene, and drive north to Edmonton, Alberta. In fact, what the heck, let's ask Google Maps how far that is. It says 1,997 miles (30 hours), but the route it picked goes up against the mountains in Colorado. Goes to Denver and then follows mountains through Wyoming and Montana and up to Calgary to get to Edmonton. Hmm let's see if we can get a route that stays on the flat plains. Here we go, got a route that takes Kansas-23 right up the center of Kansas, then straight up up to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan before arcing west over to Edmonton. 1,962 miles, 32 hours -- a little shorter distance but takes longer because you can't take the fast roads like I-25.
@Greg A. Woods, I had a look on Google Street View of the plains around Regina. Yep, pretty flat. Not quite west Texas flat, but pretty flat.
By the way, the route I just generated for my hypothetical "Great Plains Road Trip" goes right through Regina. Goes from Fortuna on the western edge of North Dakota, up through Regina and then over to Saskatoon. Looks like it goes over a butte in North Dakota, maybe the route could be tweaked a bit to go around that and go up the eastern edge of Montana and still connect up with Regina.
Yeah, I can see how you would think of west Texas being ridiculously flat based off that region. When I think of west Texas I think of the Trans Pecos region, which has a surprising variety of landscapes. I just moved back to San Antonio after living out there for the past three years. The sunsets and the weather were fantastic. I’ve never taken a straight road trip through the plains, but I have gone up to Chicago and back on several occasions either going through Oklahoma or Arkansas. I think Arkansas is far more interesting than Oklahoma because they have more trees. Do you think certain personality types prefer different types of vegetation as well?
The flat parts around Regina aren't all that huge, though there's a good long stretch on the main highway between Moose Jaw and Regina that in a wet spring can make it look exactly like you're driving on a causeway through a shallow sea.
Fantastic sunsets are fantastic. Interestingly out here, Boulder has amazing sunsets, but I’m in Denver, just a few miles east of Boulder, and the sunsets here are nice but not the same as the spectacular sunsets in Boulder. The fact that Boulder is nestled right up against mountains probably has something to do with it.
When I lived in California, there were completely clear cloudless days so often that the “sunset” wasn’t even the interesting part, the interesting part was the band of purple that would appear opposite the sun right after it sets. That band of purple is actually the shadow of the earth in the atmosphere, and if there are clouds in the atmosphere, they might make a spectacular orange and red sunset, but they will mess up that shadow of the earth in the atmosphere on the opposite side and you won’t see it.
Never been to Chicago or Arkansas. I have two friends who live in Chicago who have invited me to go up and visit. I just need the time and money to do it. I know the first place I’m going to visit when I get there is going to be Fermilab. You know you’re a nerd when the first place you want to go is Fermilab…
Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Personality and vegetation. I have no idea. Sounds like a research study is in order! Start writing that grant proposal!