The Flattest Place On Earth

by Mark on July 6, 2011

I grew up in Northwestern Ohio, now considered the flattest place on Earth. From college on I sought out places to live and visit with hills and mountains. Looking back, the level horizon of my birthplace projects splendid beauty.

Glaciers scrapped Defiance and Paulding counties into a smooth plane while piling dirt and rocks toward Southern Ohio. If you drive to the west, between Sandusky and Toledo on the Ohio Turnpike, the only landscapes are the highway overpasses. It is not the end of the earth, but you can see it from there.

I chose a college in Southeastern Ohio with not a level space. At Ohio University in the Appalachian foothills, we climbed steep hills for class. Standing at the top of a mound, I felt the wonder of looking down from something higher than a two-story building. From there I began a quest for mountains. The Alps, Rockies, Adirondacks, Scottish Highlands, Pyrenees, Sierras, and many more magnificent mounds became shrines to admire. Settling in Upstate NY, I rationalize the recent ten-plus feet of snow as a good return for wondrous hills and valleys.

My brother and I recently were riding our bicycles in the Northwest Ohio countryside. My bike GPS calculates altitude and grade. For a 26 mile trek the only movement, up or down, was bumping over a railroad crossing. On a bike, the landscape is different from from a speeding car. Wheat fields ripple in the breeze. Cornfields whisper, “Knee high by the 4th of July.” Grain silos tower like grey and blue skyscrapers. Walkers, farmers, and drivers wave as we pass. Dawns project gold across foggy fields. Purple paints the evening. Flatness is the canvass for a vast vista of beautiful landscape and people, unblemished by glacier rubble.

No doubt, Northwest Ohio is the flattest place on Earth. Returning back to the hills, part of me remains on the level prairie. Like Dorothy, there is no place like home

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

devin April 5, 2015 at 2:33 pm

not even close to the flatest place on earth. Try bolivia’s salt flats.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: