On very short notice, Keith is headed off this morning to camp. Savage Man Camp that is.
On Tuesday he calls me from work saying that he has been asked to go to North Dakota to a Savage facility in the booming oil fields there. They have a number of tanker rail cars that need inspecting before they can fill them up with oil and send them somewhere else. Nobody in North Dakota knows how to inspect and repair railcars, apparently, so Keith and his boss Bob are flying out this morning on their way to The Middle of Nowhere, North Dakota.
They are going to a place called Trenton, which is not a town but rather a township with a population of 42, something like 22 men and 20 women according to Wikipedia. They actually have a post office in this little township, but probably not much of anything else. Maybe a gas station. Obviously, in a town of 42 people there are no motels, so Savage has a trailer park Man Camp set up for the refinery workers and Keith and Bob get to stay in a trailer. They each get their own bedroom at least. They have a canteen for the workers to eat at, because in a town of 42 people there are probably no restaurants either.
Keith got picked to go because the less productive workers were asked first and one said no, the other said he couldn't go until Monday, so Keith was asked as a last resort. Bob doesn't pick Keith to go anywhere because he is about the only one that actually works in the yard on the railcars and if he is not there productivity goes out the window. So, finding that out kind of annoyed him at a time when he is already so annoyed at how things are going at work that he almost quit the other day.
Anyway, he will be there until the 13th, Bob is staying until Tuesday, when he will be replaced with the guy who couldn't go until Monday.
Their flight out of Bakersfield was at 5:30 this morning, so I drove Keith over to the airport to drop him off. I don't drive in the dark much anymore because I really can't see very well, the oncoming lights kind of blind me and if I'm on a street with no reflectors in the lanes it's very hard for me to see where I'm supposed to be driving. I did want to drive over to make sure I could make my way back home again in the dark, and since I'm typing away, obviously made it back home again. I had a death grip on the steering wheel the whole way, but I made it.
The airport isn't all that far away, just a little ways past the post office that I go to, about 8 miles from the house. It's a very small airport with only one terminal and doesn't have a whole lot of flights in and out. It's so small that they only have one security station. They do have a body scanner, which I got to watch Keith go through.
They are flying to Denver, then on to Minot, North Dakota, which is the 3rd largest city in North Dakota at something like 40,000 people. The entire state of North Dakota has less than 600,000 people. For comparison, Bakersfield has like 350,000.
So, it should be an interesting 12 or so days for him, and a very quiet 12 or so days for me, with a vacation from cooking for me and a vacation from being nagged by me for him.