Friday, August 10, 2012

North Dakota?

Would you want to live there? Apparently the people who do live there like it. Well, maybe not the very long very cold winter part, but Keith said that the natives are very friendly and very proud of their pioneer heritage. They all talk funny, too, like the characters in the movie Fargo. Ya?

The few pictures he took of the landscape are nothing out of the ordinary, lots of prairie and green fields. The entire state's population, with the exception of all the men in the man camps working in the oil fields, is about the size of Bakersfield doubled. But way spread out. The little town nearest the man camps has about 20000 people. There is an Indian reservation and a casino nearby that serves food and booze for the man camp boys. It's very popular. There is nothing else to do there and apparently a lot of drinking goes on. The guys working in the oil fields do a 2 week on, 1 week off shift and when Keith came home on the plane, the entire back end of the plane was filled with young oilfield men on their way home and ready to go spend all the money that they made for the past 2 weeks in the bars and strip clubs of Bakersfield. They'll all be drunk for a week and then fly back to North Dakota.

Here is the Savage Man Camp. The Indian casino is also built out of temporary trailers, four of them bolted together to make one big square room. The powers that be in North Dakota are not trying to build housing for all of these workers because they know the oil boom could end at any time and they'd be stuck with a bunch of empty houses like so many other boom and bust towns. Smart thinking.

Pretty basic, huh? The trailers have 2 bedrooms with 2 beds in each, so usually 4 men are in one trailer at a time. There is a living room and small kitchen with satellite TV, and they do have a cleaning service that comes once a week.

Keith said that his boss Bob is a big pain in the you know what to travel with, he complained about EVERYTHING. He is also kind of a bigot and even though North Dakota is like 95% white people, the one Hindu person they saw set him off on a rant, and the people speaking Spanish IN A MEXICAN RESTAURANT also had him going off about learning English if you are going to live in America, dammit!

Keith also found out why I get so annoyed when he sits on the couch flipping channels because Bob is the champion channel surfer and it drove him crazy.

So now if Keith goes on a rant or complains too much I'm going to call him Bob.

Here is what the countryside by the freeway looked like.

And this is the oil refinery putting oil in tanker cars place. The railcars go into the long building to get filled up and then off to wherever.

1 comment:

Margo said...

Keith's pix look just as I recall North Dakota, almost entirely flat (the highest point is 3500' down in the southwest corner) All the roads are straight, so driving can get rather boring. I'm sure he's glad to be home again.