Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ND Dispatch #1: Inside a man camp

*** first in a series of posts from while writing THE MISSING PLACE ***

I'd love to share a little of what I learned while visiting Williston, North Dakota to learn about the oil boom and the "man camps" in which the rig workers live. I'll let my pictures do the talking for the most part. A few observations:
  1. North Dakota is really, really cold in winter, at least as experienced by a NorCal resident.
  2. People are nice. Even when there's no reason to be.
  3. There are no set quiet hours when shifts span the entire 24-hour day: someone is always trying to get some sleep, and someone else is getting up for work, or trying to relax at the end of their shift.
  4. The food is *awesome*. I'm sorry I didn't think to get pictures of the kitchen and dining area, but their chef is talented and much appreciated.
All of these photos were taken at the Black Gold Williston Lodge, whose proprietors were kind enough to let me stay. It is a clean, warm, pleasant place. Check out their Facebook page for a great aerial view. 

Black Gold Lodge--parking lot was just plowed after snow

Deck in entry area

View of dorm wing
Coffee, tea, cocoa are hot and ready around the clock

Bible study, run by volunteers

hallway of a dorm wing

these are made from giant shipping containers. you can see the "seam" in this one

the rec room: games, big TV, comfy couches

there's an exercise room...but who'd have energy after a 12 hour shift?

view from my room - wind chill was minus-15 degrees

Each room has a locker and hooks for your things...

a desk and lamp...

and double bed, with TV bolted to wall overhead

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