You Are Now Leaving Boomtown


We finally took the Family Truckster to a body shop in Williston for an estimate on the amount of damage that deer inflicted. The total was about $3900. Damn you brain-dead ruminant. Plus, being it is in Williston, we won’t be able to get it in until February. Everything in Williston is three months behind.

Williston (and Watford City, ND) are ground zero for the oil boom and it is an insane place I do my best to stay away from. They have almost thirty thousand people crammed into a small city that had twelve thousand before the boom. In traffic terms alone that means ten pounds of excrement crammed into a five pound bag. Every restaurant and fast food dive is backed up at lunch and dinner time, the rents surpass those in Manhattan, and ninety percent of those who moved here for the boom were unprepared for the weather and the roads. Make that a dozen pounds of poop.

We had a short list of errands to get done but at every turn we were dodging heavier traffic than we saw living in the Twin Cities. Every store was a zoo with the cages left open. Walmart had a sign advertising starting pay of seventeen bucks an hour. Walmart! Of course seventeen bucks won’t help you when the going rent is a few grand a month, which is why the once pristine countryside is covered with man camps and trailer parks. It makes me grateful of the small house we own and live in.

The traffic on US 2 is always maddening. No, it’s not the level of driving through Chicago but the majority of the vehicles on the road are semis carrying heavy loads, with a percentage of them driven in a reckless manner by itinerant meth addicts with suspended licenses. It’ll keep your knuckles white on the way home, that’s for sure. We drove out to the farm for a victory lap once we got back. Pippin got to prance around in the thin coat of snow and I got to embrace the quiet. There is no quiet in the Boomtown.

About jeroljohnson

I guess I'm the crying on the inside kind of clown
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