Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Great Plains

A long day's drive will get you from Denver to Williston, ND, if you ever have a mind to do such a thing. The only reason you might is to get an amazingly high-paying job with little or no educational prerequisites. Obviously the work is hard. Difficult manual labor outdoors in conditions ranging from 100°+ to -40°. Your title: roughneck. You see, Williston sits in the middle of the Baaken Formation, one of America's great oil reserves, but I digress...

Sights like these get my mind to wandering.

A pleasant surprise for me was the Judge's Chambers restaurant in Broadus, MT. A historic judge's residence now holds 15 tables and serves up some of the best food any 400-person hamlet has the right to nosh (but only in the summer and hunting season). I had a $25-steak that would have cost double that in Portland. Gotta love a low cost of living. On my way out of town, I stopped for gas at an old-fashioned pump and even got free air for my tires. Definitely a throwback. Then of course, down the rest of the mountains and into the heartland.

Clouds that hold immense quantities of rain and will drop it all on you at once

I'm currently busy getting alternately eaten alive by mosquitoes and drenched by torrential thunderstorms. Hence, a lot of time inside with the family. Up until the other day, that was 11 people. Three of those under the age of 7. Sheer insanity. Now we're down to 6, which feels much more manageable. Still, tomorrow I'm looking to get outside. Today it rained something like an inch in a half hour. A slight buildup, followed by violent, machine gun downpour. That happened twice. The second time was so heavy that it started coming in the house from the screened in deck and the nearest screen was 15 feet from the house door. In short, this is not Northwest rain.

Perhaps I can get out and show you some of the sights of a small North Dakota town in my next post.

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