There is no doubt that the oil industry has brought incredible opportunities to North Dakota. We have jobs to offer, a booming economy and need workers desperately. Along with agriculture, which is the backbone of North Dakota’s economy, the energy industry has created growth that is almost unbelievable to those who have lived in North Dakota for over ten years.
And the growth, traffic and development show little signs of stop if you pass through the once small towns that were awakened over night.
And while some rumors of rigs and companies moving to Texas are spread, in a stop and go traffic jam I was stuck behind this vehicle, notice the license plate.
My own family has seen the great opportunity of this oil boom, as my brother-in-law got a job in the oil industry and makes a salary that is significantly more than when he was as a correctional officer in Jamestown. This did take my sister and nephew three hours from me, as opposed to three minutes in Jamestown, but in this transition it also allowed my sister to open a day care in her new home in Hebron. She enjoys it , and is helping address the critical child care issue in western North Dakota, also she’s GREAT at it. It also works out really well whenever I need to travel to western North Dakota for work, as I now always have a place to stay.
On Tuesday, after working in Williston, I began to travel to Hebron to spend the night at my sister’s. Instead of taking the long way around I thought I’d try Highway 85 since it had been 2 years since I drove it last. Bad idea. I cannot say that enough. Traffic is nonstop and piles up quickly with road construction and few other north and south highway options in western North Dakota. It is a total nightmare. I am not kidding.
It was an intense drive, until I got to the Interstate. The trip offered little relief. I think about the truck drivers, travelers and regular North Dakota folks who drive this road everyday. Stay safe, everyone. And seriously avoid this road if you can.
Arriving at Victoria’s house in Hebron was a welcome moment, after being in my car for nearly 9 hours that day. The knephla soup and Jaxon were pretty great too.
Travel safely and wisely and I’ll see you on the road!