We have officially arrived in Williston, ND! After driving across the border into North Dakota from Montana yesterday, we immediately saw a difference: semi trucks on every road, trains carrying hundreds of oil barrels, construction zones to expand the two-lane roads, signs like “Know what’s below. Call before you dig” and “Flame-Resistant Work Clothes Sold Here.” Montana had a few rusted oil rigs, but there are shiny new rigs and natural gas flares everywhere you look in this part of North Dakota.
We’re staying at a campground for the first couple nights 30 miles outside of Williston before we’ll move to a trailer park closer to town. My initial impression of Williston is it’s bigger than I expected, food isn’t nearly as expensive as everyone told me, and while it’s certainly industrial with trucks, massive rectangular buildings, and supply stores, it feels kind of, well, normal. I saw families at the grocery store and though there are lots of men around, I’ve seen plenty of women as well.
I’m looking forward to getting started on my long list of interviews and exploring the area more. Thank you again to everyone who helped get us here!