North Dakota in the Winter

Dear lovely readers. I apologize for the hiatus in updates. I’ve been busy working on the book proposal for this project and finally turned it in last week! A bottle of wine was consumed after that.

I’m now back in Williston, following up with subjects and interviewing a few more people for the next chapters of the book. I also wanted to find out what North Dakota was like in the winter. When I told a guy that this summer, his response was: “I’ll tell you what it’s like. Put your head in the freezer and punch yourself in the face.” I took his word for it.

So now I’m here. One lesson I learned very quickly: don’t walk outside without gloves on. Within about 30 seconds you won’t feel your fingers, and in about 60 seconds your entire hand will go numb.

At 8:50am this morning it was -12 degrees outside, about -21 if you include the wind chill. My car was covered in a layer of frost and an apple I left in there overnight was frozen solid.

I’m staying at the “Value Place” along Highway 2. I used to look longingly at this place during the summer when I lived in my trailer just up the road. It’s $699 a week to stay here. I could never afford that on my tiny book writing budget, so I’m staying with Cindy, one of the women I’ve been interviewing. There’s only one bed so I’m sleeping on the floor, and the Internet here (and seemingly everywhere in Williston) sucks, but there’s hot water for showers and a heater, so I’m happy.

Other than a few new restaurants and hotels and a dusting of snow in Williston, things look about the same. It’s good to be back.