This was a tough day and took no pictures while in Williston. This area is going through a huge oil/gas boom and the city is trying to catch up. The roads have ruts 2 feet deep at the intersections from the unplanned heavy traffic. We find out there has not been an open hotel room there for a couple years. If you are travelling through this part of the US make plans for a place to stay or to travel through.
Picture this ... Williston North Dakota, the Fort MacMurray of the US west with transport trucks and trailers everywhere and we ride in at 6:30 on Monday evening. The oil boom is on and has been apparently for the last 3 years.
We try and find a room but there are none. We ride from one hotel, motel, and inn to another with the same result. There I am following, because what the hell else am I supposed to do, weaving in between all of this traffic. The trucks line every street and that many again are on the move. The Walmart parking lot is jam packed with travel trailers and trucks. People are staying on every square inch of land ... most of it muddy! To the west is a really dark stormy sky.
We have to make a decision to carry on down the highway or find a campsite. So we opt for the campsite. By now it is getting dark and the rain is settling in. We find the most inhospitable camp ground you can possibly imagine. The lady acts like she is doing us the biggest favour ever and she charges us $18 for a teeny tiny spot for our tent. The guys in the next tent are from South Carolina and they are up here looking for work because there isn't any down home. They drive everyday to the oil sites and bug for work.
Anyway, we get the tent setup and it is 8 pm so I go to find the showers. There are signs on the door that say the showers and restrooms are closed at 9 pm ... oh great do they not realize that my 50 year old bladder has night time issues! Inside the shower/restroom building there are signs that say the water for the campground will be turned off on Oct 1st. So this campground is jammed packed with travel trailers of every size .. most of them look like they are not going anywhere so only god knows what they are going to do for water come October.
Garth decides to go and check out the little store because we have not eaten since 3:30 and the store is closed ... even though the "sign" says it will be open until 9 (they must have been running around closing up the shower/restroom buildings). So now we are in our tent and it is raining. We have one little light it is 9 pm ... are we having fun now! Good thing for Atavan, ha ha! I knew that keeping that prescription would pay off. We wake up at 2 am and we both have to pee! So out we go into the rain and pee in the bush behind our tent. I ask GW if he still thinks that the morning will be clear and sun shiney ... hmmmmm. I am up again at 4 am and now the wind is just howling ... watch out Dorothy!
Finally at 7 Garth goes to see if the restrooms are open ... thank goodness they are. Off I go in the pouring rain and I try and take my time doing whatever (and coming up with a few new morning routines) just to waste time so that I don't have to go back to the tent. Alas I head back. GW has checked out the store and they don't open until 9 am. We are so hungry. We are faced with another decision ... we can stay in the tent all day (and become crippled beyond recognition) or we can face the elements and get the hell out of Williston!
But first some breakfast somewhere. So we pack up in the pouring rain and head down the highway to find a restaurant. We walk into a restaurant and "seat ourselves" but we are chased down by a Spanish speaking waitress who is trying to tell us that they don't have a cook. Apparently cook number 1 left for a doctor appointment leaving cook number 2 and she became so overwhelmed with the onslaught of customers that she walked off the job! Well I was dumbfounded and asked her if we could at least have toast and coffee. She took pity on us and we got the best damn tasting toast and coffee ever!
GW studied all the maps and we talked about possible routes and hoped and prayed that our route would take us out of this weather system that had settled in over Williston. So away we go down the highway and the wind was so strong that it was not much fun. We decide to go town by town until we hit Sydney Montana (it was only 40 some miles away) and then we decided to stay in Sydney ... get a room and let everything dry out!
We have our sleeping gear spread out and the wind really helped out in drying out our tent over the back door railing.
Main drag through Sidney, MT
What an adventure so far!
Day 3 and 4 map