I have spent my weekend traversing North Dakota. I know, many of you have not even thought about visiting. It’s not exactly a top vacation destination. But it is a top employment destination these days. I’ll write more about that later.
My parents are from North Dakota, so we went there for holidays and vacations while my grandparents were still alive. It always felt like a LONG and BORING car ride as a kid. I was last in Eastern ND when my grandmother died in 1999. I don’t think I’ve been to Western ND since 1980. I guess I should say that I haven’t been there with family since then. Now as I think about it, I did go on an Orchestra tour as a college freshman in the fall of 1988. But we were on a bus and I still didn’t have much of an appreciation of the state. We were in both Montana and North Dakota for that tour.
I mostly remember flat, farmland for scenery. Most of the state is extremely flat and one can see for miles. And I mean miles. You don’t see a ton of variation in the landscape until you get to western ND. I happened to be going to Williston, ND for a wedding over the weekend. This morning, when we drove home, we went south and drove through part of Theodore Roosevelt National Park – the North Dakota Badlands. It’s quite beautiful. Medora is in this area and it’s way over by Dickinson. It’s even in the Mountain time zone.
Once we got off of Hwy 85 and got on Interstate 94, the rest of the trip looked pretty much like this:
Yep. 94 is pretty much this straight all the way across North Dakota. It’s not the most exciting drive. But it’s way easier than driving around Chicago!
North Dakota is experiencing a major change because of the new technology involving the oil industry and particularly over the Bakken oil field. In a later post, I’ll write more about my observations about the energy industry in the state.