~ begins with a few suitcases, several pillows, fans and enough snacks for 12 people.
last week my cousins kim and sue (who are sisters) picked me up and we
headed due west to visit my sister in williston ND,
where she and her hubby have been living for the past year.
dawn and dave got a wild hair to join the stampede of people
heading to the oil fields in search of jobs.
dave did find a job working out there and their crazy
non-traditional way of life began.
* warning...this is a longer than usual post. i know a lot of our family is
waiting to see it and see how d. and d. are living now... : D
it was an 11 hour drive and just under 1000 miles each way from our
homes to theirs.
horray! when we finally spotted our first oil well and knew we were getting close~
this is it!!!! a real live man camp.
see the trailer in the middle? that's
dawn's "camper" or dorm room as i like to think of it.
you probably assume it's all theirs.
there are four separate living quarters in each of these trailers.
dawn and dave's is the front one and it's a 13' x 13' room with a bathroom.
it sounds impossible- but we were amazed at how cozy and homey she's made it!
it really did remind me of a dorm room~ everything has a place and you
make use of every available square inch.
this is the view right our their window.... it's a huge gravel parking lot with semi's and
tanks and a bunch of stuff we didn't know what was... haha
tanks and a bunch of stuff we didn't know what was... haha
so day 1 dawn took us to downtown williston to take in the sites.
the 4 of us were in an antique shop here pretending to be proper ladies.
(all kim does is giggle) - she's front left. we were supposed to be
holding up our little fingers, but apparently she thought you used your
non teacup hand....silly girl
you may have heard about the huge explosion right outside of town...this was hours after
it happened. it caused quite a stir in town and the area around the fire
dawn made us several meals... here is the queen of the castle cooking.
(sis doesn't even have an oven and they bought the fridge- all there was
when they moved in was a dorm sized one).
this is dawn's yard~
now...i know it looks like sis is in ICU here, but she's not.
it's just her in her top bunk, settled in for the night.
*i counted 7 pillows on her bed and she sleeps with a c-pap breathing device,
and think about it, have you ever seen anyone in ICU in a top bunk? nope just too hard for the medical staff to attend to them.
I spent two nights in that bottom bunk with her and the other 2 at the hotel.
it was pretty much like being back at bible camp together, except there was no
singing of kuumbaya and she always got the bottom bunk.
she told me that when she crawls up the ladder to go to sleep she says to her hubbie,
"o.k., i'm going to my room now- and that means no more talking"
(he's a talker....)
day 2 we went to medora.
can i just say that when you put 4 middle aged chicks full of coffee in a car and head out
-pretty much all most of us can think about is:
"where is the next bathroom".
(unless you're kim).
there was major road construction and the towns are
really spread out and i'm not even going to tell you where my
sister relieved herself. it was an emergency apparently.
one of the best memories of our week together was the joke that kim
was PERFECT. girlfriend never needs to pee, nothing on her ever hurts at all-
(unlike the rest of us who are all waaaaay younger- (by at least a couple years),
the rest of us need our own pillows from home and a lot of them, her suitcase consisted of
a teeny little duffle and she sleeps like a baby- while we lay there with our minds racing.
we called her MP which stood for either ms. perfect or mary poppins-
here's the most annoying of all the things that she shared that got me calling her MP.
i was having one raging hotflash after another and i asked her if she was through
with menopause. she calmly said "i have been for years, and all i had
was about two tiny warm flashes and i was done."
SERIOUSLY! HOW ANNOYING....HAHAHAHAH
(love you kimber)
here's the view as you approach teddy roosevelt national park! breathtaking~
dawn and i at the top of a peak. i was determined that i wasn't leaving that park till
i saw the wild mustangs. it didn't happen. i had to give up and leave or be left there with
the prairie dogs.
dawn on left, kim on the right and sue is in the middle. sue and i were born
the same summer. these two cousins and
dawn and i got to spend a lot of time together growing up.
sue is a 2nd grade teacher in redwood falls and kim is retired from a long career in the office of
a big tool company.
rumor has it that she and dawn spend most of their day playing games on their computers.
kim turns 60 tomorrow and is the first born grandchild in the baldwin
family. 20 more followed after her and we have so many years of fun memories together.
this trip just added a whole new layer of fun for us.
so, no wild mustangs sightings, BUT we came around a corner and look
what we saw~
there were 34 of them and they sauntered up and surrounded our car and just about gave
sue a heart attack. it was her nice car and dawn was driving. my sis is a
joker and she was in a particularly goofy/ridiculous mood that day. she was messing with
park rangers, flag men doing construction, people pulled over to look at something and the buffalos.
she rolled her window down and tried to touch one of these big boys and the rest of us
were pretty sure we were going to be raaaaammmmed. she, of course just laughed
and kept doing it.
you've gotta take your zanex when hanging out with her.
i decided the reason she hasn't been accosted living in the oil fields, is because she
is the one accosting all the men.
well, hello big boy~
they dared me.
then it was on to medora. we went to the pitch fork BBQ and kim treated us to supper.
we peered over the edge of the mountain and saw where they do the nightly musical. we decided that we were too old, tired and unsure of where the bathroom was to walk down all
those stairs, so skipped that part and went straight to dinner.
have you ever been there? they deep fat fry steaks- that's a novel idea.
now..... let me explain this. this is not a joke folks. i'm serious- and so was she.
this is an actual park ranger at the south entrance to the park. i'm fairly certain that this girl takes her job seriously.
when she saw me snap this picture i was afraid.
(i was quite afraid that dawn was going to do or say something that
was going to land all of us in jail.)
i wonder if they were filming a movie and maybe she was an actor?
one of those shows where they punk people? like candid camera...or what would you do?
(dawn, sue, kim~ let me know if you see us on any of those shows k.)?
driving home we saw a lot of beauty...including these wind generators and a
gorgeous "big sky" sunset.
our last day lead us to montana.
kim and i had never been in the good old state of montana so we went
on a road trip, stopped at a scary little thrift shop (where the other 3 of us
secretly bought ridiculous junk and hid it in dawn's dorm room later), and
ate at cousins restaurant. how appropriate.
santa claus was in there eating too....long story. dawn (of course)
started talking to him and by the time he left we were practically
face book friends, and sister was a dime richer.
so finally on our last night in ND, dave played hooky and came in off the road to
see us girls. he had been gone working all week and we were so happy to get
to see him. this is his big truck. he pritnear lives in it. we all crawled in and i
laid on his beddie.... (pretty spacious) and then he took us out to dinner.
we had a little impromptu 60th birthday party for kimber and gave her a
bunch of quality gifts (again from the thrift shop in montana).
the next morning we headed home and without dawn in the car it was a whole
lot quieter and there wasn't as much laughing, but our stomach muscles needed
a rest anyway. : )
we drove almost 2000 miles but it was so worth it.
i'm glad i got the opportunity to travel with such fun, easygoing
girls to see my sister's home away from home.
david and dawn are just amazingly well adjusted to their life in the
oil fields and i couldn't be more proud of both of them
for embracing this new way of life on the wild frontier.
thanks for the great time sis!
see you soon~
p.s. oh my gosh, i almost forgot to mention that my sister kept getting us lost- she can hardly find her way out of a paper bag & on the day we went to medora, she headed north out of town and by the time she realized we should be going south we were all already hungry, had to pee again and i was wishing i'd worn a different outfit~and we hadn't even left williston.
we had a bunch of fun with the little neighbor girl
jade, who even came to the hotel and swam with us and talked me into going down the
water slide with her. (haven't done that since i was a young mother),
oh and one hot day they all left me for
dead locked in a very hot car and i had a bit of hysteria before crawling over the seat
and getting out in the front and...
i attempted to ride with dawn in their brand new
1970's camper and it stalled on the side of a heavily trafficked road.
the camper doesn't have air or power steering and is a stick shift.
they're about to take it on a trip to glacier nat'l park.
good luck with that! practically got my head jerked off. bruhahahahahah
it's a good thing i got out alive.