After leaving Dad's house on Friday, October 5Th, I headed south to Dickinson, ND, where my brother Kevin and his family live. It was rainy and very windy from the south. Thus my gas mileage wasn't the greatest. A lot of the poor mileage was due in part, also, to the winding, hilly and mountainous roads (taken from Kevin's blog) I had to travel to get to Dickinson. Along the way I saw the famous oil drilling rigs that are known so well in North Dakota. These photos were taken along what is referred to as the "Iverson Road," which is located just south of Tioga. It is actually a highway so don't let the name make you think it's off the beaten path! ;-) I didn't even have to get out of my van for these shots. It was that close to the road. These drilling rigs work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until the job is done. My sister Cathy and I saw a couple other rigs on the way to Tioga (also known as the "Oil capital of North Dakota") the night before my Dad's birthday. One of them wasn't even standing. It was put together but it was laying on its side propped up on the end that stands in the air. Either the job was done and the rig was being taken down, or it was almost ready to be erected to begin the whole process. Regardless, these are monster size pieces of equipment!
My Dad has retired from the oil business. He, however, didn't work on these rigs. He had a business that used work-over rigs to make repairs to oil wells when they didn't pump the oil from the ground as they should, or when the pumps were broke down. (is this close to correct Dad?) After the drilling rigs were done, an oil well was built around the hole and when this unit broke down, the work-over rigs were brought in to make the repairs. His job each day, 7 days a week, sometimes 14-15 hour days, was to check each oil well and make sure it was producing oil. If it wasn't, it gave him headaches! It's a very complicated process that only my Dad can tell you about. But this gives you an idea of what brings the oil to our country in the first place! When driving around the state of North Dakota, you will see these oil wells all over the landscape. I remember as a child, either during the weekend or even in the summer, riding with Dad to "check his wells." This is what he called his job...checking the wells.