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Sentinel Butte, North Dakota

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sunday Stills "Trash"

I live on the edge of the big Bakken oil boom area. The oil boom has brought many things -both good and bad to western North Dakota and eastern Montana. The good things of course are jobs, money, new businesses,and  a huge supply of oil for our nation. 
The bad things are crime of all sorts, traffic, price gouging on many things and more people than many of us prefer to have in our little corner of the world. At the top of the list though, is the environmental impact the oil boom has had here. Oil spills,saltwater spills and flaring of natural gas off of the oil wells are major problems. Probably the most noticeable of all is the amount of trash that we now have.
Trash of all sorts litters the ditches, fence lines, roadsides year around. Some of it is trash that has escaped trash dumpsters at well sites.  Trucks going down the road lose buckets, boxes, plastic wrap. New buildings being constructed are prime places for pieces of plastic and cardboard to take off from too. The wind is a constant presence here, so much of the trash finds its way into fences and trees. 
I think a major amount of trash comes from people just going down the road and tossing stuff out the window. Beer and water bottles, fast food bags, someone's bag kitchen garbage they are too lazy to put in a dumpster, old clothes. Some pretty disgusting and surprising things can be found along the roadways.

Today, I went north about 120 miles to Williston, ND to watch my granddaughter in a volley ball tournament. Williston is in the heart of the Bakken oil boom. I was excited to think about all of the "good trash" photos I would get when I was in that area. However, my husband stayed home today, and I am not as daring at stopping along side the busy road up there. So I didn't get the photos I had hoped for! Believe me, though. The trash in the ditches was horrible. Plastic bags, coffee cups, 5 gallon buckets, huge barrels filled the roadside more often than not as you approached the oil patch and the surrounding towns. 
The photos I did get taken were on two stretches of  US 85 that had surprisingly no traffic for a couple of minutes. I was able to take these trashy shots of a place right alongside the highway that really can't be called a junk yard but is full of junk and trash. 

Seven or eight years ago, rv's in the area were used to go camping, hunting, or take to the lake fishing. When the oil boom started, housing was at a premium and many people who arrived to work in the oil patch couldn't find housing. Camper trailers and recreational vehicles became hot items to buy or rent when houses or apartments were unavailable. Many people have spent some very cold North Dakota winters in a camper trailer or rv. I can't imagine living in one with our minus 30F temps we have in the winter and then add to that a hefty wind blowing. This place seems to have become a final resting place for some of these former homes.

I hate seeing the amount of trash piling up around us from the oil boom. When it is over, I am sure it will still be here while those who made the mess will for the most part be gone from the scene. 

The tumble weeds will still be blown by the wind, and unfortunately,  so will the trash.


Tom said...

Love the "RV Fence"
Have a great week going great things.
Tom The Backroads Traveller

Michaele said...

Amazing to see and think about living like that, especially in the winter. Will the boom really ever be over?

Anonymous said...

i really value your post, well done dear.

Terry and Linda said...

GEEZ! What a mess!