I'm back in Colorado for a few days before heading back for another 10-day shift in Dickinson, ND. It's been a good learning experience so far and I've learned a lot about drilling, installing monitoring wells, and logging soil and rock core. I spent my first shift working with an experienced person, as did Ryan, who is in the same position as me. Next shift, the two of us will be working together without the supervision of experience, which should prove to be more exciting. We're actually working in the town of South Heart, 10 miles west of Dickinson. The population of the town is around 350, and I think we know most of the locals after just 10 days. The people here are pretty friendly in general, however they have a unique cultural quirk that seems to prohibit them from freely sharing their name when you introduce yourself.
Example - typical conversation with a North Dakotan:
Josh "Hi there! I'm Josh." (shake hands)
North Dakotan "Hi."
Josh "And you are?"
North Dakotan "Last July we had a really bad hail storm that destroyed all my crops."
The weather here is always windy, and the temperature this time of year ranges from 20 to 80 degrees. We've had a couple nasty, sideways rain storms which makes it difficult to write and keep paper dry. That's about as exciting as things get up here.
Our last day of work for the shift only required that we work for half a day, so we drove west a few miles to Painted Canyon, aka Bad Lands - a part of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. During a hike here, we saw two buffalo (Les Bouffs, as the French would say), a buck, and an elk - not to mention the cool rock formations that the geologists hiking with me found particularly interesting.
Mt. Field, as viewed from the jobsite.
Rotosonic drillrig setup
Painted Canyon - driving along the freeway, you come over a small rise and much of the gound unexpectedly disappears as seen in this picture
Buffalo 1 - in attempt to get close enough to take a picture, I hiked out a ridge towards the buffalo seen in the bottom right of this picture. On my way there, I looked below me and saw the one in the following picture.
Why I don't eat mushrooms