A late start makes for a late day. We did stop a lot, too! Along the road from Stanley to Williston, we saw plenty of oil rigs… and the oil trucks that work at them. I stopped to use the bathroom at what I later realized was a “man camp,” a term the locals coined for out of town oil workers’ temporary living situation. The general consensus towards all the out of towners was a contemptuous regard for the overwhelming number of new neighbors, but every North Dakotan agrees that the oil boom has helped the state stay out of recession.
The highlight of the day was running into fellow bike tourers, Bruce and Dana, a retired couple from Olympia, Washington. They rode the southern tier last winter, and are making their way east on the northern tier this summer. It was refreshing as well as inspiring to finally meet other riders, I hope they are not the last we encounter on our journey.
Once arriving in Williston, we hit up the Chinese Buffet. Britt and I agreed before embarking on our journey that we should attempt to eat at every Chinese Buffet we encounter. Finishing up our dinner, I called the city parks and recreation department to find out what city park we could camp at. However, the city outlawed overnight camping in the parks as a result of a “tent city” of oil workers last year. Not to worry, though, the woman at the parks and rec gave me the number to an organization that puts up cyclists with people who will allow them to pitch a tent in their yards. We got hooked up with Craig and Dawn. Craig is also a bike enthusiast, and Dawn is a warm lady with a hearty laugh. They let us shower and offered us food. A great way to end a very long day!