Get ready North Central Montana
I saw a fascinating picture this morning on the internet and NO, it wasn't one of those crazy e-mails I receive from Bob Longcake. This was an image taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station using a low-light camera that shows lights brighter than they would appear. Lights from cities along the Hi-Line can be seen, as well as Fort Peck Lake reflections. You can see lights from Minneapolis, Williston, North Dakota, and Glasgow and Havre, Montana. The lights out of Williston are incredible The lights showing up from Williston are unbelievable and it's because of the huge oil boom occurring right now in western North Dakota and eastern Montana in a place called "the Williston Basin". They say that jobs start at $25 an hour with McDonalds paying $15 these days. The first question they ask is if you have a place to live and if you answer "yes", you've got a job. Many of the men are staying in "man camps", small modular trailers basically, with rooms plus showers and 3 meals-that charge $100 a day. Man, that comes to $3,000 a month for what is in essence a shared dorm room. Williston's mayor recently spoke at a conference in Billings and said that on any given day, there are probably 1500 to 2500 jobs available. The farmers and ranchers that are leasing their land to the oil companies are receiving monthly dividend checks with 3, 4, and 5 zeros! Heck, if it wasn't for my long term contract doing the afternoon show here at the radio station, I would probably be out there myself...at least for a day or two...before I got tired of it and limped my way back to the radio station with my oil hat in my hand.Sometimes I like to say, "I'm not talkin', I'm rockin'", but these guys are really "rockin' the Bakken". I think you may be able to check out this image if you google the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. Fasten your seat belts northern Montana!