Author Topic: Northern Route oil and gas activity  (Read 3160 times)

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Offline jcarlson

Northern Route oil and gas activity
« on: March 14, 2013, 12:57:14 pm »

I am intending to ride west to east along the Adventure Cycling norther route this summer.  I have heard that one should avoid the northern route through the central US because of the high congestion and high costs associated with the oil and gas boom in Montana and North Dakota especially.  Any advice here will be much appreciated.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Northern Route oil and gas activity
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 01:09:07 pm »
ACA recently redid the route to avoid the gas activity.  However, it is mainly along the interstate (blah!).  Be sure you have the most current map and you will be fine.

Offline Itinerant Harper

Re: Northern Route oil and gas activity
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 01:21:26 pm »
Even with the reroute you are still impacted by the shale gas bubble.  The new route to Dickinson is mostly parallel to I-94 and the traffic isn't bad. But once in Dickinson the bubble is definitely being felt. By the time I arrived there I'd been in need of a rest day for quite some time and figured in a decent sized town I'd get a hotel room. Not a single room was available in all of the recommend joints on the ACA maps. Doing an increasingly expanding Google Maps search I did find places with one or two available rooms but always in the US$200 range - outside of my budget.  I ended up camping in this place that had RV's parked almost on top of each other but with three little "cabins" and three little plots of land for camping. Super nice people there - as I arrived there was the biggest storm I'd ever seen with the clouds swirled like a tornado, torrential rain and crazy wind.  They let me stay in one of these cabins without the cash deposit as I only had enough on hand for the normal fee. 

Anyway the long and short of it is that all the hotel/motel rooms and all those people in RVs were staying in Dickinson and commuting up to Williston to work the shale fields. Which is crazy but it must be absolutely insane up there.  So if I was doing it again I'd try to arrange my travel so that I passed through Dickinson. Being a larger town you can definitely resupply and such there - several good health food stores are there - but very busy and tough to stay there. I ended up taking my rest day in Bismarck where hotels were pretty much what you'd expect for North Dakota. Though even at that hotel, there were people staying there long term who were working in the fields.

The route the ACA routed through all of this was fine though and there wasn't traffic issues.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Northern Route oil and gas activity
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2013, 01:40:58 pm »
Yes, Dickinson did seem a bit congested. But I just passed through there. I had no trouble camping in Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Hebron. There were only 47 miles of interstate--the rest on sleepy little backroads.