I started a new job on Monday of this week. I agreed to go work in the oil field in New Town, North Dakota, and stay at the Native American casino, called Four Bears.
In the mid 1940s the United States Government was trying to determine the best location to dam the Missouri River to create a reservoir. The area that was decided upon, was an area where the Native American tribes the Hidasta and the Mandan, had approximately eight villages. These Native American villages were to be flooded in approximately 1950 when the dam was completed.
The Native Americans were relocated to an entirely new town, called New Town. The population of New Town stayed at approximately 1,700 people from 1950 up until the oil boom that began in 2007. Then, the population doubled, and tripled.
I heard about it, and then I saw it for myself when I got here, the Native Americans here do have some resentment towards white people. You could say that they look upon the white people here, as a nuisance.
My experiences so far this week have been good and bad. The reservoir, called Lake Sakakawea is very beautiful. From a short distance away, it looks like the dark blue water washes right up onto green grass, green prairie, and green farm fields.
I had read on the internet many very bad reviews and complaints about the Four Bears Casino. When I arrived at the casino, I agree with all the reviews that said it is very hard to find and identify the entrance to the hotel. I had to drive around and around for at least five minutes looking for the hotel entrance, and the parking lot made no sense, it was no where near the entrance.
When I got to my room, it was quite nice. It had been recently painted, the carpet was new, and all the furniture was nice and new. The hotel has a buffet dining room, a cafe, and a formal dining restaurant.
I had had such a bad day on Monday, I fell asleep face down on top of the bed with my clothes and boots on, at 5:00 p.m. When I got cleaned up and walked to the hotel buffet restaurant, it was closed, it closes at 9:00 p.m., and I was very angry. I went back to my hotel room to study the oil field site maps, work forms, and other things until 11:00 p.m. When I walked down to the café, it was closed, it closes at 11:00 p.m., and I was very angry. What kind of a casino is this?
If you read my previous blog post about starting work for a new company, I was at work at 3:45 a.m. Monday morning. I had a horrible day, and I had not had anything to eat all day. Because there was no way to get anything to eat at the hotel casino, I went out and got in my truck and I had to drive across the bridge over Lake Sakakawea to get into New Town. There was not one restaurant, store, or gas station open, nothing. I wanted to pack my things and drive back to Dickinson, New Town sucked so bad.
I was looking forward to finally getting something to eat on Tuesday night. I made sure to be at the hotel buffet by 7:00 p.m. I asked how much for the buffet. They said $23. I couldn’t believe it. I went ahead and paid it because there is almost no where else to eat in New Town. All the food looked very good at the hotel buffet. I am on a diet, so I ate a salad, some meat loaf, and some mashed potatoes, that was it. It took me about eight minutes to eat.
On Wednesday night, I walked down to the hotel buffet and they wanted $30. I told them to forget it. I walked down to the hotel fine dining restaurant, and I looked at the menu. All of the menu items were $50 to $70. The appetizers were $23. I told them to forget it.
I had to drive back across the bridge to the other side of town to eat at Teddy’s Hotel restaurant. Man, the company that I work for has me staying at the Four Bears Casino, and I don’t know why. I leave the hotel to go to work at 5:30 a.m., and when I get back from working in the oil field all day, and take a shower, I can’t even eat here!
Today, Thursday, I found out that the Four Bears hotel does not have any laundry facilities. Then, I found out that the whole town of New Town does not have any laundry facilities.
When I worked in the oil field in southwest Texas in 2012, it was just like this. I have been to every gas station and store in New Town, and I could not find one clip board anywhere. I couldn’t find any nail clippers either.
If I would not have had a police radar detector, I would have gotten a speeding ticket every time I drove somewhere. The speed limit constantly changes from 40 mph to 25 mph, back and forth, and I have no idea how fast I am supposed to be driving. Every time I drive somewhere, the police have someone pulled over.
New Town is a very stressful and unpleasant town. I am getting the impression that none of the oil field workers want to be here. If you watch some of the movies about what it was like being in the military stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan, that is what it is like here in New Town. The local people don’t want us here, and you can’t do normal things like you did back home.
There is no McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Arby’s, Taco Bell, Taco Johns, Subway, Dominoes, Kentucky Fried Chicken, or Pizza Hut. You can’t buy things like a clip board or nail clippers.