From Bismarck we followed the Missouri River north and west along ND 1804 – which roughly follows the route that the Lewis & Clark Discovery Corps Expedition charted in 1804. As you enter Parshall and continue on to Williston the landscape changes radically as oil rigs and oil wells abound accented by numerous gas flares. This latest boom began in the early 2000s with the discovery of an estimated four million barrels within the Bakken formation. Hydraulic Fracturing spurred production on with almost 500,000 barrels a day coming out of these fields at the peak of the boom.
We camped at Lake Sakakawea (178 mile long man made lake) near Epping. It is a bit surreal to camp along the lake and see the lake encircled by gas flares once the sun sets. Mixed feelings about the trade offs between the signifcant economic benefit that North Dakota has experienced and the blighted landscape created by this massive oil field. 0032