Another Installment of the Tourist Guide to the Bakken

I’m running out of blog titles for my serialized Tourist Guide to the Bakken Oil Patch, but here is the next installment (IV. Route 3: Tioga to Williston). 

With any luck, I’ll be taking a visitor out to the Bakken next week and doing the Minot to Williston run. This will be another chance to ground truth the Tourist Guide. I’ve also been working to understand some small part of the literature on the tourist’s gaze and the relationship between tourism and other forms of mobility in contemporary culture. I’m not sure that any of this will impact the nuts and bolts of the guide, but it will certainly help me articulate how tourism and tourist guides create a space for the critique of contemporary culture.   

As per usual, I’m posting this because I think it will entertain people, but I have an ulterior motive; I also want some feedback before this manuscript gets its final revision and is sent off to the press for review.

I have a couple specific issues that I’m messing with. First, I’m trying to figure out whether to include small character sketches of some of the people we’ve met out in the patch. We have these great interviews with folks and the people we’ve met add to the character of the patch, but character sketches are not strictly part of the tourist guide genre. Next, I have this overwhelming desire to include a series of hand-drawn maps of the Bakken. And I suspect that I can convince Kostis Kourelis, Richard Rothaus, and Bret Weber to do it, but I’d like to get two more people involved so each route comes with its own map. Anyone interested in preparing a hand-drawn map for my book? The only criteria is that you’ve spent some time in the Bakken. 

I also continue to be interested in the readerly experience with Medium. I like the aesthetics of the site and I find it very readable, but I wonder whether everyone sees it the same way? I also have been thinking about it as a venue for some aspect of the Digital Press. 

I. Introduction

I.1. A Brief Industrial History of the Bakken Counties
I.2. Practical Notes on Travel, Roads, and Weather in the Bakken
I.3. Technical Notes and Key Terms about the Bakken
I.4. Controversies and Concerns
I.5. The North Dakota Man Camp Project
I.6. Further Reading

II. Route 1: Minot to Ross
II1. Route 1a: Ross to White Earth

III. Route 2: Ross to Tioga

IV: Route 3: Tioga to Williston
IV.1. Route 3a: Wheelock, Nession Flats, East Williston
IV.2. Route 3b: Wildrose

V: Route 4: Williston to Watford City

VI: Route 5: Williston to Sidney, MT

VII: Route 6: Watford City to New Town

VIII. Conclusions: Industrial Tourism and Some Theoretical Reflections

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