Gawking at the big rig

drilling rig gas well Ohio

There’s a new view on the road to town. It’s a sight that has been popping up all over Carroll County, Ohio for a couple of years, now. It’s a drilling rig for a gas well and this one is right beside the road. You can see everything up close and personal.

My daughter snapped a few photos when we drove by yesterday.

Take a look.

drilling rig gas well ohio

It’s surreal. I couldn’t help wondering what the cows in the adjoining pasture thought when they saw and heard this new neighbor. Would the folks living across the road even hear the sounds of summer with the racket of drills and pumps and trucks?

These changes are both fascinating and frustrating. I could make a list of the reasons this is beneficial and important and worthwhile. And I could speak from my heart and tell you I worry that it’s detrimental and degrading. Progress is scary, you know.

Many have and will benefit from what you see here. Thousands of dollars — millions, even — have been exchanging hands. There is no doubt some needed it desperately. Some were able to relax and breathe deeply for the first time in years. On the other hand … what happens to the land and the water and the scenery and the people and the traffic?

Rumors run rampant around these parts. There’s talk of a truck stop and a *gasp* Applebee’s and some day … heaven forbid, the Walmarts are coming. Really? Perhaps.

drilling rig gas well ohio

I’m not worried about shopping centers at the moment, though. I’m wondering when someone will say we need a four-lane highway to handle the traffic. I’m wondering if 20 years from now I’ll still pass fields and farms and orchards and vineyards and cattle and horses and Amish buggies. Or will they be gone with the winds of change and the high-dollar bounties paid for what pools below the rich, dark earth?

I don’t know. Does anyone really know? I heard someone say the other day, while I was standing in an unbelievably long line of strangers that stretched out the door of the Subway eatery in town …

Change is comin’ and we can’t stop it now.

I wanted to add … did we even try?

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.


  • comment-avatar
    Mary Poppins April 4, 2012 (10:41 am)

    There was a really interesting article about all of this in Rolling Stone about 2 weeks ago. Ironically enough, it came the same day as a letter from Chesapeake….

  • comment-avatar
    Robyn April 4, 2012 (10:43 am)

    Western North Dakota is going through some major changes due to the Oil Fields. The wages are great, the work is terrible and people are going in droves. There are several area ranchers that have left the wife and kids home to tend the livestock and work a 2 week shift and come home for 2 weeks.

    We keep hearing horror stories about housing. They are many “man camps” set up for the workers. The Wal-Mart in Williston, ND does not stock its shelves anymore as the goods are purchased so fast it is not necessary. There are pallets of goods in the isles of the store and disappear in days.

    I agree with you, Farmgirl, progress? Maybe, but at what cost?

    • comment-avatar
      Farmgirl April 4, 2012 (1:10 pm)

      I’ve heard of those troubles in Williston and housing is scarce around here, too. Traffic has increased, businesses are booming, but the buzzards are starting to circle. Last week’s paper featured a story about the mayor meeting with some guy from Connecticut who wanted to open an adult cabaret. The scumbag was quoted as saying, “There’s money to be made here.” Makes me ill.

  • comment-avatar
    MAC April 4, 2012 (11:48 am)

    Your comments make me wonder what it was like during the Oil Boom days and the “outsiders” moved into Oklahoma and Texas and started drilling for oil wells. Makes me think about what the locals thought then. . .

    • comment-avatar
      Farmgirl April 4, 2012 (1:19 pm)

      I know. And there are benefits, don’t get me wrong. Chesapeake and other energy companies have been pouring money into local programs, parks and recreation and supporting livestock sales at the fair. They frequent local businesses and it’s true sections of road are improved and maintained because of their increased traffic. Those things are wonderful and have helped many. I’ve even joked I wish a (distant) neighbor would get a well so we could finally get our washboard of a county road repaved. But I can’t help but feel these generous donations and amazing lease payments are nothing more than hush money … platitudes and public relations ploys. They make people feel good, build loyalty, and restrict questions and criticisms. I’m just not convinced either way: is it good or bad? And maybe that’s why it’s so disconcerting.

  • comment-avatar
    Sal April 4, 2012 (1:56 pm)

    The good and the bad follow the money, unfortunately.

  • comment-avatar
    The Lorax April 4, 2012 (4:27 pm)

    The same thing happened in my neighborhood. After the “progress” and everyone left, the truffala trees were gone, the barbaloots vanished for lack of food, and the fish swam upstream for cleaner waters. Progress happens, but where are we progressing to?