Treading water: Day 2

A man attempts to walk in deep snow outside the Dacotah Bank in North Dakota. PHOTO: MIKE DOYLE

Tuesday, Dec. 6, update: Tuesday was a social media day for Mike Doyle as a blizzard in central North Dakota caused the continued closure of Interstate 94 and prevented him and his traveling partners from resuming their drive to Standing Rock.

“The front desk said this is really bad!” Doyle told the Times. “It has to be really bad for the interstate to be closed for over 24 hours … they’re used to snow out here.”

Photos taken from the windows of Doyle’s Jamestown hotel showed white-out conditions. On one of his rare outdoor ventures, Doyle helped a Jamestown police officer dig a patrol car out from a snow bank. About 40 tractor-trailers were idling in the parking lot of a nearby Walmart as their operators also waited out the storm.

Doyle’s hotel had become a sort of inter-tribal meeting of its own. In addition to the truckers, he met the mayor of Grafton, North Dakota, who was trying to get to the state capitol in Bismarck for a meeting with other mayors and the governor. Doyle also met a 24-year-old veteran who works for another pipeline company unrelated to Dakota Access. He was in town for a work safety meeting.

Outside the hotel, the temperature peaked at 15 degrees early in the afternoon, then dipped into the single digits. Consistent winds in excess of 30 miles per hour and gusts approaching 60 accounted for windchill temperatures of minus-10 and below. Doyle and his traveling partners were hoping for a break in the weather overnight so that they could complete the final 100-mile leg of their journey on Wednesday morning.

Doyle used the downtime to update his Facebook page with a video of Temple football players swimming in confetti after their conference championship win over Navy, a comic strip of a priest drinking coffee with Jesus, links to GoFundMe campaigns to benefit the Standing Rock water protectors and a news article chronicling a recent oil spill involving a broken pipeline near Belfield, North Dakota, about 160 miles west of Standing Rock. ••

For more on Mike Doyle’s trip to Stand­ing Rock, read the ori­gin­al art­icle here:

http://www.bsmphilly.com/2016/dec/3/treading-water/#.WEha6qIrLCY

Tractor-trailers are shown in the parking lot of a Walmart as their operators wait out the storm. PHOTO: MIKE DOYLE

Mike Doyle helped a Jamestown police officer dig a patrol car out from a snow bank a blizzard in central North Dakota. PHOTO: MIKE DOYLE