Living east of Pawhuska, I had the unique opportunity to experience first-hand the various stages of laying a pipeline. The process involved massive mounds of dirt and an unbelievable amount of bull dozers, cranes and other assorted equipment. Workers in this photo are putting the finishing touches on this stretch of pipeline, restoring the land as close as possible to its natural site.

These workers are part of the Enbridge project. According to Utility Supervisor Pete Martin, another crew seeded the property and spread the bales of straw that will germinate and restore the land. Martin said, "Dozers came in and unwound dozens of 1,800-pound bales of straw."

Although seasoned pipeliners, each worker was required to take additional training Enbridge provided in its home base in Independence, Kan. Martin explained that the workers trained at the Pawhuska Business Development Center were also required to participate in this additional training. He noted, "At one time, U.S. Pipeline had 1,000 employees on the Osage County project."

While not Osage, these workers were able to benefit from the Osage Nation’s pipeline project. Martin said once the land has been restored, they will move on to their next project.

As they were gathering for the photo, they excitedly brought my attention to a Bob Cat mix that was crossing the prairie. Since this former city girl had no clue what they were talking about, Martin explained the cat was a mixture of domestic and wild cat.