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View Poll Results: Montana is
more like the West Coast 18 37.50%
more like the Midwest 30 62.50%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-12-2014, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Who Cares, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SK115 View Post
And the accents there are similar to the Midwest. Although to my Texan ears, everything from Upstate New York through the Pacific NW sound similar.
That's funny. I'm a 50 year old native Texan who now lives in the PNW (Washington), and I really don't hear any similarities at all between the accents of Upstate NY and here. Never did. Most native PNW people speak with an unidentifiable, neutral accent. The only real discernable difference being in the way they pronounce one word (bag), which sounds like "beg". Other than that, no different than any other Western U.S. neutral-American accent.
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Who Cares, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
Actually I would say it's about 50-50. Billings is in the east and while Great Falls is technically western Montana I've always seen is as the western edge of eastern Montana, in the same way Bend is usually considered eastern Oregon.
50-50? Really? I'll give you Billings, but just look at this map...



People in this part of the country refer to central and Eastern Montana as "the big nothing", because really that's all it is. No trees, no mountains, very little farming, and most importantly.... very few people.

The state's population is clearly concentrated in the Western part of the state, which if you've been there (I have. Many times), you'd know without a doubt is very clearly NOT like the Midwest. Why the Midwest is winning this poll is very strange, but then again this is C-D. Lots of people on this site are geographically challenged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
I always looked at Montana in the mold of an Interior Western state. Like Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.
^^Truth. Listen to this guy.
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SK115 View Post
My mom was born and raised in Great Falls, and I always call it the Midwest.
Uh, no.

Nothing in Montana looks or feels Midwestern. Absolutely nothing. It looks like a Western state. Midwestern states are lush and forested and/or covered in verdant, rolling farmland. Most of Montana (even in the valleys between mountains) is windswept and barren. Sagebrush grows out there...even in the eastern part of the state! You don't see that in the Midwest.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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its more like the mountain west.
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
Do you think Montana has more in common with Oregon, Washington and California or with the Midwest? In terms of geography, climate and culture?

I think of it as being where Cascadia and the Intermountain region meets the upper Midwest. Missoula is Cascadian, Bozeman and Butte are Intermountain, and Great Falls and Billings have a similar vibe to the western Dakotas.
Nothing about Montana feels Midwestern in terms of Geography, Climate, and Historical culture. In that sense it is definitely more west coast. Technically western Montana is part of the greater Pacific Northwest.

Culturally it feels distinctly inter mountain west sharing a lot in common with places like Spokane, Bend, Salt Lake city, and Boise.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SK115 View Post
My mom was born and raised in Great Falls, and I always call it the Midwest. It makes her really mad, but it just reminds me of it. There is even a thread on one of these boards where it is called the "Westernmost Rust Belt City." It isn't in the mountains, but located in the plains with maybe some hills, but mostly flat terrain. The terrain is more Great Plains than anything else, at the foot of the rockies (much like Denver). It has kind of an economically depressed rust belt feel, I suppose. Unlike other cities in Montana that are currently growing (Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, Helena, etc), Great Falls has retained its population of 60,000 since my mother's childhood (which is better than the shrinking cities of the rust belt).

However, I didn't feel like I was in the Midwest when we drove to Helena, I suppose it had a more "Montana" type of feel. Montana, much like Texas, cannot be thrown into one region. My father was born and raised in Los Angeles and that side of the family lived in Palm Springs/Orange County. I visited both Montana and Southern California most summers, and never felt that Montana was like the West Coast. It's too far inland. I don't even think it is that similar to the Pacific Northwest (at least Great Falls definitely isn't).

And the accents there are similar to the Midwest. Although to my Texan ears, everything from Upstate New York through the Pacific NW sound similar.
I've known people from Montana who have that so-called "Minnesota" type accent too.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
Uh, no.

Nothing in Montana looks or feels Midwestern. Absolutely nothing. It looks like a Western state. Midwestern states are lush and forested and/or covered in verdant, rolling farmland. Most of Montana (even in the valleys between mountains) is windswept and barren. Sagebrush grows out there...even in the eastern part of the state! You don't see that in the Midwest.
How is Great Falls or Billings dramatically different from somewhere like Bismarck, Rapid City or North Platte though? Great Falls and Billings definitely have more in common with those cities than they do with somewhere like Carson City or Grand Junction. In fact the prairies of central and eastern Montana look green much of the year, unlike say northern Nevada or eastern Oregon. This is because their dry season is in the winter instead of the summer so they don't dry out during the summer. The evapirotranspiration rate in Montana is low despite the relatively low precipitation so I would argue that Montana is more humid continental than semi-arid.

The prairies of eastern Montana are very similar to the extreme western part of the Midwest. There actually are forests there too, along the rivers and in the hills and island mountain ranges scattered across the prairie. These riparian forests have many of the same species you find in the eastern US believe it or not.
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:49 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobloblawslawblog View Post
50-50? Really? I'll give you Billings, but just look at this map...



People in this part of the country refer to central and Eastern Montana as "the big nothing", because really that's all it is. No trees, no mountains, very little farming, and most importantly.... very few people.

The state's population is clearly concentrated in the Western part of the state, which if you've been there (I have. Many times), you'd know without a doubt is very clearly NOT like the Midwest. Why the Midwest is winning this poll is very strange, but then again this is C-D. Lots of people on this site are geographically challenged.



^^Truth. Listen to this guy.
Eastern Montana is oil, cattle and wheat. Just like virtually all of the rest of the northern great plains. I kind of feel like once you are out of the corn belt you are pretty much out of the "midwest".
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie gein View Post
Eastern Montana is oil, cattle and wheat. Just like virtually all of the rest of the northern great plains. I kind of feel like once you are out of the corn belt you are pretty much out of the "midwest".
I think it's just a different kind of Midwest, or a "transition zone" if you will between the arid inland West and the green Midwest.
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Who Cares, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
I think it's just a different kind of Midwest, or a "transition zone" if you will between the arid inland West and the green Midwest.
No, it's not any kind of Midwest. Montana is 100% an interior Western state. It is officially designated as such. I have made the drive down I-90 and I-94 from WA to Minnesota more than a few times, and believe me, any kind of "transition" that occurs takes place in it's neighbor state to the East - North Dakota. And the Western half of ND is pretty arid, so I don't see how the transition would begin even further West.

Anybody can wish Montana to be a part of any region they choose because they heard someone speak with a Midwestern accent there... but the simple FACT remains that it is not now, nor has it ever been Midwestern. If we're basing this on accents and traces of Midwestern culture, you can find much more "Midwesternisms" in Phoenix, but nobody considers Arizona more Midwestern than Southwestern.
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