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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 11-11-2014, 10:09 PM
 
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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.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Who Cares, USA
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The Western quarter of Montana is more similar to the Western half of Colorado than anything, but I guess you could say it looks and feels more in line with WA and OR (not so much CA though) than it does with anywhere in the Midwest.

The rest of Montana (ie. most of the state) is the high Great Plains. And I mean the high, treeless, windswept, brown, barren plains... not the rolling, green plains you see in the Western part of the Midwest. It's only "Midwestern" in the same kind of way the Western halves of the Great Plains states (ND, SD, NE, KS) are. Lots of badlands, and very few people live in that part of Montana. Most of the population is in the mountainous West.

Culturally, I would say it shares much more in common with the Northwest, but really Montana is just part of the Intermountain West subregion, along with Wyoming, Southern Idaho, Northern Nevada, Northern Utah, and Western Colorado.
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobloblawslawblog View Post
It's only "Midwestern" in the same kind of way the Western halves of the Great Plains states (ND, SD, NE, KS) are.
Nailed it!

And I personally don't feel much affinity to the western plains states, at least in terms of "Midwestern culture."
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobloblawslawblog View Post
Lots of badlands, and very few people live in that part of Montana. Most of the population is in the mountainous West.
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.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
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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?
This is a tough one. Geography? Definitely West Coast. Climate? Summer? West Coast. Winter? Great Plains/Upper Midwest. Culture? Id say its a mix of the two.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
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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.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
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I always looked at Montana in the mold of an Interior Western state. Like Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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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.
Oh come on...I'm sure you're exaggerating for effect. There's no way you could possibly be unable to distinguish a Mainer from a Yooper from a Seattleite (from a Bostonian from a Clevelander and etc etc).
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:36 AM
 
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I'm not sure I could tell a Seattleite from a Clevelander.

The others I could tell easily enough, though not every Mainer has a Down East accent. Listening to Stephen King talk, if I didn't know he had a home up near Kee-zah and was a lifelong Mainer, I'm not sure I would guess he was Maine-born and bred.
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Old 11-12-2014, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheese plate View Post
Oh come on...I'm sure you're exaggerating for effect. There's no way you could possibly be unable to distinguish a Mainer from a Yooper from a Seattleite (from a Bostonian from a Clevelander and etc etc).
I didn't say I couldn't distinguish Mainers and Bostonians. Everything from maybe Upstate New York on west through the northern states sounds pretty similar to me. My mom's best friend is from Buffalo and to my ears, she could just as easily be from anywhere in the Midwest or even Montana.
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