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Old 06-23-2009, 06:52 PM
 
Location: San Diego
31 posts, read 127,353 times
Reputation: 23

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Hey everyone,

I was just accepted to University of Montana for grad. school (as well as a few others) and am now trying to figure out where I should attend. As part of this little process of mine I'm trying to speak with people who actually live in the towns where my schools are located. I have been to Missoula before (for one whole day) but it was in the middle of summer and while I LOVED it, I'm not great at winters. I was born in California but I've lived for a number of years in both Colorado and Utah so I've done the snow and cold and rural, but everyone I've talked to says Montana takes the cake, so to speak, when it comes to harsh winters. How bad are we talking about here? Way worse than northern Utah and Colorado or pretty similar?

Also, as I said earlier I have been to Missoula before but just very, very briefly and I did get a good vibe from it, but what's the town like year-round? It is an university town so I'm assuming it's got all the things that come associated with university towns, a more liberal attitude, more 'cultural' outlets, perhaps trendier stores/restaurants. Am I correct in these assumptions? I'd just really like to hear someone from Missoula, or someone living there currently talk about it a little. I have the hardest time getting a reading about a place just by reading tourist info. or even city website stats. I prefer the human element! Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:21 PM
 
24 posts, read 55,940 times
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If you are in a valley in Montana, you're pretty safe as far as snow and cold temps go, except for maybe a few weeks in the winter. I haven't ever lived in Missoula during the winter (I'm in Bozeman) but generally the weather there is a few degrees warmer. I know they have inversion pretty bad, so the smog from industry/cars/etc gets nasty at times, but it is NOT a freezing cold blizzard all winter long. Actually I laugh at people in Bozeman who think winters here are so terrible; I was raised in upstate NY, and sometimes we had to climb out our upstairs window to shovel out the snow away from the front door. I think this past year in Bozeman we were having something like 50/60 degree days in February. I'm sure in the mountains it is a lot worse, but for the most part in the valleys from what I have seen living here for the past 10 years, Montana has fairly wimpy winters. Actually rather disappointing for a winter and snow lover like myself. As for the town itself, it's laid back, politically/socially liberal, and has a funky bar/nightlife scene and tons of outdoor stuff to do in the summer. Plus you're halfway between yellowstone and glacier NP's so you have either option there. I'd totally go for it if I were you. I'd say my only caveat would be the inversion/pollution thing in the winter. Good luck w/ your decision!
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:55 PM
 
1,645 posts, read 4,013,566 times
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I lived in Missoula for a few years (about 4 years ago)...I loved the place for the most part and the only nagatives I can recall is the horrible pollution that gets trapped in the valley...makes you feel like your eyeballs are melting out of your skull. The winters didnt bother me very much, and the only thing you really have to worry about is freezing fog when driving through town at night....Like emmak mentioned it can get cloudy for weeks due to the inversion that often occurs. The city of Missoula itself is very liberal...although the county is much more conservative..... Missoula is no doubt the cultural hub of Montana.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Missoula,MT
66 posts, read 210,225 times
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Been in misoula for 2 years now , winters here are nothing... sure it gets cold, but not that bad i've lived in other parts of the state where the winters get much colder and nastier.. actualy it seems the further east you go the more winter weather you get.
We hit a week or so of realy cold weather in the winter, for the most its not that bad.. but then again we are use to the winters here in montana.. 30 degrees out and no wind, we are out in a tshirt.
As far as snow fall, cant say there is a lot here, we got several snow storms this winter, but it realy didnt add up to much.. the main problem is watching out for the other yahoo's on the road,
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:30 PM
 
662 posts, read 940,523 times
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All of the above comments are accurate (although calling it "the" cultural hub of Montana may be a stretch). Missoula is a very nice place to live. When I got out of law school there, just about everyone in my class wanted to stay. Now I live in Billings, a much larger town, and wouldn't go back to Missoula (or elsewhere in Montana, for that matter)--too small (although many consider that one of its virtues) for my taste. The cultural and political atmosphere (though the "real" atmosphere is a problem sometimes) is open and accepting. Right wingers call it "The Peoples' Republic of Missoula". Good medical care, since many doctors who could work in larger places love the outdoor opportunities nearby do move there. If I had to go elsewhere in Montana, Missoula would probably be the choice.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Big Sky, MT
11 posts, read 43,111 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sky1949 View Post
Missoula is a very nice place to live. When I got out of law school there
How much demand is there for lawyers in Missoula? The place is really small and just doesn't seem like it would support a lot of legal jobs outside of the UM and the nonprofit groups.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:24 AM
 
369 posts, read 1,302,593 times
Reputation: 266
Sounds like Missoula wil be a good fit for you. Those of us who are not liberal-commie-pinko-swine have a bit of problem with the 'attitude' here in Missoula, mostly fostered by transplants from CA, WA, OR, VT and other liberal bastions who delight in changing Montana to their way of feeling, (certainly not thinking). And they control the local government, the legislature and have elected both US Senators who espouse that liberal persuasion.

I had to chuckle about the comment regarding the 'horrible pollution' in the Missoula Valley. Environmental whackos have succeeded in closing most every plant capable of producing smoke or steam vapor; but because of the structure of the valley we are prone to some infrequent temperature inversions. Yes, Smurfit Stone is running at about 1/3 capacity and the LP plant is still chugging away spewing that aweful water vapor into the atmosphere. Couple of things you can work on, don't you suppose?!
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:47 AM
 
1,645 posts, read 4,013,566 times
Reputation: 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzfan View Post
Sounds like Missoula wil be a good fit for you. Those of us who are not liberal-commie-pinko-swine have a bit of problem with the 'attitude' here in Missoula, mostly fostered by transplants from CA, WA, OR, VT and other liberal bastions who delight in changing Montana to their way of feeling, (certainly not thinking). And they control the local government, the legislature and have elected both US Senators who espouse that liberal persuasion.

I had to chuckle about the comment regarding the 'horrible pollution' in the Missoula Valley. Environmental whackos have succeeded in closing most every plant capable of producing smoke or steam vapor; but because of the structure of the valley we are prone to some infrequent temperature inversions. Yes, Smurfit Stone is running at about 1/3 capacity and the LP plant is still chugging away spewing that aweful water vapor into the atmosphere. Couple of things you can work on, don't you suppose?!
Seriously...Missoula just recently recieved an "F" in air quality from the American Lung Association...
Missoulian: Air pollution: F grade puts local control in peril (http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2009/05/06/news/mtregional/news06.txt - broken link)
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:59 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,905,446 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interpol76 View Post
Missoula is no doubt the cultural hub of Montana.
You are so right There are two main cultures in Missoula. One has been named sparechangious panhandelotis and the other one is studentious liberalales.

The Missoula culture is based on drug use, university liberalism and bead stringing ! I can't stand the place and when I'm on the west side I do all my business in Kalispell. Missoula is the laughing stock for the rest of Montana.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:19 PM
 
1,645 posts, read 4,013,566 times
Reputation: 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickers View Post
You are so right There are two main cultures in Missoula. One has been named sparechangious panhandelotis and the other one is studentious liberalales.

The Missoula culture is based on drug use, university liberalism and bead stringing ! I can't stand the place and when I'm on the west side I do all my business in Kalispell. Missoula is the laughing stock for the rest of Montana.
No doubt Missoula has a liberal pocket, university/well educated people tend to be liberal. Seems like once you cross Russell Street in Missoula people tend to become much more conservative. And, if conservatism is your thing you dont have to venture far out of Missoula county to find some nuttty conservatives (Arynans, white nationalists, etc...)
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