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Old 12-21-2010, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
4,919 posts, read 7,688,856 times
Reputation: 3757

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I'm a recent transplant from West Virginia. I voluntarily transferred to an office here all on my dime. We have family in Colorado and I could have chosen a transfer to the Denver office or Helena MT.

I grew up for a while inside the Beltway in Wash DC, and got the hell out as soon as I could when my wife and I married, so Denver was not appealing, even though it is closer to family. 12 hours in a car to see them is just fine, and it beats 3 days in a car driving from WV.

Since we have been married 20 years, moving all of our crap from one country home to another would've been a nightmare. I forked out the dough for a professional mover and quite frankly it was absolutely, positively worth every damn penny. With two kids, 2 dogs, and a house full of stuff it would have been a nightmare to move in 2 U-Hauls. $10,000 was the bill.

Housing is more expensive here, so are taxes, food, restaurants etc. We are pretty frugal so we're okay with that.

People (at least towards us) are very friendly and I've made some friends since being here. We're pretty outward people ourselves so maybe that makes it easier. We're involved in Scouting and other activities, so you tend to meet with similarly minded folks. I'm, for the most part, a 'ruralite' so take that for whatever it's worth.

The weather in MT has thusfar thrown me no curveballs. If you look at average snowfall, temps and sunny/cloudy days from Elkins WV and Helena MT you'll see Elkins WV gets more snow, many less sunny days but a tad warmer temps. As far as I'm concerned I'll trade colder but sunnier temps anyday of the week.

The things I miss the most so far? Oak hardwood in the woodstove, my old neighbors and hog butchering weekends, canning parties, hunting with my friends in Hampshire County WV and drinking moonshine from the jar with friends in the outbuilding.

Things I like here the most- the great climate, terrain and outdoor activities, the chance to meet new friends and hunting partners and of course, being that much closer to family without having to sacrifice my sanity by living in a megalopolis or 'burb.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing, which really helps to put things in perspective. I work with someone who use to live in Great Falls and they still vacation in MT every summer. They would love to move back to Helena, but want to be close to their children. I have yet to speak to anyone who has lived in MT and didn't love it, but I know everyone's experience is different.
Thanks again for responding!
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,219 posts, read 2,054,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post

The things I miss the most so far? Oak hardwood in the woodstove, my old neighbors and hog butchering weekends, canning parties, hunting with my friends in Hampshire County WV and drinking moonshine from the jar with friends in the outbuilding.

Hope that helps.
Try some larch.. good stuff, and burns hot...

I'm still pulling out beetle kill outside Helena, I figure if I can do some work, get some heat and help with the fire season a bit it's a win-win.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
4,919 posts, read 7,688,856 times
Reputation: 3757
No woodstove in the current house. I may put one in the upstairs area at some point, but for now I'm gonna run a 55K Btu pellet stove in the basement and hope for the best..

But I'll keep an an eye out for larch. Does it stockpile well, or does it get punky like elm after a few years?
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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I was wondering what kind of wood they burn if you don't have oak or hickory. What other type of wood do you all burn in your wood stoves?
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:21 PM
 
Location: State of General Disarray
837 posts, read 748,574 times
Reputation: 1340
We moved to Missoula five years ago and on the whole have been pleased with living here. It is generally assumed in Missoula that everyone is from somewhere else; "How long have you been in Missoula?" is a standard conversation starter. So no animosity towards newcomers here, although there does seem to be a lot of general animosity in Montana toward Missoula, predicated upon the myth that our community is a Gomorrah of pot-smoking, free-loving, tree-hugging godless liberals.

Best things about living here: Hiking opportunities and beautiful scenery. Sense of community -- Saturday farmers' markets, free concerts in the park. Tons of volunteer opportunities and nonprofits that actually tend to do something for the good of the populace (although we do have a fair amount that are full of hot air, too). Small, interesting oddities of everyday life, like the guy who rides a Unicycle down my street every day in the summer.

Worst things: Incompetent local government; poor street design which turns our thoroughfares into parking lots for most of the afternoon (get a Unicyle! You'll pass all those poor sods); low wages and relatively high cost of living; long, cold, gray winters; lots of eateries but few decent restaurants.
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:24 PM
 
Location: State of General Disarray
837 posts, read 748,574 times
Reputation: 1340
Oh, and you can go anywhere, anytime, in Montana in jeans and a t-shirt and not feel under-dressed. That never gets old!
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:22 PM
 
43 posts, read 50,390 times
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Thanks again for the information and the honesty. I am gathering information about several areas and then hope a job comes through. I really like the areas around Missoula as I don't want to live in a large town, but I don't want to live in the boonies either. I am a jeans kind of girl, so Montana sounds like the perfect place for me.
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Montana
446 posts, read 570,099 times
Reputation: 235
Just remember, the cost of living is high and wages are poor. Property taxes are horrid. For being retired blue collar workers hubby and I have a really tight budget. I love the people, being close with my daughter and grandkids, but I miss the easier financial side of Idaho living.
We went out for dinner last night and go dressed up in our nice jeans and sweaters!!
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:46 PM
 
43 posts, read 50,390 times
Reputation: 20
I won't come without a decent income, as I don't want poverty with a view. I assume you are talking about Missoula, so I am looking at small towns. I think Missoula, Bozeman, Whitefish/Kalispell, and Billings are the most expensive cities. Love dressing up in sweaters and jeans though. Thanks again for your response.
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