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Old 03-10-2011, 08:19 PM
 
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Again, Columbus to Billings along the valley, is very close to Ft Collins, Columbus in weather. Less thunderstorm activity in the summer.

Another big difference, is the lack of traffic that you have there on the Interstate Highway. Here very little. The rush hours in Billings itself, is no worse than the Loveland/Ft Collins traffic in their quieter times. Like Loveland 30 years ago.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
I moved here (Helena) from North Central WV last April. I had never been to Montana before. We have relatives in Estes Park and Longmont CO..

North Central WV suffers from cold, damp, cloudy late falls and winters. Last year we had over 90" of wet, heavy snow. The county to the east picked up 280". A lot of the roads in the mountains were impassable for months. It was a damp, grey, nasty winter.

Now my first winter here. A lot of folks said this was a 'harder' winter in some time. In my opinion it wasn't bad at all. The snow is passable, dry and LIGHT. No problems shoveling whatever you get. I was surprised it was a little more cloudy or grey than what I expected- definately not as clear and blue as Estes Park or Ft. Collins, but it was not nearly as bad as a typical North Central WV winter. No way, not even close.

Yes it is cold- but I had zero problems being active in it. It's not a damp, sink into your bones and stay there cold. If the wind is up- yes it's damned cold, but it's easily warded off with proper clothing.

There is no 'freaking out' about the weather here. Big bonus . Just go out and be happy. Kids played outside even with zero temps. Hoorah!

In my opinion- this years winter in Helena was DELIGHTFUL compared to some of the crap we went through in WV.

Now I just went to Havre and points east on the High-Line over the past couple days- they got WHACKED with snow. Still 3-4 foot pack in places east of Havre. And it was cold..

If I lived in Havre, I may have a wholly different opinion on this matter. However as for Helena- I'm totally digging the seasons here. As a matter of fact, sometimes I wish there was more snow on the ground. I have to go to MacDonald pass to snowshoe and what have you.. Oh well- that's only minutes away!
I appreciate your post much. I lived in Iowa for a Winter and it seemed very similar to your WV Winter, just horrible. 30 -40 below constantly, very damp and bitter. No matter how much clothes I put on it did not help. Plus my car never seemed to want to warm up. I heard of those who put cardboard over the Radiator so the car would warm up, but I never tried it. Wasn't to hang around that long anyway. It really sounds like the Winter there is not that bad. I really don't like a real long Winter though. Like Sept. to June...is that how it is? Here in Ft. Collins it was HOT today. I'm serious. I have not looked up to see what it was but it seemed like mid-70's. Not sure though. It 8:30 PM and still T-shirt weather. Alot of people say that Billings is tolerable. I am currently considering the Helena area, Billings and Great Falls. I want to make sure there is agriculture in the area too.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
Again, Columbus to Billings along the valley, is very close to Ft Collins, Columbus in weather. Less thunderstorm activity in the summer.

Another big difference, is the lack of traffic that you have there on the Interstate Highway. Here very little. The rush hours in Billings itself, is no worse than the Loveland/Ft Collins traffic in their quieter times. Like Loveland 30 years ago.
Sounds real good. I am highly considering the area. Traffic here in Ft. Collins is horrible. This city is getting too big and too congested. Do you know anything about the towns of Hardin and Roundup near Billings? Anyone?
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,856 posts, read 15,511,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countryway View Post
I appreciate your post much. I lived in Iowa for a Winter and it seemed very similar to your WV Winter, just horrible. 30 -40 below constantly, very damp and bitter. No matter how much clothes I put on it did not help. Plus my car never seemed to want to warm up. I heard of those who put cardboard over the Radiator so the car would warm up, but I never tried it. Wasn't to hang around that long anyway. It really sounds like the Winter there is not that bad. I really don't like a real long Winter though. Like Sept. to June...is that how it is? Here in Ft. Collins it was HOT today. I'm serious. I have not looked up to see what it was but it seemed like mid-70's. Not sure though. It 8:30 PM and still T-shirt weather. Alot of people say that Billings is tolerable. I am currently considering the Helena area, Billings and Great Falls. I want to make sure there is agriculture in the area too.
People garden here, but I would say options are limited unless you have a hot house or small greenhouse. We used to have a big garden a number of years ago. Everything from corn, peas, black-eyed peas, butterbeans, tomatos even peanuts. Growing season here is short (and the deer and rabbits are prolific). Too much darned work where I live me thinks..

Last year when I arrived in April it was pretty chilly and rainy and stayed that way until, oh, late June? Didn't bother me- I was used to rain
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:41 PM
 
Location: SW Montana
352 posts, read 1,006,573 times
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While it's true that Bozeman doesn't meet the criteria you desire, there is a small town just to the west about 30 miles that does. Three Forks enjoys relatively warm winter temps, is a bit windy in the spring/fall but not bad, and is surrounded by ranching and farming. There is a small but active school, an average main street for business, a historic old hotel, a few restaurants, and you won't get much done on Sundays. The town is also home to a talc plant and brick business which helps to fund improvements. There is a very active mayor/city council which is headed by a local guy; they have been responsible for constructing a paved walkway out to the Three Forks of the Missouri confluence. There is also a small golf course should you enjoy that, and the best ribs in the known universe lie just down the road at the Willow Creek Saloon and Cafe. There is a small airport which hosts a fantastic vintage aircraft fly-in once a year. The town has easy access to several mountain ranges, there is blue ribbon fishing everywhere you look, and should you need bigger city things, including medical care, Bozeman is down the road 30-40 minutes via I-90.

Three Forks doesn't get a lot of press, but it along with Big Timber and Livingston are places my wife and I are considering for retirement, should we be able to. The climate is relatively mild, it doesn't snow much so the shoveling chores are kept at a minimum. The cost of living is nominal - except for the pervasive MT property taxes. You can choose from older or newer homes to buy and right now, at least, it is really a buyer's market.

Down the road, Whitehall also possesses what you're looking for, but the winters are going to be a bit more harsh.

Remember too that wind isn't necessarily your enemy in the winter. Winds blow warm as well as cold; Livingston and especially Big Timber, MT have a very windy climate, but both enjoy quite a bit warmer temps overall, esp. Big Timber (which if I remember reading correctly, actually edges the Thompson Falls area as warmer in the winter). It chinooks there a lot; the trick is to buy where you have good shelter on the lee side of something and I guess not to be bothered by it, period. Livingston gets all kinds of bad press for it's wind, but I know of places in town that aren't that bad to live, just because of the topography. The summer evenings there are delightful, warm when in Bozeman you're going to be putting on a jacket. And quirks in the climate like that fend off the wanna-bes that are looking for Hawaii everywhere they go. Were it not for the winds in Livingston, I'll about guarantee you it would be three or four times the population it is.

Big Timber is also a beautiful agricultural spot, farming and ranching. The view of the Crazy Mountain range to the north is without par, and watching summer and winter storms roll over them and down onto the plains is truly spectacular.

And strictly speaking for me, I'd rather deal with some wind than the wintertime valley temperature inversions which trap a bunch of smoke, cold, and pollutants next to the ground for weeks on end. There's something to be said for a steady diet of pure water and clean air.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:46 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
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Oldtrader, I have found that to be accurate. I drive that area during Thanksgiving weekend and around Christmas every year and last year around Thanksgiving was the first time I ran into severe weather in that usually reliable mild spot. I personally think Columbus is a nice little town and also like Laurel and Billings. What kind of job are you looking for countryway?
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:26 AM
 
Location: Livingston, Mt
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I am originally from Arkansas and West Tennessee. In 2002, I moved to Helena, Montana. I have lived in Livingston, Montana since 2006. For me, each winter gets more and more difficult. Especially this past winter, it has been constant wind, cloud cover, and snow. One member had mentioned about the Livingston area being windy...yes, so windy that tractor trailers blow off the interstate! I don't mind the cold, but the constant wind gusts are what gets underneath my skin. The lack of sunshine and long winters have got me wanting to move out of state. Even my husband, who is a Montana native, wants to move. However, I will forever love Montana summers. There is simply nothing on this Earth that compares to them. Unfortunately, this only lasts about 2-3 months then it is right back to winter.

Also, with you being from the South, as you know, our culture down there is a bit different. Being a Southerner myself, it was a culture shock moving to Montana. Nobody says "mam" or "sir" here, unless you're in the military, etc. Old habits die hard, so when I say it, people say that they're "not that old". Teaching my stepchildren to say "mam" and "sir" has been an undertaking...

Best,

Last edited by J3Ginger; 03-23-2011 at 03:42 AM..
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:23 PM
CTC
 
Location: Pagosa Springs, CO/North Port,FL
665 posts, read 1,204,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countryway View Post

Sunshine is very important as well, .
I have lived in N. CO (Estes Park) and know Ft Collins pretty well, and have lived in Billings and now Bozeman.

The thing about sunshine in MT vs CO from my experience is that during the winter the sun in CO really makes an impact due to the more Southerly location.

In Estes on a cold day the sun would come out and one could enjoy the day more than say Billings where the sun was a low orb on the horizon during the winter.

This is my first winter in Bozeman and it seems way more overcast than the 2 years we lived in Billings, although much more scenic than Billings. If sunshine in the winter is important, you need to stay on the East side of the Continental Divide

Billings was a good place to live however, and if you are looking for a slower more ag based way of life-Roundup might be a good fit.

Friendly, but not much in ways of amenities-Billings is close however.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,856 posts, read 15,511,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J3Ginger View Post
Also, with you being from the South, as you know, our culture down there is a bit different. Being a Southerner myself, it was a culture shock moving to Montana. Nobody says "mam" or "sir" here, unless you're in the military, etc. Old habits die hard, so when I say it, people say that they're "not that old". Teaching my stepchildren to say "mam" and "sir" has been an undertaking...

Best,
Same here. I am totally not used to children calling adults by their first names. In WV the kids would say at a minimum "Mr. Brian" or "Miss Sandy".

The kids in my son's Boy Scout Troop call the leaders by their first names. That is just so uncomfortable to me.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:29 PM
 
307 posts, read 834,868 times
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J3Ginger...thanks for the familiar insight, that was very helpful and appreciate it very much. Being here in Colorado, especially the Front Range is a very big culture shock in comparison with Southern Missouri etc. I find people here to be very friendly and affable though. So thats nice, but it is a big difference from the Midwest or the South and I can certainly relate to your comments, and appreciate teaching your step-children manners etc. I have a friend in Mississippi who is fed up with people referring to everyone as "you guys" or "guys" etc. My mom being from Missouri is the same way. I agree as well. Thanks for your advice.
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