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Old 03-29-2018, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Fort Benton, MT
903 posts, read 960,816 times
Reputation: 2681

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Quote:
Originally Posted by puff5655 View Post
ericsvibe and wyonewk, thanks for the helpful suggestions... I know everything is dependent on jobs. But we'd like to know our options, get things narrowed down, and visit some areas to find out if they appeal to us. Then we can get in touch with school districts and keep our eyes peeled for openings. We both have a lot of experience (10+ years), varying experiences and solid references.

Having the ability to drive to explore so many National Parks and forests, so close, really appeals to me.

Buffalo WY and Yaak country both look like they get a bit of snow and not too much rain.

Both those areas.. any idea how the kids get along? I've found that in many rural areas, kids complain there is nothing to do, and there are a lot of drug/drinking/depression issues with teens. In other rural areas, parents teach kids to hunt, fish, trap, bike, hike, snowmobile, etc. and kids are immersed enough in the outdoors that they are happy and healthy. What's the deal with WY and MT?

Again, this is very dependent on the area. In some of the small towns, the smart kids go off to college, and the ones that are left just go into an endless cycle of underemployment, or low paying jobs, do lots of stupid stuff, and have a terrible existence. In other areas, there are multiple classes all living together, and the only people that are bad off are the drug addicts. The Helena area is like that, there is lots for the kids to do, from the outdoors, sports, YMCA, the pool, etc. So kids do well. In the other small towns, no one notices all of the kids that go off to college, or the military, they only notice the mess ups so it appears as if all the kids have no hope. There are other towns where everything is seasonal.


I've said it many times, if you have a career, and can continue that career in Montana, you won't have any problems. Money goes a long way here. In my office, we have people from all over that moved to Montana for our jobs. I'm from Florida, my co-workers are from Nevada, California, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Utah. They all love it here.
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:17 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
9,580 posts, read 12,387,150 times
Reputation: 16228
Quote:
Originally Posted by puff5655 View Post
ericsvibe and wyonewk, thanks for the helpful suggestions... I know everything is dependent on jobs. But we'd like to know our options, get things narrowed down, and visit some areas to find out if they appeal to us. Then we can get in touch with school districts and keep our eyes peeled for openings. We both have a lot of experience (10+ years), varying experiences and solid references.

Having the ability to drive to explore so many National Parks and forests, so close, really appeals to me.

Buffalo WY and Yaak country both look like they get a bit of snow and not too much rain.

Both those areas.. any idea how the kids get along? I've found that in many rural areas, kids complain there is nothing to do, and there are a lot of drug/drinking/depression issues with teens. In other rural areas, parents teach kids to hunt, fish, trap, bike, hike, snowmobile, etc. and kids are immersed enough in the outdoors that they are happy and healthy. What's the deal with WY and MT?
Some areas of WY and MT have parents who teach their kids outdoor stuff and do outdoorsy things and some places in the states have people that do lots of meth, drink heavily, and poop out babies. I can't speak for Yaak or Buffalo. Also be aware that not as many people hunt, trap, or fish anywhere as Outdoor Life and Field and Stream would like to believe.
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Old 03-31-2018, 12:35 AM
 
5 posts, read 5,840 times
Reputation: 20
Default Hey puff5655

Don't move to small town Drummond. They'll eat you alive. I'm surprised I've survived 5 months here.
If you are not an inbred Montanan - you can't join the club, and...if they do accept you, question it!
Other than that, there ARE friendly towns, friendly folks, and peaceful living. Do your homework if you decide to try Montana. Me, well...I'm heading east (Montana). As a Senior, and a law-abiding citizen - I, too, would like to find that ideal little town. But, if certain small towns would rather have an inbred Montanan with a police record, eviction notice, and pot-breath over someone decent like me because I'm from another state...hey, just sayin'. Peace to you.
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Old 03-31-2018, 12:48 AM
 
5,401 posts, read 5,921,548 times
Reputation: 11992
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGal2018 View Post
Don't move to small town Drummond. They'll eat you alive. I'm surprised I've survived 5 months here.
If you are not an inbred Montanan - you can't join the club, and...if they do accept you, question it!
Other than that, there ARE friendly towns, friendly folks, and peaceful living. Do your homework if you decide to try Montana. Me, well...I'm heading east (Montana). As a Senior, and a law-abiding citizen - I, too, would like to find that ideal little town. But, if certain small towns would rather have an inbred Montanan with a police record, eviction notice, and pot-breath over someone decent like me because I'm from another state...hey, just sayin'. Peace to you.
Try Dillon or Hamilton. Some of the Eastern MT towns are not exactly welcoming to people who move there.
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:53 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
9,580 posts, read 12,387,150 times
Reputation: 16228
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGal2018 View Post
Don't move to small town Drummond. They'll eat you alive. I'm surprised I've survived 5 months here.
If you are not an inbred Montanan - you can't join the club, and...if they do accept you, question it!
Other than that, there ARE friendly towns, friendly folks, and peaceful living. Do your homework if you decide to try Montana. Me, well...I'm heading east (Montana). As a Senior, and a law-abiding citizen - I, too, would like to find that ideal little town. But, if certain small towns would rather have an inbred Montanan with a police record, eviction notice, and pot-breath over someone decent like me because I'm from another state...hey, just sayin'. Peace to you.
You couldn't pay me enough to live in Drummond. Too small and too close to Missoula.

Quote:
Originally Posted by historyfan View Post
Try Dillon or Hamilton. Some of the Eastern MT towns are not exactly welcoming to people who move there.
I had always thought eastern Montanans had less of a chip on their shoulders than western Montanans. Interesting you say that. I'd agree with Dillon being a decent candidate. Hamilton not so much.
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Old 04-03-2018, 11:29 AM
 
Location: AK
339 posts, read 665,133 times
Reputation: 127
This is good info.. thanks all. We've had some suggestions from an acquaintance who used to live in AK and now lives in WY..

She suggested Pinedale WY, Dubois WY, or White Sulphur Springs MT. Familiar with any of those places? The first 2 are high elevation so they get nice cool summers and plenty of snow in the winter. Real estate sounds relatively affordable and it looks like there's a lot to do there.
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Old 04-03-2018, 03:32 PM
 
5,401 posts, read 5,921,548 times
Reputation: 11992
There probably are some small property bargains in the White Sulphur Springs locale. I do not think there are many employment opportunities in that county. The bulk of private land is owned by several families & operated as ranches. I rarely hear of anything of size for sale. I would caution that some picturesque areas have nothing but bedrock under a few inches of topsoil, so water well drilling for a house will not be feasible. Get a well log showing neighbor well depths & production prior to signing a buy/sell.

National forest is in the mountaineous part & I'd guess it has prime deer hunting & some elk. The nearby Smith river is a blue ribbon flyfishing trout stream with lottery usage. There is a small ski hill less than 1 hr away called Showdown & a hot springs with motel in town that is rudimentary.

Meagher County as a whole is an area which receives Alberta Clippers, so winter can be a bear. Another downside is that it is unlike most MT towns because it has a few haves & a whole lot of have-nots.
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Old 04-03-2018, 06:12 PM
 
6,797 posts, read 7,191,440 times
Reputation: 4914
Meagher County in bottom 20% in state for family income and Montana as a whole is on poor side. Average housing price in WSS is supposedly under $100k. With good incomes you might do well there buying housing. Wouldn't count on housing appreciation though. Population is sliding down. Only 900 in town, less than 2,000 in county. School ratings are pretty low. I assume there aren't many teaching jobs. Don't know about turnover rate.


Pinedale is pretty well to do because of oil & gas. Newish and pretty fancy rec center. Very cold winter nights. Almost 60 nights of below zero and lows average below 32 9 months of the year. Fine summer while at lasts.


P.S. What passes for best or near best fishing in lower 48 might be considered meh or lousy by most of Alaska standards.

Last edited by NW Crow; 04-03-2018 at 06:27 PM..
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:27 AM
 
5,105 posts, read 3,910,994 times
Reputation: 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by puff5655 View Post
Hi all,

I live in rural AK and love it. But we're thinking about moving to the lower 48 to be closer to family. I first looked at Washington but was pointed toward MT.

Can you recommend some great small towns to consider? We were told the Yaak area is great.

We'd like to keep these benefits of where we live now....
-phenominal fishing and hunting
-low crime
-nonjudgmental unpretentious people- we're not rednecks (we're clean and have jobs), but also don't care if you wear a sundress with mud boots.
-extremely friendly and welcoming community
-little traffic
-great schools (we're both teachers)
-snowy winters
-lots of open country to explore through hiking and snowmobiling
-beautiful scenic landscapes
-small population (3000)
-walkable downtown with local shops
-kids/teens that are happy and healthy

It was very easy to make friends where we live, and that's the most important thing for us. A welcoming community. We lean a bit liberal, but are not anti-gun. We probably wouldn't do well in a super conservative town.

Would also like our future (potential) home to have-
-LESS mosquitos than Alaska, and less carnivores to worry about in our backyard (we have grizzlies frequent our neighborhood all summer)
-More options for hiking trails, snowmobile trails, and lots to explore in the surrounding area (weekend trips)
-Affordable real estate
-Good atmosphere/available jobs for teachers

Ideas?

I am thinking my ideal town is nonexistent, but it doesn't hurt to ask. TIA.


If you want liberal you can't do any worse than San Francisco, California.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:29 AM
 
5,105 posts, read 3,910,994 times
Reputation: 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
Most of the population loss in Wyoming has been in Gillette and Casper, which wouldn't meet your other needs either. However, it is true that school funding is getting tough throughout the state with the downturn in coal mining. I think the governor is set to sign a bill into law that reduces state school funding for the upcoming year by around $25 million, and that comes after a $75 million cut last year, iirc. These are hard times for Wyoming K-12, but not catastrophic. Wyoming has been a leader throughout the west with teacher pay in recent years. That probably won't change, at least not soon. It can be difficult for teachers to land jobs here, however, due to the relatively low cost of living and high teacher pay.

Someone up topic mentioned Buffalo, WY, and I'd have to agree it would be a great spot for you to consider (if you're still considering a move). It's right at the base of the Bighorn Mountains (highest peak 13,100'). Highway 16 starts climbing at Main Street and continues climbing right up and over Powder River Pass. It's really a superb little mountain range that's ignored by tourists and most others in Wyoming. Population is about 5,000 or so -- a quaint little historic town, center of the infamous Johnson County Range Wars. Residents seem friendly and community-minded. It ain't liberal, but few small towns are anywhere in the Mountain West.

Douglas was also mentioned, and I'd have to agree with that recommendation as well. It's a little larger than Buffalo but doesn't have such close access to the mountains. It does have some great fishing, however, either in the river that runs through town or at the nearby reservoir. My wife was telling me the other night that it's booming from a new oil discovery, so they might be looking for teachers. Please treat the boom as hearsay, as I hadn't heard anything previously about it. My wife was told by someone moving there who said housing was scarce and expensive due to the boom, but jobs were plentiful. Its closest mountains are the Laramie Range, and Laramie Peak is a landmark seen from town and for many miles in any direction. Other than some fantastic fishing I experienced from a private cabin up there decades ago, I've not spent any time in those mountains other than passing through them on my way to UW in Laramie.

I've done a little fly fishing near Dillon and Twin Bridges, MT, and can report that it has some fantastic Blue Ribbon trout streams (Big Hole, Beaverhead, Jefferson). Mountains are nearby, but we never got into them. We flew in and flew out. My granddaughter attends the University of Montana Western in Dillon, so maybe that would also be a place you or your wife could teach. (????) It seems like a nice little town.

My pick from these would be Buffalo, but that's just me.

Buffalo, Wyoming sounds good.
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