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Old 07-13-2008, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Stillwater County, MT
19 posts, read 43,640 times
Reputation: 19

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My family is moving to Montana (Fishtail) from Washington State. My husband has a job opportunity out there as the siding contractor for a builder, and we are taking the leap and heading out the first part of September.

We found a fabulous place to lease for a couple of years while we look to build (a wonderful modern log cabin on a 450 acre ranch), and are delighted at the opportunity to raise our girls the way I was raised. Small town, strong sense of family, and the freedom that one can rarely find in the middle of suburbia.

I was at a barbecue this afternoon, and one of my dearest friends says to me, "Carrie, I think you are CRAZY. You want to live in the boonies with no neighbors? No Starbucks? 15 miles to the nearest GROCERY STORE?!?!"

I thought she was joking for a minute, then realized my idea of heaven was her idea of hell. Oh well, different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Our family is so excited about this move, and everyone I have connected with in the area so far (mostly utility companies and our new landlord, lol) have been exceptionally friendly and gracious.

For those of you who have lived in MT for some time... some quick tips on preparing for winter? I grew up in Texas, where we got ice/snow about 3 times a year, and here in SW Washington, we get one bit of snowfall a year that lasts about a week. It's going to be something new for sure, but I'm not worried about going crazy in the snow, just not being prepared or having the necessities readied for our family.

Help?
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Old 07-13-2008, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Stillwater County, MT
19 posts, read 43,640 times
Reputation: 19
*sigh*

No quick tips for preparing for winter from those of you who have experienced many a season in MT? We're working on a list of items we'll need to start gathering while we pack.
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,466,937 times
Reputation: 2147483647
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROOKUS View Post
*sigh*

No quick tips for preparing for winter from those of you who have experienced many a season in MT? We're working on a list of items we'll need to start gathering while we pack.
Really, there's nothing you can bring that will help. haha If you buy a coat, it's not going to be heavy enough because it was made and sold for there, not Montana.

And I'm being truthfull. I once had to replace batteries on my truck and I went to the same dealer that my batteries were made by. I told them what I wanted. They said, we don't make that size. So I took him out and showed him my current batteries made by his company. He was dumbfounded. He said those batteries aren't even offered in his catalogs to order.

Same with clothes. You can buy what you think is really good, but when you get to Montana you'll find that the clothes are different and it's for a reason.

Expect layers of clothes. Not just a heavy coat. But layers so you can add to or subtract from as the day goes on.

Expect that tires need to be all terraine. Not necessarily Snow Tires, but a good all weather tire.

Expect that your winter utility bill is going to be through the roof. Unless you have a nice fireplace. In which case:

Expect to be out cutting firewood all summer so you can survive through the winter. I'm not talking every day, all day, but I am talking about dedicating some time to go out and get some firewood.

Expect people to say, "Your not from around here are you?" But it will be followed with "Here, let me show you what you need to do."
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Old 07-13-2008, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Stillwater County, MT
19 posts, read 43,640 times
Reputation: 19
Thank you for sharing! I figured we would have to get some stuff once we're there, and to be "that family" (the outsiders) who has no clue how to prepare for winter. It's kind of like the folks who moved to Texas when I was a kid and about passed out in the summer, not expecting 105 degrees and 90% humidity. We'll learn, I'm sure.

I'll hold off on buying coats for the girls, and make a trip into Billings for that. (Thanks, you just saved me buying two sets for everyone.)

And we do have a wood stove, which should help keep our gas bill down. I'll set my husband to chopping when we arrive.

I appreciate you giving me a heads up on what to expect! We can't wait to get there. Everyone I have met who has come from Montana has been genuine and friendly. While I can't expect every single person to be that way, it's refreshing to meet people who still say "yes ma'am".
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Old 07-13-2008, 10:20 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 2,164,257 times
Reputation: 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROOKUS View Post
My family is moving to Montana (Fishtail) from Washington State. My husband has a job opportunity out there as the siding contractor for a builder, and we are taking the leap and heading out the first part of September.

We found a fabulous place to lease for a couple of years while we look to build (a wonderful modern log cabin on a 450 acre ranch), and are delighted at the opportunity to raise our girls the way I was raised. Small town, strong sense of family, and the freedom that one can rarely find in the middle of suburbia.

I was at a barbecue this afternoon, and one of my dearest friends says to me, "Carrie, I think you are CRAZY. You want to live in the boonies with no neighbors? No Starbucks? 15 miles to the nearest GROCERY STORE?!?!"

I thought she was joking for a minute, then realized my idea of heaven was her idea of hell. Oh well, different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Our family is so excited about this move, and everyone I have connected with in the area so far (mostly utility companies and our new landlord, lol) have been exceptionally friendly and gracious.

For those of you who have lived in MT for some time... some quick tips on preparing for winter? I grew up in Texas, where we got ice/snow about 3 times a year, and here in SW Washington, we get one bit of snowfall a year that lasts about a week. It's going to be something new for sure, but I'm not worried about going crazy in the snow, just not being prepared or having the necessities readied for our family.

Help?
Well, do you have your 450 acre ranch purchased yet?

My first thoughts are you'll be in for a shock to live in Fishtail. I lived in Montana for 23 years and never even heard of Fishtail. I had to look it up on a map, and found out that it's not even a real town (not incorporated). The entire county has about 8000 people. That's far too few people for me, but perhaps some other people on here have experience living in a place like that.

Have you visited the area first or are you moving there sight unseen? I hope that you have spent some time in the area both summers and winters to make sure that you enjoy living there.

Is your husbands job installing siding year round or summers only? Winters in eastern Montana are harsh and I wouldn't want to install siding there in winter.....on nice days it might be ok, but on tough days he will be at high risk for frostbite.

The big question for you as far as winters is what will your family do in the wintertime...

Not sure I can answer your question better but can try if you provide more details.
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Old 07-13-2008, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Stillwater County, MT
19 posts, read 43,640 times
Reputation: 19
We're leasing the ranch while we look for property to build on. It's in the middle of nowhere, a bit over an hour from Billings, but I grew up in a small town in Texas with just a couple thousand people in it. It wasn't incorporated, either. Officially, it was classified as a "village". I'm comfortable having to drive 20-30 minutes to the nearest grocery store.

My husband will be working on Columbus on the job, and I imagine they will slow down on the home building during the coldest months.

We have not been there, so we are taking a big leap of faith. It's a move we have talked about making for years, and the opportunity came up a few months ago to make it a reality.

Worst case, we are miserable there, and relocate after the contract is up.

Best case, we found "home" and our children will grow up in a town where they feel safe, where you don't have to lock your car doors, and all the families show up for Friday night football games.
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Old 07-13-2008, 10:58 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 2,164,257 times
Reputation: 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROOKUS View Post
We're leasing the ranch while we look for property to build on. It's in the middle of nowhere, a bit over an hour from Billings, but I grew up in a small town in Texas with just a couple thousand people in it. It wasn't incorporated, either. Officially, it was classified as a "village". I'm comfortable having to drive 20-30 minutes to the nearest grocery store.

My husband will be working on Columbus on the job, and I imagine they will slow down on the home building during the coldest months.

We have not been there, so we are taking a big leap of faith. It's a move we have talked about making for years, and the opportunity came up a few months ago to make it a reality.

Worst case, we are miserable there, and relocate after the contract is up.

Best case, we found "home" and our children will grow up in a town where they feel safe, where you don't have to lock your car doors, and all the families show up for Friday night football games.
My suggestion would be to hold off on your move until you know more about the area, have visited, and decide that you like it. I wouldn't recommend to anyone that they move to the middle of the nowhere on a whim or just because they talk about it while living in the suburbs of a major city.

Where you're talking about is truely in the middle of nowhere.

But - some things in life you have to experience and this may be one of them.
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:23 AM
 
Location: MT
155 posts, read 640,401 times
Reputation: 139
I have been to Fishtail a couple times, (kinda from that area). Anyways it is small very very small..... I think if I remember there is one bar and 25 houses or so and that's bout it. It is beautiful place though not too far from either Red Lodge, Absarokee, and Columbus. But do be prepared for winter, not a ton of early snow but heavy wet snow in March. The area/ski run there is known for alot of late snow. I don't know bout you but, I don't freak out bout the cold too much. I mean it never really bothers me. Yeah it will get cold, but put more clothes on and you'll be fine.
Other than that make sure your battery is good, antifreeze checks out, and you will be fine.
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:41 AM
 
Location: LEAVING CD
22,952 posts, read 22,553,463 times
Reputation: 15493
Please be sure to check back in here around next March and let us know how it's been going for you, I'm interested to see what you think then. Just as a heads up,Commuting here is not judged by miles it's judged by time since a 15mile trip could take you 11 minutes in the summer and 45 minutes in the winter if you can do it at all in the winter.
I'd suggest having a well stocked pantry if you're living that far out, and a generator with plenty of fuel in case of power failures and several cords of wood handy.
You really never know what winter will bring, it could be mild with little snow or you could get slammed for days and not be able to leave your house or not able to go far at least.
We learned to can much of the fruits and veggies we like and always have jam in the pantry, nice activity for the kids and a nice emergency food supply. I'd suggest you make a vist here as soon as possible to at least get some idea of what you're in for and to stop by Cabellas to pick up some winter stuff like jackets, long underwear, boots etc. You'll find out after you've been here a while what clothing works best for you but you'll need something to start with. Your husband will probably want some lined Carhart pants or overalls, gloves and wool cap and insulated work boots. Oh, hope y'all know how to shoot and have at least a shotgun for self protection, not from people but critters!
Good luck!!!
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:58 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,919,135 times
Reputation: 3429
Something for you to consider (as I am new to Montana for over a year now) is how will you reach medical help if needed with small children when it is 20 below? Med flights are grounded here for various weather conditions. Not wanting to discourage you but the weather in the winter is a big consideration. Maybe you should take some advanced first aid. I am on the eastern side of the state. Believe me, the travel distance is remarkable and even more so in the winter!
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