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Old 09-09-2008, 04:04 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon
1,372 posts, read 2,487,329 times
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I have to say, when I lived there for three years in the late 90s-early 00s the feeling I got was pretty Midwestern. I'm surprised nobody ever seems to call Montana the Midwest - I think it's more a Great Plains state than a Pacific Northwest state. There's little "Pacific" about Montana.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:12 PM
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I sure don't feel mid-west. To me Montana is as west as you can get.

Is west a location or a mind-set??
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:23 PM
369 posts, read 1,276,474 times
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The mid-West includes, geographically, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Ohio and maybe Texas.

The West includes Montana, California, Wyoming, Arizona and New Mexico. Why do I exclude Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Nevada and Utah? It's, as was said, a mindset? Did you ever see a John Wayne or Roy Rogers movie set in Washington??!!

Montana is THE West and the only place that still maintains it.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:46 PM
Location: SW Montana
352 posts, read 983,134 times
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To the OP - it might be interesting to know where you lived at that point. Many areas had big influxes of money by that time and the demographics had been altered considerably. Could be that you saw a population heavily seeded by newcomers. It has certainly been thus in my neck of the woods, especially in the last fifteen years.

This is a big state - if you were to take two weeks and travel steadily around Montana you'd only see a piece of it. We've got rain forest, we've got millions of acres of mountainous terrain, we've got the Big Open north of Billings and on into the Breaks country to the High Line, we've got badlands and tens of millions of acres of open prairie, scrub timberlands, and farm and ranch land. We're about 320 miles north to south and 560 east to west. We range from 1800' ASL in the Kootenai to 12,799 on Granite Peak. We have several distinct climate zones and ecosystems, and less than friendly weather some of the time. And perhaps the most telling factor, all this area is home to only about a million people.

While I will readily concede that some of the more populated areas have had radical changes in demographics and thinking, the majority of this state's people are fairly independent, strong willed folks. To me the divining line is as much attitude as topographical. Making something happen, not waiting around for someone else to do it. Toughing it out when necessary and always trying to think ahead.

For the core of people here to whom Montana is unequivocally home, we are the West.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:06 PM
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,328 posts, read 12,154,987 times
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Location-wise, I always thought of east of the divide as "midwestern", and west of the divide as "Pacific northwest".

"Western" is something else, kindof like "Great Plains". Montana is both in character, if divided in geography. "Western" is more of a mindset and lifestyle than a location. Witness metro-California and coastal Washington and Oregon -- a long ways west of Montana, but neither region has anything "Western" about it! And eastern Montana is a lot more "Western" in character than western Montana, which shares lumberjack traditions with northern Minnesota and Seattle. (Or used to, anyway.) Meanwhile, the hi-line is like an extension of North Dakota and the Plains.

Anyway, that's my opinion. Your geography may vary.
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