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Old 05-28-2009, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,677 posts, read 6,505,544 times
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[quote=charreneemt;8151242]Top three "bad" things about Montana.

1
Quote:
. Mean, hateful people. I have lived here for eight years, I came from New Mexico, ( no I don't wear a sombrero and I'm white.) I have traveled all over the world and I have never experienced such a unfriendly place as Montana.
Newbie poster here. First post ever so forgive me in advance if I'm saying something wrong. I've travelled and lived all over the world as well and I'm not a Montanan nor even American but I hope it's okay if I reply to this. My husband and I went on a road trip last year that took us through Montana and Wyoming. We picked eastern Montana. It wasn't our first visit to Montana but previous visits were briefer and involved passing through. We haven't been to the western area of the state although I'm starting to get interested in Missoula since the criticism seems to be of things we would actually like.

I come from a rural area, and we are currently in a rural area where we have a farm and horses. Like theatre, opera, and actual literature and yes, it requires an effort sometimes to experience those things.

In some ways I found the areas we passed through - Miles City, Roundup, Glendive, Billings, Red Lodge, etc, much like life is here. People all over in rural areas tend to be clannish, and not that welcoming of outsiders. Some of it I understand. We too have our share of city folks wanting or claiming to want a rural life and rural values, only to immediately complain that they can't stand the rural smell of manure, etc.

All in all, though our visit was still much too short to thoroughly experience such a large state, we enjoyed our visit. We had nice visits with total strangers on the Crow Reservation as well as in Red Lodge. There were a few towns we passed through that just gave us a funny, unwelcome feeling so I get what you're saying. Bridger was one such town with an outstandingly weird vibe and when I found this site, in retrospect I wondered if what almost felt like hostility was related to some of the opinions against outsiders, that were expressed.

We were both interested in talking to local people, because we enjoy finding out about how people think and live in other places. Certainly no intention of moving to Montana and having been born and bred in a rural area, and currently living in a rural area, we had no intention of "educating" the locals to our way of thinking. I wanted to know the world as perceived by them/you.

I will admit that if we had read these boards before we went, we probably wouldn't ever have gone on an otherwise enjoyable trip. So were the people who were nice to us making faces behind our backs??? I do get the impression from the boards that outsiders aren't welcome and that there's a certain level of pride in that, which I don't understand.

People are clannish too where I live in Canada. Rural people are usually conservative by nature and sometimes by a lack of exposure to other cultures or places. But I don't find animosity - in the way often expressed on this forum (and which I am perhaps misinterpreting), in most other rural areas.

I'm not conservative. By conservative standards as voiced in more than a few posts that I've been reading, I am a flaming left of left of centre liberal. Few Canadians, even ones who call themselves conservative, would be as conservative as American conservatives. (not a slam, just an observation, and no, I didn't bring that up on our road trip.)

We would like to visit again one day and see more of the state. But it's a little intimidating now that I've read what I've read. What I've wondered is if a lot of the talk is the kind of hot air talking big that is also common to rural areas in much of the world. That much negativity we just didn't experience. Just a few places and people we got a funny vibe from that we couldn't interpret.
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:18 AM
 
Location: MT
155 posts, read 639,018 times
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Netwit, I grew up in Bridger sorry to hear you go a bad vibe from my hometown. Just to fill you in this is why there is so much animosity toward outsiders. People that have lived in this state for generations have seen people move in try to change the state's polical views, buy property and resell with in a year for double, then another individual down the road does the same. For instance there is 5 such places i know of in the small town of Bridger (800 ppl) that this has happened.

One property consisted of 200 acres of all farm ground (no house, no corrals, barely even a fence around the outside of the property it is along the river though) in 1994-5 sold for 300,000, 1997 sold for 400,000, 2000 sold for 475,000, 2004 sold for 580,000, now the guy that owns it wants out and it is on the market for 775,000. Still no improvements done to this property and all it is used for is leased farm ground. Another similar deal..... a lady from FLA bought 175 acres of nothing but sagebrush and gumbo with no fence around it for 200,000. Put a 500,000 house on it, with no well. Tried to drill the well couldn't hit water, she is now trying to sell it for 700,000 a couple years later. This is happening all around the state!

Also, outsiders move in and judged the native montana's like we are some inbred hillbillies (so just don't think it is MT judging outsiders... everyone is judgemental whether you admit it or not).

Farmers and ranchers are seeing ground that they love tilled up, plowed under and shopping marts/Mcmansions/parklots placed there. This is where the dislike for outsiders originated. MT has a deep heritage with many generations of families still staying here. And just to see people come in a ruin what we love pisses us off. That is just how it is, if your here to stay and want to join us then so be it, come on in and stay a while. But if your only buying this place because MT is beautiful and you want to feel like a real cowboy/farmer/rancher/mountain man. We don't appreciate it much because WE know you won't last.

Don't get the wrong feeling. I am not mad at you or anything .... even though you dissed my hometown. Actually I like to discuss this issue in a calm manner. This is just how many Montanan's that have lived here for generations feel.

I always wondered.... do Alaskan's feel the same way?
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:30 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,868,216 times
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To think that on the first page of this thread I said that this was going to be a silly post or thread was silly on my part. Boy howdy was I wrong ! It turned out to be one of the best threads on this Board.
Carry on.
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,219 posts, read 2,810,323 times
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I'd say the 3 worst things about Montana are :

1: Outside influences relentlessly trying to change everything.
2: Money hungry real estate types trying to sell a view to the highest bidder.
3: Ok I can only think of two... I'm going fishing.
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Old 05-30-2009, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,677 posts, read 6,505,544 times
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Default mt boy

Oh crap. I've deleted my post twice now.

I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Our purpose in visiting your state was I wanted one last road trip with my husband. His health is not good and...

We had a wonderful time. We got a strange vibe in some places - not many - but a few - and since I hadn't read this board before we went, I later - having discovered this board - wondered if animosity to outsiders is what the "vibe" was.

Because I don't see how we could have made anyone mad unless it was my husband's driving but it seemed more dangerous for me to wrestle him for the steering wheel than to pray.

We had a particularly great time in Pryor where we spent several hours sitting under a cottonwood talking with the folks there about everything from Custer to Native issues today in Montana and Canada.

We had a great time in Billings. We had a great time in Red Lodge where we went out for dinner and ended up having a long conversation with another couple. The gentleman insisted that I couldn't leave the state without a hug from a "real Montana man." So like I said, I don't think we could have pissed anyone off too much.

Aside from the Beartooth highway where we ended up by accident (that was me you heard screaming all the way up and when it came time to go down, we ended up going south instead to skirt those mountains, which was how we ended up in Cody) we avoided touristy areas.

Being a farm girl I am interested in farming practises in other places, so that's the first thing I see.

Some of the issues you've described, we have experienced here as well. Most of the little family farms are gone, swallowed up by giant farms bought by Europeans who were able to sell their little bit of land for a lot of money and buy much, much bigger here, with brand new equipment, instead of the old way of holding your tractor or combine together with bailer twine and rust.

Sound familiar??

It isn't as big a problem as in Montana, because, obviously, the mountains mean there is less arable land available. We are flat here. And I mean flat. And we have the worst weather in the world. Six months of winter and 6 months of poor sledding. The mosquito is our provincial bird. We live here because we were born here. Maybe that's why there isn't or doesn't seem to be so much animosity to the European farmers. We can't grasp anyone stupid enough to actually move here on purpose.

Finances permitting, we'd like to visit again one day. We had talked about it again this year but then the pipes burst under the barn in November, and then it turned forty below, and then the backhoe guy couldn't find the problem and then....

We aren't millionaire farmers. We're just like you. Except liberal. But we're too liberal, live-and-let-live to talk about it. Our farm is outside a town of about 200 people who have lived here for generations without an outsider. When I was growing up, there was not one person whom I did not know. Folks didn't move in and they didn't move out. Now I hardly know any of them as we've become a bedrooom community. We have to drive 25 minutes to get our groceries, or for big city shopping, an hour.

And you're welcome to visit any time but I don't know why anyone would want to unless in summer. Except for this summer, which is turning out to be like last summer, which wasn't a very good summer at all.

But why did you need to sell your farm if I may ask? Isn't some of the fault of the farmers who sell at the inflated price? We could sell for a lot more than we paid, and even more if we allowed it to be subdivided but we refused. I want to keep the farm whole. I am not sure I'll be able to stay if my husband passes away, but I do know I want to sell the farm intact.

So no, we/I weren't visiting Montana with pretentions of being a real rancher or cowboy. I have real horse**** on my own farm to play with. Isn't it refrshing to read a post by someone who doesn't want to move to Montana?

If I was going to move anywhere, it would be someplace winter doesn't exist.

Not sure what you mean by this:"I always wondered.... do Alaskan's feel the same way?". I am not Alaskan. I am Canadian. And not an Albertan. We're (the rest of Canada) aren't sure they are really Canadian (a joke).
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,568,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
It isn't as big a problem as in Montana, because, obviously, the mountains mean there is less arable land available. We are flat here. And I mean flat. And we have the worst weather in the world. Six months of winter and 6 months of poor sledding. The mosquito is our provincial bird.
Must be from Manitoba

Seems to be the same everywhere. I know farm people who pretty much got run out of southern Ontario by encroaching development, and are now clear out in the boonies halfway to North Bay. I'm glad to hear you want to keep your farm intact when the time comes that you have to leave it. It's gotta be hard, tho, when you're looking to retire, and some developer will give you 10x the money if only you'll let him turn it into a subdivision. But once all the farms are subdivided, what are we going to eat??
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,677 posts, read 6,505,544 times
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Default |

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
Must be from Manitoba


Near Winterpeg! Believe me, you guys have nothing to complain about your weather. Out of curiosity I've been keeping tabs all winter on our temps versus your temps. Tropics! You live in the freakin' tropics!

And yes, it is hard to turn down a lot of money. We turned it down once. And I hope I can turn it down again if it comes down to that. I hope for the right buyer over the amount of money. Although it was nowhere near what land is going for in Montana. When my grandfather passed away in 1985, he gave the family farm at a much lower than going price to a son. No other way to keep it in the family. My parents aren't sure what they are going to do with their farm since it seems unlikely that anyone of us could afford it. So it will likely be sold, and the money divided up. But still. Money isn't everything. Land is a heritage.

Cottage country here is unaffordable due to those southern Ontarians and Calgarians with their eel skin boots buying it up. But do I hate them? Hmmmm. Only a little bit . Albertans are too "Texan" - everything they have is bigger and better and Ontarians have Toronto, the self-styled centre of the Canadian universe. So we're all united really. We all hate Toronto.

Quote:
Seems to be the same everywhere. I know farm people who pretty much got run out of southern Ontario by encroaching development, and are now clear out in the boonies halfway to North Bay. I'm glad to hear you want to keep your farm intact when the time comes that you have to leave it. It's gotta be hard, tho, when you're looking to retire, and some developer will give you 10x the money if only you'll let him turn it into a subdivision. But once all the farms are subdivided, what are we going to eat??[/quote
]
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:58 AM
 
Location: MT
155 posts, read 639,018 times
Reputation: 139
I think some of the blame does need to reside on the farmers/ranchers that sell at these prices. We did have to sell some... financial issues. But when we sold it it went to the Forest Service, so we know there will not be any development. Also part of the stipulation we place on the ground that we sold was that it could NEVER be subdivided. Which at times drove interested buyers away... but sorry that is the way we wanted it.

Back to a lighter side... I see all these big farms around here starting to buy newer equipment and I don't know how they can even afford it, must be mortgaged up the ***.

Cowboy chrome keeps many things held together, at times we still keep the old saying " if you can't duct it **** it". . And as far as wire, well just let me say that it has came in handy once or twice.

I keep a roll of each in my truck just in case, along with a good set of fencing pliers and a cresent wrench. You can pretty much do anything with these four keep items..
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:17 PM
 
22 posts, read 70,833 times
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1. LOW wages
2. High cost of living in most places
3. Close-minded people in some places
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:58 PM
 
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I'm new here. I'm 29, was born in Butte, moved to Billings when I was 3 and moved back to Butte when I was 15.

The three biggest problems with Montana are:
1) Winter
2) Lack of anything to during the winter
3) The length of winter

Montana, in general, is pretty boring. I'm engaged now, almost 30 and thinking about having kids so I'm not even talking about boring in terms of clubbing. I mean boring, period. In Butte, going out to dinner is something to do on a Friday night! Even going out to dinner is depressing. My parents and lone sibling (w/ spouse and kids) have all moved to Boise in the last 10 years....and I like Boise, a lot. It's every bit as "outdoorsy" as Montana with a lake not more than 30 miles from town and the Greenbelt path in the middle of town that follows the river for miles. Plus, when you're in Boise there are things going on all the time. If you feel like going out on a Tuesday night in January there are things going on. Comedy clubs, AAA baseball, Arena Football, nice movie theatres places to go out for dinner, visible signs of life.

In Butte, you feel like you're alone. It's like the windows get boarded up at 8:00 pm every day except Sunday (when the windows get boarded up at 5o pm). Everything is contextual, I suppose. When I was in my early 20's, my friends and I would go on roadies every weekend to Missoula or Bozeman and Billings on occassion. Those were some good times. Unfortunately, as seems VERY common in Butte, I grew up and my friends didn't. They go out and drink until 3 or 4 in the morning on the weekends, aren't dating anyone and still do their laundry at their parents house (if they don't just have their mothers do it for them). I had two groups of friends, one group got married and had kids in their early 20's; the other group (that I just discussed) is still single. Unfortunately someone like me, who gets engaged at age 26 is left without any couples for my fiance and I to hang out with. The married ones all have kids and the single ones just get wasted. Nothing in common with anyone.

Montana is a great place for retired people and outdoors enthusiasts (and I mean REAL outdoors enthusiasts because I like to ride my bike and walk my dogs but there is nothing else to do).

No need for anyone to jump on me either as I've lived here my whole life and I think I have earned the right to criticize the state. Granted, when my fiancee and I move--and we will move--the grass won't be completely green on the other side. But it's a trade off and you have to ask what you want in life.

I guess Butte also sucks because there's some what of an oligarchy here that stymies growth at all costs. We get excited talking about getting an Applebees here....and if you go into Applebees in other towns there isn't a soul in the place because it's an old franchise that's ran its course. While the towns around us grow, Butte stays the same. Helena has done some outstanding things to revitalize the town....Butte just stays the same and we can't even tear down buildings that are practically falling into the street because the Historic Preservation Society insists that everything is historic. Crap, we had a building that was so dilapidated that its bricks were actually falling onto the sidewalk and the street but the buildings owner wouldn't fix it up and the HPS wouldn't let it be torn down.

Maybe people from other towns feel differently about Montana but I can tell you that Butte stinks. My fiancee actually went to Carroll and graduated in '06. Despite Helena's improvements it's a boring town too and the winter lasts 9 months in Montana no matter where you live.
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