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Old 05-12-2010, 10:40 AM
Location: New Mexico
649 posts, read 1,485,888 times
Reputation: 330


I second Redraven on billings......when i first saw billings it didn't much impress me, but i hadn't been away from big metro areas very long so i judged it against more attractive touristy areas. billings has things that only "locals" appreciate. like the greenways and parks that i've posted pics of on the pic thread. also the sports activities and then the overall attitude of the people who live here. things you don't see just driving through. the slow pace of life and clean public restrooms.......seems silly but it's just what adds up to overall quality of life. like going into a coffee shop and it's quiet and peaceful, people are respectful and pleasant. bozeman missolua, kalispell.......i've been to all of them and they just reminded me of what i was getting away from; yuppies.........who tend to be loud, flashy, pushy, and always in a hurry. lots of people call billings a hicktown or overgrown cowtown. yea probably.....but that's what makes it real and not attracted to the yuppies i hope......so if you are comming from the big city....just realize what you are wanting to get away from will still have an influence on how you see the "other". and that may or may not work to your advantage.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:35 AM
1,985 posts, read 4,832,618 times
Reputation: 2408
Originally Posted by R. Danneskjold View Post
Hello All,

Been browsing the posts here and this seems to be a very good resource for those thinking of moving to your wonderful state of Montana.

Let me first say that when we leave California, we will be leaving all of it behind. All the politics, penchant for making more laws, poking into everyone's business, etc. WE are not the kind who will bring that crap to your state to hasten it's Kalifornication.

We like Montana because it sounds like we will fit in there, unlike here.

Wife, and 3 kids all under 8, are moving. somewhere. I am trying to sell the wife on Montana, she likes everything but...you guessed it--the cold. Hopefully I will win out, and we will all spend the first year adjusting.

Next month we are leaving the kids home and heading to Great Falls and Bozeman for some first-hand evaluations. WE have picked those two out because of various factors, but mostly good housing prices and GREAT schools.

Our oldest is about to graduate to the 4th grade, which means she will have 34 classmates. and one teacher. Great Falls offers half that, and a much better education at that.

I am self-employed, having started my third business this past year. It is getting ready to take off, and the thought of setting up shop in CA was driving me to drink. I'll be making a half-dozen jobs in the next year in the electronics field.

SO, the questions are fairly broad.

Do you think we will have too much difficulty adjusting to the cold?

Are there any cities similar to GF and Bozeman that should be on our list? I don't think Billings our Misoula are good fits for us, but what do I know?

And, the wife has requested that our new home contain a sushi restaurant. OK we are not leaving ALL the CA behind, I guess....

How is the skiing?

And please do tell about the WIND. WE ain't got much of that in San Diego. In fact, we haven't much of any kind of weather in SD!

Thanks in advance--

R. Danneskjold
I am in slow transition to Montana, but still live in Northern California until California kills off what remains of my self-employment. Therefore, I can appreciate your desire to leave. However, I am reading your post carefully and would caution you to do more research on the weather. I live in the Sierra foothills now, and have lived in Nebraska, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Rhode Island. Therefore, I know what cold is. If you are in San Diego now, and your wife is reluctant about the cold, I suggest you visit Montana in the winter. You might personally be willing to subject yourself to a bitter Montana winter, but you are taking a big risk expecting your wife to just "adjust" because you want to leave California. If you move and she hates it, relocating is going to be expensive.

Give her a chance to experience winter first-hand so your move is truly a joint decision. If you allow her to make an informed decision you have a better chance of success.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:53 AM
Location: New Mexico
649 posts, read 1,485,888 times
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adjusting to snow on the ground for months is harder then even adjusting to the cold, for me anyway.... i lived in so ca for many years and when i decided to make a change i went directly to mountain winter climate in so oregon in the siskues. snow was on the ground for 5 months and it was cold. i could bundle up to stay warm but not seeing green or going for a hike or long walk was the hardest thing to get use to. so finding indoor activities is a big adjustment if you're use to living in sunny weather and being outdoors. and that's what drives people away from snow country is having to live indoors for weeks/months at a time; unless you embrace winter sports that is. but the trade off is BIG. quality of life, if you keep that in mind and realize that winter is only part of living in the rocky mountain states and depending on which part of montana you pick you have less winter. billings has the mildest winter weather in all the state( and it's the biggist city). the weather was a big factor in my decision. but i much rather it not have any snow, but then instead of 120K population it'd be probably be twice that.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:53 AM
Location: Bozeman, Montana
1,191 posts, read 2,561,301 times
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I was born in Great Falls. I've lived in Bozeman since 1970 when I came here to get a degree at Montana State U. If you can handle deep snow in the winter, I recommend Bozeman. The schools are excellent. The community really supports education. Everywhere in Montana is cold in the winter, it's just a matter of some places being a bit colder and snowier than others. I don't like the wind, and Bozeman is rarely windy. Great Falls is drier and flatter and windier, so if you like the plains, you may prefer Great Falls. I don't care for GF myself, but to each his own.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:07 PM
1,078 posts, read 2,278,141 times
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I have a kid who loves sushi-have to travel an hour or two to get it but it sures makes a kid happy. Great Falls is listed as one of the windiest cities in America. Bozeman not as bad til you head up the hill to Livingston. Now there's a place with wind. Can I ask if you researched Kalispell? The house prices are up a bit more but it's a nice place, ski resort, mild weather and sushi.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:51 PM
46 posts, read 136,652 times
Reputation: 68
I think it would be wise to check it out in the winter first like GLS said. I would hate for you to spend all that money to move and then your wife be unhappy. We all know if the wife is not happy, we are not happy. We are also from Southern CA (OC) and my wife DID NOT want to move to MT at all but after going there year after year and even spending sometime in the winters she ended up loving it so much she didnít care about the cold anymore and is really pushing to move. Besides it was a good excuse for her to go shopping and buy winter cloths and as you know our winter cloths in CA are not the same as winter cloths in MT. My in-laws (native CA) moved to the Kalispell area followed by my oldest son and in a few years my younger son wants to move up there and then God willing my wife and I will be up there someday soon. My in-laws and my son love it up there and have no problem with the winter. Now we have friends up there that donít feel the same. They hate the long winter. They are fortunate enough to be able to live in two places (MT & CA) a luxury most of us canít afford. I have a lot of friends that have kids in the schools and they are very happy with them. Not a fan of sushi so I canít help you there. I canít imagine that it would be really fresh in MT though. Good luck and God bless!
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:47 PM
Location: Billings, MT
9,519 posts, read 7,746,797 times
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I was raised in the Flathead valley. (Kalispell area) So was my wife.
We can stand to go back for a visit now and then, but I would never go back there to stay!
Too many people, too much expansion, too much "culture", too many "NO TRESPASSING" signs!
I can walk around downtown Kalispell for hours and never see anybody I know.
It is true, you CAN'T go "home" again. It probably no longer exists.
Both of my favorite taverns are gone!

There is sushi available in Billings, for those who want it.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:01 PM
662 posts, read 934,865 times
Reputation: 824
All the above comments are very good. One of the best group of responses I've seen on here. I would simply reinforce the recommendation that you travel here and stay for awhile, especially in the winter. Billings weather is mild, but certainly different from California weather. That would expose you to the worst weather (although that is a matter of opinion). Frankly, I think that a person should live in any place to which they are thinking of moving to for awhile before moving there, if they can, for numerous reasons.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:24 PM
Location: New Mexico
649 posts, read 1,485,888 times
Reputation: 330

yellowstone rive at twomoon park in billings montana taken just a few days ago.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:12 AM
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,538 posts, read 12,550,904 times
Reputation: 2952
Originally Posted by redhead View Post
ya rez you're right i do remember the first time i drove through billings i immediatly thought of the high desert and didn't really like it all that much casue i thought i would prefer mountain living...........until i lived in the mountains they are beautiful to visit but the precarious weather is toooo much. and i like to see the sky too much to trade it for trees. and one thing i remember always about lancaster is it's blast furnes wind in the summer. the wind blows some here in billings but nothing like the high desert.
tell me......have you follow what's going on with the strike in the mine near lancaster??? is it still going on?? i guess it drew lots of attention from outside the US? haven't read anything lately about it.
Mine strike?? News to me. I live in a cave. Haven't even watched the news in about 3 years, tired of same old same old. If the world ended, I'm not sure how long it would take me to find out, several months at least.

Growing up in Great Falls and then after a lot of years around Bozeman, I always thought I'd like living right IN the mountains... then I did it in CA and ... I didn't realise how much I missed the long wide views til I moved out to the flat desert and it was like this big weight off my shoulders, I could SEE a far horizon again. So, mountains? Never again!! And I like trees, but I like that long prairie view better.

Ridgecrest can get that hot wind like Reno does, where it's actually cooler to stand out of the wind than in it, but I've never seen that down here in the AV. But I like the wind, at least the steady prairie wind. Winter gales, tho, I can do without -- half the time it ain't the cold, it's the chill factor that'll gitcha.
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