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Old 05-12-2010, 12:01 AM
8 posts, read 9,365 times
Reputation: 13


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
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:22 AM
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,911,678 times
Reputation: 3429
Lol, I understand the need for the Sushi
As a transplant from the green of Oregon, I will tell you that once you really get the rhythm of living in Montana you will forget that Sushi. I drive 200 miles to Walmart and go regularly a year at a time without McDs or BK. It is a different life. A huge state. You will notice that I live in Eastern Montana, a different world than the western or central side. I think this would be a tough move with small children and your marriage needs to be solid to deal with the aspects of isolation Make a large checklist for the pro/con. I can understand you wanting your children out of a class that size.
Good luck and keep posting!
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:17 AM
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,602,054 times
Reputation: 2954
It isn't the class size, it's the willingness and ability of the teachers to keep order, the desire of the students to learn, and the habits of discipline from a culture that expects the younger generation to have respect for its elders.

My classes in Great Falls MT were always 30-32 students, but respectful, orderly, and the main competition among kids was not to climb the social heap, but rather to be seen as having the best grades in the class (everyone wanted to be like the class eggheads!) That's really what's necessary for a good learning environment. Money, latest-and-greatest tech, "self-esteem classes", and newfangled teaching methods cannot replace a good teacher armed with tried-and-true methods, chalk, a blackboard, and a paddle for the rare youngster who just can't respect the teacher's authority. Most of our teachers were well-liked (only a handful were disliked by anyone) and some beloved by all; and as the results show, we LEARNED and retained it.

As to the weather... well, most people can get acclimated to just about anything after a year or two of it. I grew up in MT and now I live in the 2nd hottest part of the SoCal desert. Fuel prices are so high that during the winter I get reacclimated to the north willy-nilly, since it's seldom over 62 degrees in my house

CA sure does a good job driving away and killing small business... vacancy rate on non-mall shops here in Lancaster has hit 93%. New regs are killing mine too. Trying to get moved back to MT myself (I hate winter, but nonetheless will adjust and cope just like I did before) where there's still some freedom to live your own life, not the life the state has decreed for you.

PS. You can have my share of the sushi!!
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:20 AM
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,602,054 times
Reputation: 2954
Oh, the wind. Bozeman doesn't get much; 22 miles away Livingston has a permanent list to starboard. Down in the older part of Great Falls we didn't get much; 10 miles away on Gore Hill the gale never stopped. You just gotta check the area and see what it gets.

Mind you "not much" doesn't mean it never blows. I remember two very strong windstorms in Bozeman -- one clocked at 84mph and the other took the roof off my landlord's barn and flung it all over. I don't think we ever saw wind that strong down in Great Falls, even tho that area is overall a lot windier.

A side effect of the Gore Hill wind (and blowing dust) is the occasional day with "pink air" -- very neat!

PS. Good choices.

Last edited by Reziac; 05-12-2010 at 07:28 AM..
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:56 AM
Location: Yucaipa, California
9,729 posts, read 18,419,782 times
Reputation: 6432
Thats so true about the legislatures obsession for making new laws. Ca is over-lawed BIG time. Good-luck on your move. You are making the right decision. Its only going to get worse here. The deficit here is worse then what gov benedict arnold & the unpopular legislature expected.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:31 AM
Location: New Mexico
649 posts, read 1,493,498 times
Reputation: 330
hey rez.... you're in lancaster! i lived in ridgegrest for years when i worked at china lake so i know that area well.....miss the high desert for it's bright starry nights, billings has big sky yes but still the high desert sky is even bigger and brighter. but that's all i miss about it. and the rest of you are right about how you won't miss stuff like overpriced raw fish when you get out of the "fast lane" and start living a more "real" life. i agree the poster sounds like billings wouldn't be a good fit.........tooo much of a cultural change.....needs to be around more reformed transplants in bozeman kalispell area. but as far as how to adjust to the cold well invest in real good winter cloths before winter comes. and why don't people ever think of helena....i llike it except the real estate prices where lots higher then billings; but it's a pretty town.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:56 AM
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,602,054 times
Reputation: 2954
Heh heh... howdy, neighbour!! Small world. I always said that Lancaster reminds me of Billings -- doesn't look the same but has, or rather had, the same feel and speed of life -- an industry town plopped down in the middle of cowboy country, which keeps things real. (And Rosamond might pass for Laurel, or more likely for Hardin. )

Until the big boom, anyway -- now the newer parts of Lancaster are just like the rest of CA, and read my rant about what our fascist mayor is doing to our beautiful downtown...!!

I'm about 15 miles NW of town.. used to be dead-black out here at night and the sky full of stars. Been so much new development (the AV's population now is TEN TIMES what it was just a decade ago!) that now only the bright stars can be seen, and I no longer need a flashlight on moonless nights.

I love the desert the same way I love the prairie... well, I love the prairie more, which is why I like the grassland end of this valley best
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:07 AM
369 posts, read 1,302,401 times
Reputation: 266
Great Falls can be pretty windy, that coming off the Rocky Mountain Front and gaining speed as it hurls South toward Livingston. I'd presume housing prices in GF would be more favorable. The closest ski area is about 100 miles away from GF; King Hill I think they call it.

Bozeman on the other hand has great skiing at Bridger Bowl and Big Sky, the former being a real bargain for passes. However, land and housing prices are the highest in Montana.

Missoula, where I live, also has a good ski area, (mostly black diamond!!) at Snowbowl, visable from the valley. And it has two sushi places run by Sushi Hana. Housing prices are a bit less than Bozeman.

Billings isn't a bad town, the largest in Montana at around 100K. Business friendly, as opposed to Missoula and the city council just voted to keep the medical marijuana places at bay for a while. (Bozeman and Missoula are beginning to resemble Amsterdam with providers and users everywhere and not all of them are sick. What a disgrace this medical MJ thing. )

Not really sure what you are looking for. You might check out Havre, Lewistown and Kalispell as well.

Good luck.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:08 AM
Location: New Mexico
649 posts, read 1,493,498 times
Reputation: 330
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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:18 AM
Location: Billings, MT
9,535 posts, read 7,831,724 times
Reputation: 13276
Great Falls has some very good schools, fer shure. My kids did well there, after their first year. The first year was tough, because they were actually redoing the stuff they had learned in Greybull, Wyoming, the previous year! It made it difficult to keep focussed.
I think you should keep an open mind about Billings and surrounding communities. We like it here, just as well as we did in Great Falls. Although, me being retired military, Great Falls DOES have the advantage of the base facilities. I think the weather here is just a LITTLE bit better than "Griffels", as well. That is personal opinion, though, I haven't really researched it to prove it.
I have been trying to think of why I have never liked Bozeman all that much, and I can't really put my finger on a definitive reason. I just don't know! Of course, my likes and dislikes have nothing to do with where you should live!
Good luck!
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