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Old 11-25-2007, 12:50 PM
 
Location: The mojave desert, CA
31 posts, read 97,643 times
Reputation: 16

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Where I currently live is in a small desert town of about 5,000, I grew up here and the only reason I continue to be here is because of family. Our town offers nothing besides the river as recreation and seeing as we are not "river-people" there isn't anything to do for fun. This town has not grown in the fifty something years my family has been here. I went away to Southern California for college and post-graduate school but couldn't stand to live there any longer than I had to. My wife and I are looking for a town to plant some roots in and there are certain things that we are looking for and unfortunately our little town here doesn't have what we want. We are looking for a college town that offers a thriving main street setting, restaurants, independent stores, theaters. We need something that offers outdoor activities, biking, hiking, kayaking, camping, as we are outdoor enthusiasts, and wouldn't mind adding some snow activities to our list of hobbies. I have looked into the recreation department and am impressed with the variety of classes that are offered, I have two little ones so this is very important. I am also impressed with the library activities and the community activities as well. I have been to Bozeman once before in college, I played football and was in the Big Sky conference, and I liked what I saw.
No town is perfect and sometimes things have to be sacrificed to order to partake in other things.
I would say the same thing about our hot summers as you say about your cold winters but people have to adapt to the weather otherwise how could people even live there or here for that matter.
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Old 11-25-2007, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 38,417,336 times
Reputation: 2147483647
I'm not sure you understand cold. haha But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

I've lived in Sunny California and I've lived up here. World of difference. When you say you'd enjoy some wintery fun, your only kicking at the edge of the pie. 40 degrees below zero. Not counting wind chill. Wind Chill is how the air feels on bare skin. We don't go out naked, so we don't count wind chill. Ever spit and it chinked when it hit? Frozen solid before it hit the ground. Tires on your car get flat spots. Takes about 3 miles of lump lump lump til the tire warms up enough to be round again.

I have a long beard and mustache. It freezes shut. I go outside and my mustache freezes to my beard and I can't open my mouth. When I go inside, it takes at least 10 minutes to thaw so I can open my mouth.

Plug in your vehicle and it might start. Most vehicles don't. Ever jump in on the nagahide and it shatter like a potato chip? I have.

Now, lets talk about the wind. The 40 below zero you experienced, now feels like 60 below zero. Just open your car door enough to get in, don't let the wind take it out of your hand and bend the hinges. If your car has been plugged in, it might crank and fire. So now you can run back in the house and let the car run for 15 to 20 minutes so the heater is blowing warm air. Hopefully, you have some cardboard on the grill. Otherwise, if you get over 30 mph, the heater won't have warm air. The cold coming in the front will over power the heat of the engine and you'll have cold air.

In 72 I worked in Decker Montana. We had 58 degrees below zero. No windchill, just bone cold 58 below zero. I was working construction, we were building a coal mine. We worked that day, outside.

The winters can be harsh. Can be devastating. I've seen people with oil furnaces and the oil got too thick to flow and their furnace shut down. I've also seen it cold enough for Propane or even natural gas to thicken up and shut down.

But that's not an every day occurance. Only some of the time.

Yes, we adapt to our winters. Life goes on. But there are a lot of sacrafices that a person must endure. It's not for the faint at heart.

If you can come into an area like that, and enjoy it, or at least embrace it without bitching for hours on end, the house next door is open and I could use a neighbor.

I keep 8 or 10 cords of wood chopped at all times. Chopping in the winter is better because it just cracks when you hit it. But power or no power, I'm going to have warmth.
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:54 PM
 
17 posts, read 49,908 times
Reputation: 13
Good luck finding something affordable on the "outskirts" of Bozeman. I may have the same idea as you in 2 years when i'm done with grad school, but i went to Bozeman this summer and looked around and was astonished at some things.

I'm in Champaign, Illinois for graduate school. In Champaign, the town is concentrated in a pretty tight grid, and then you hit corn fields on the edge of town and that's it. Bozeman is completely different. 10-15 miles outside of Bozeman you still have lots of residential areas. The sprawl is unreal.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:02 AM
 
Location: Moab, UT
21 posts, read 89,744 times
Reputation: 20
Default don't be discouraged

I would hate for anyone to be discouraged to come to MT because a few people have written how deathly cold the winters are. When it does get to 40 below zero it is usually only a week or so then it warms up to bareable conditions again. Most of the time you can laugh it off and it gives you something to write home about. Bozeman needs to continue to generate more income in order to keep up with the times and it's changing needs. It is really on its way to doing so. Young professional families will help that process along while still maintaining the culture of the state. If you can tolerate 120 degree temps where you live, you can handle Bozeman. Running into a heated house for warmth is the same concept as running into a airconditioned house to get away from the heat. If you love to recreate and appreciate beauty you'll fit in with the majority of people there. I would also suggest it as a place to raise kids. Ask anyone who was raised there and most will be proud to say they are from MT.
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:19 AM
 
Location: LEAVING CD
22,973 posts, read 24,214,889 times
Reputation: 15587
Quote:
Originally Posted by jollygirl View Post
I would hate for anyone to be discouraged to come to MT because a few people have written how deathly cold the winters are. When it does get to 40 below zero it is usually only a week or so then it warms up to bareable conditions again. Most of the time you can laugh it off and it gives you something to write home about. Bozeman needs to continue to generate more income in order to keep up with the times and it's changing needs. It is really on its way to doing so. Young professional families will help that process along while still maintaining the culture of the state. If you can tolerate 120 degree temps where you live, you can handle Bozeman. Running into a heated house for warmth is the same concept as running into a airconditioned house to get away from the heat. If you love to recreate and appreciate beauty you'll fit in with the majority of people there. I would also suggest it as a place to raise kids. Ask anyone who was raised there and most will be proud to say they are from MT.
I wouldn't want anyone to be discouraged "just" because of the cold either as many people enjoy/endure it but in the interest of total honesty while it's correct -40 may be for only a week or so (at a time) it's not like it only happens once a year or that you won't have varying degrees of cold from +20 to -20 throughout the winter and quite a while where it won't break above +15 to +20 and then add in wind chill. Depending on your age and condition it might be as easy as "runing inside to get warm" or it may mean you stay inside for extended periods. Also, for the last several years there's not been a normal winter here and if there is one you can toss all of the above out the window that you will have to shovel snow away from just to open it.
The only other thing I'll throw in is the normal falling on ones keester at least once a season from slipping on ice and hopefully not breaking anything.

I'm not saying you won't like it but just be realistic that it's exactly opposite of where you are now.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:18 PM
 
Location: SW Montana
352 posts, read 1,052,210 times
Reputation: 249
Default Do your financial homework

I have been a resident of the Gallatin Valley for close to twenty years, and am involved in the construction industry and also a landlord. It sounds as if you have wants that can be answered in Bozeman, but I would caution you to look hard at the job options here. There are a ton of jobs available, some even pay pretty well, but the cost of housing is stiff and the overall cost of living/wage ratio is, though getting a little better, not the best. I started with virtually nothing here, and it has taken a long, long time to get established. I've been in this country since about 1979, and I rode the construction boom that started about 1990 or so - there was plenty of work in the construction field, but you didn't have much time for a family life, if any.

You didn't mention what your profession(s) are, and if you plan to have a two income household. There are a lot of folks in the Bozeman area who are after the same things you are, and depending on your earning power you may do very well indeed. What some people damn about Bozeman many others find appealing. I can tell you in the course of my job/business I see a lot of turnover, and that's not something the chamber of commerce is exactly forthright about telling you. Their job is to paint a pretty picture, which is a mite easier to do when you have a considerable amount of people here who can throw hundred dollar bills around like I could pennies.

Bozeman has an incredible supply of distractions ranging from outdoor activities to community events to world-class concerts and art. MSU is a fine college, albeit with some publicity problems at the moment. Bozeman is starting to become a regional shopping center with the thriving downtown you are looking for. There are more clubs, organizations, meetings, neighborhood political groups, and various social and non-profit organizations than you can shake a stick at. Several fine museums in town and in the surrounding communities and a very well-kept historic district in town add to the appeal. We haven't had a real winter here for a long, long time (a neighbor who keeps careful track of these things says 1964 was the last big one; another says 1978). A real winter consists of a major amount of snowfall, cold, and a spring runoff that seriously inundates most of the low lying areas in the valley. A week and a half at 30 below and a couple of 12" snowstorms does not constitute a real winter. There are good public schools here, some private ones, some for kids who run into problems getting started. They all claim to be short on almost everything, and between them, the new library, open space, a new jail, infrastructure and police/fire wants, etc., etc. there is an endless request for new bond issues every year. So much so that many folks who have owned their home in Bozeman all their lives are being forced to sell and move because they can no longer afford all this in addition to ever rising property taxes. That's the downside. Upside is that there are ever increasing public services and amenities to be taken advantage of and home prices have increased exponentially from when these people bought or built their homes. Not much of a trade-off, according to most I know that have had to move out.

Take a week or two here if you can, study the job market, talk to a few people, and check out the real estate market. If you play the game smart, you can make it here; lots of people do. For myself, there got to be a difference between surviving and making headway - I routinely work between sixty and eighty hours a week and haven't had much for vacation time over the years. It has paid off, and I'm to the point now where I can kick back just a little from time to time and enjoy what I came here for. Times have changed, and the game is different from when I took my first notch out of the log. If you are people who realize it is best to always have more than one iron in the fire it will serve you well. Personally, I don't believe Bozeman is a heck of a lot different from other places that have experienced major growth and influx and have approximately the same demographics and economic curve. But I do agree with a couple of the above posts that the winters, however they may be, do come as a shock to a fair amount of folks that aren't used to what cold and snow can do.

At least we're not up the Yaak...

Best of luck, put a warm blanket on the naugahyde when it's cold, and always drink upstream from the herd.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:03 PM
 
495 posts, read 406,038 times
Reputation: 96
I know everyone has got there own 'thing' but I still don't get this thing about just up and moving to someplace you don't know or have never been to or spent much time. ESPECIALLY if you are doing well where you are, what's that old saying..."A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"
I've suggested this on a number of occasions to people want to move like that, and that is to come out and spend a some time here, a summer, several months, or so, if you know what I mean.
To me, just up and moving is like taking a dive off a diving board and hoping that there will be enough - if any water at all in the pool. Some people will find water some won't and then the people you hear from most, are of course, those that found water, and they tell you, "Oh sure take the plunge it was great"...
I was raise to think of taking care of myself first, that is financially first and foremost, if you moved someplace it was to improve your lot in live and thus your families too. Moving someplace just becuase it was nice....was simply out of the question, for simple and practical reasons. For example, putting yourself out on a limb like that.......if something goes wrong who is going to take care of you (and/or your spouse) ? You'll end up imposing your bad situation on others. Life is about positioning yourself to help others not putting yourself in a situation that could potentially have you asking others for help.
If one has enough $$ not to worry about such things - great - move and do whatever you like, and enjoy it, enjoy life you deserve it. And this advise doesn't pertain to you. Also, to a lesser degree if you are young, adventous, have nothing to lose - go for it, but even at that what do you do if something goes wrong ? wire home for $$ ?, sleep in the street ?
If you can't see your own personal $ecurity out for a couple years, well........you might want to rethink your philosophy on life.
And of course this is only MY way of thinking, BUT it's advice I give to myself and children and advice I've leaned at the University of Hard Knocks....BUT - I'm not preaching just saying what I think - so anyone out there that disagrees - please feel free to do so

Montana seems to be a place people move to all based on image, about moving to someplace 'nice', a place voted so-and-so best place for such-and-such in some magazine. I just meet someone the other day - move here because he likes to ski. I meet very few people who moved here for practical reasons, like "I got a much better paying job". Most people just throw away practicality and move here to, to, to ski ! - or they got enough money that finance isn't an issue, even people with what I'd call a limited financially situation run into trouble as the trust-fund just doesn't seem to cover the bills after a while - or that accident settlement bank account runs out, stuff like that..........it all makes for a very strange place indeed to live, work and raise a familly, it's kinda' like a little fantasy land, with everyone running around looking for 'community' and 'quality of life'...strange place this montana.

PS: could someone here explain the 'Montana mountain tax'

Last edited by JoeJoeMan; 12-10-2007 at 12:21 PM..
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:18 PM
 
Location: SoCalif
102 posts, read 248,827 times
Reputation: 95
You guys paint a harsh but accurate picture of my remembrances of a childhood and young adulthood doing outdoor labor in winter. There is satisfaction in being able to master one's environment and some clearly have the grit to pull it off but for outsiders who think winter is 3 inches of snow and an extra sweater are in for some life altering experiences.

The stories of folks who have had enough, moved and are moving would be very helpful to these people with a romantic view of the north country.

It's 75 where I am today and I almost felt like reaching for the thermostat when I read some of the above. I just called the kids and told them I will not be home for XMAS
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:28 PM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 5,024,278 times
Reputation: 2450
Quote:
Originally Posted by TOMTGB2 View Post
Well I am a little floored by your responses, some more than others. I have asked this question on several others boards and have not been met with the hostility that I was met with here, again some more than others. I have been reading around and notice the c-word being used as insult, Californian, maybe that might explain some responses.
I re-read every post and I think you are sharp enough to differentiate between "hostility" and informational caveats. Some answers are more blunt than others and represent an "unfiltered" Montana response. If you move to Montana get used to that. Most responses tell you "don't be discouraged", and wish you Good luck! You are correct that several other threads demonstrate real hostility and frustration, some justified about newcomers.
However, I didn't see any insulting references to evil "Californians" in this thread, just different response styles with an underlying theme of trying to contribute to your success in relocating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerider View Post
You didn't mention what your profession(s) are, and if you plan to have a two income household....
He's a physician's assistant and wife's a teacher. Should be able to survive on one income, prosper on two, if both choose to work.

TOMTGB2, being raised in a small town of 5000 you obviously know what rural medicine is all about, i.e. lack of preventative care, Medicare part-D, indigent care, etc. However, you can expand upon your current knowledge base by doing due diligence using the data in some of these posts. For example, if your Montana opportunities involve traveling to your patients, the weather factors will impact both your productivity and your professional satisfaction. Traveling 30 miles in the desert in an air conditioned car to see patients at a rural clinic is much easier than the same thirty miles in a blizzard. Also, I don't know what your patient mix is, but cultural differences
with Native American patients may present you with different challenges for medication compliance, etc. All these factors can be overcome. The point is: will the effort interfere with your satisfaction after relocating?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeJoeMan View Post
I know everyone has got there own 'thing' but I still don't get this thing about just up and moving to someplace you don't know or have never been to or spent much time. ESPECIALLY if you are doing well where you are, what's that old saying..."A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"
JoeJoeMan, all your points about doing the research before you make a life-changing decision are 100% true. However, read TOMTGB2's posts carefully. He is NOT doing well. There is more to doing well than being able to put food on the table. He said, "I can't take it anymore". He hates the heat. He said, "our town offers nothing but the river as recreation." "This town has not grown in the 50 years my family has been here".

So TOMTGB2 here are a few more thoughts offered without hostility:

1. If the draw of family was so strong that you were willing to endure your
current location for this long, what impact is "family" going to have after
you relocate? Travel back and forth from California and Montana is both
time consuming and expensive. The distance from your and your wife's
family may represent a new problem (splitting where to go for Xmas,
parents missing kids, grandparents missing grandkids, etc).

2. You mentioned you are "outdoors people", but you also stated you were
not "river people". Your research will need to include more specific
analysis on incremental differences between the two. Your current
activities of biking and camping are abundant in Montana, but only for a
few months. If it turns out you are not "snow people", you may have
some of the same dissatisfaction that you encounter now because you
are not "river people". Rickers comments on needing a good library should
not go unheded. If reading was not a joyous escape to your current
towns lack of opportunities in 120 degree heat, it probably won't sustain
you in any small town in the Montana winter.

Based upon everything you wrote, you might take a serious look at small towns 15 to 20 miles outside Missoula. This would give you great healthcare job opportunities, beautiful recreational areas that are close, some of the best football fans in the nation for you to share your past gridiron successes, and what I call "pseudo-isolation", far enough out to see cows, but close enough to drive to shopping and restaurants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeJoeMan View Post
PS: could someone here explain the 'Montana mountain tax'
Just my opinion, but the beauty of the mountains is a bewitching sweetness of song like the Siren's call to Ulysses. The posts in this thread simply illustrate that many have fallen under the spell of Montana as a seductress, only to realize too late they were being crashed upon the rocks.
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Old 12-11-2007, 12:02 AM
 
Location: SW Montana
352 posts, read 1,052,210 times
Reputation: 249
JoeJoeMan
Quote:
I know everyone has got there own 'thing' but I still don't get this thing about just up and moving to someplace you don't know or have never been to or spent much time. ESPECIALLY if you are doing well where you are, what's that old saying..."A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush"
I've suggested this on a number of occasions to people want to move like that, and that is to come out and spend a some time here, a summer, several months, or so, if you know what I mean.
To me, just up and moving is like taking a dive off a diving board and hoping that there will be enough - if any water at all in the pool. Some people will find water some won't and then the people you hear from most, are of course, those that found water, and they tell you, "Oh sure take the plunge it was great"...
Probably getting off topic here, and possibly food for another thread, but I was thinking as I read this about the reading I've done on the homesteaders and pioneers of this country and others. What you're saying here is exactly what happened to a lot of them. Guess some things don't change...
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