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Old 06-20-2012, 08:23 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,988 times
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Excellent post! Thank you everyone. I am considering relocating to Missoula with my man and our 2 year old with a sales job. I would be traveling between Spokane, CDA and Missoula regularly. Winters seem daunting for travel but amazing for play. My son is special needs and education and services are top priority. We are looking to escape the adrenal fatigued burn out of Bay Area living in NorCal. I loved in WA and OR for many years and love the pace. I already have some community in Missoula and am very social, so not so worried about that aspect. My biggest concern is the commute. My job would have me on the road about 3 days per week traveling all around. This may be a deal breaker...any advice. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 37,686,083 times
Reputation: 2147483647
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikorazon View Post
Excellent post! Thank you everyone. I am considering relocating to Missoula with my man and our 2 year old with a sales job. I would be traveling between Spokane, CDA and Missoula regularly. Winters seem daunting for travel but amazing for play. My son is special needs and education and services are top priority. We are looking to escape the adrenal fatigued burn out of Bay Area living in NorCal. I loved in WA and OR for many years and love the pace. I already have some community in Missoula and am very social, so not so worried about that aspect. My biggest concern is the commute. My job would have me on the road about 3 days per week traveling all around. This may be a deal breaker...any advice. Thanks in advance.
You'll be fine. The highway department does a lot better job than they did even 5 years ago. They no longer wait til the storm is over to start plowing the roads. They get out there while it's snowing and keep it plowed.

Thre will be a few days a year that they close the roads and then it's because of visibility, not because of snow on the road.

Plan ahead, be prepared to spend the night away from home. Put together a kit for winter travel. I have a duffle bag I picked up at an Army surplus store. In it I have dry socks, extra parka, hoodies, extra gloves, a baclava, extra shirt and pants, some 8 hour candles, a couple of bean cans to put the candles in, a couple of blankets, some bottles of water, some energy bars, a flashlight, a weather radio that you hand crank and don't have to rely on batteries. Everybody packs a little different so a couple years ago, we had a thread on here and everybody posted what they pack. We took the best of each and made a master list of what to pack along with you. We soon realized that if we packed everything on the list, we needed a pickup truck to haul it all. hahahaha But put together something and have it with you when you travel. It doesn't take much to get stranded and you'll be thankful you have the winter travel bag with you. You'd be surprised that you light a couple of candles and they'll keep the car warm. Not toasty, but warm enough to survive.

If you do get stranded, stay in the car. Remember to get out periodically and kick the snow away from your tail pipe so that it doesn't build up and gas you out. If you get out of the car to do that, or to take a potty break, leave your car running. The Highway patrol is trained that if they come up on a stranded vehicle and nobody is in it, they mark it to be towed. If they come up on a stranded vehicle and it's running and nobody is in it, they start searching. Who knows, you might get out to kick snow away fromt he tail pipe and you slip and hit your head. They will search until they find you.

Do not take risks. If travel is getting bad, stop at a motel and get a room. DO NOT think, oh I'll see if I can get to the next town. You may not get there, so stop while you can.

Drive at a speed that you are comfortable with, don't hurry.

Make sure your car is well serviced during the winter. Fill your tank when it gets to half a tank, do not let it get below that. If you are stranded, a car will normally burn a gallon an hour. The newer cars do much better than that, but if you figure a gallon an hour, you'll be safe. So if you get stranded and it's 10pm, figure on sunup before anybody is going to be looking for stranded cars. So start your car, warm it up, shut it off and light your candles. Only start it up and warm it up to sruvive, don't set and run it all night because you may run out of fuel. Start your car every hour and let it run until it gets up to operating temp. That will keep your engine warm enough that it will start. Also, by letting it run until it gets up to operating temp, it will charge the battery back to full charge. If you only start it and run it for a few minutes, you don't put a full charge back in that battery and you may find that your batter will run down.

Any more, the Highway Patrol is afraid to keep roads open any longer than absolutely needed. A few states have had motorists sue the state because they got stranded and they think it's the HP's fault for not closing the road. So they don't take any chances and they close the road early.

You'll do fine.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,309 posts, read 3,525,303 times
Reputation: 4975
....Excellent post and info from ElkHunter......having the "right stuff" in your vehicle "all the time" is "key".

You have made no mention of what type of vehicle you may be driving, or your level of experience.

.......During my (40) working years, I was "on the road" primarly covering: MT, ID, UT, CO, WY, WA, OR, CA, AZ, NM, and several others to a lesser degree.........I learned a lot, experienced some travel situations that most folks only read about and met some "great & helpful" folks along the way. A lot of my miles driven were on gravel & un-paved roads to mining & milling facilities; timber operations; petro drilling operations (some locations were at elevations as high as 11,000 feet).......so yes, I did learn a lot.

Depending on your level of experience as related to "winter driving conditions", I would suggest you consider some type of SUV equipped with an agressive set of Studded Snow tires for winter driving conditions---particularly when you have to go over some of our mountain passes.......Then for "summer" conditions, I would have an extra set of All Season Tires mounted on a 2nd set of Rims.

Strongly consider a SUV (with the 3rd row seats removed) that has a "transmission/drive train assembly" that allows you to choose (by turning a switch): (A) 2-wheel drive;..(B) automatic 4-wheel drive;...(C) "Locked-in" 4 wheel drive & (D) LO-Range 4 wheel drive.

A couple of other items I would keep in the SUV all-year-round:
.....if you wear glasses...keep an extra pair in the Glove Compartment.
.....a 10,000# rated "TOW_STRAP"--20 feet long.
.....a half dozen "Rail_road Flares"
.....a roll of ORANGE" Surveyors Tape"
.....a couple of rolls of "Potty Tissue"
.....a small shovel, a bucket and a gallon of water.
.....a "PluG-in One-Million Candle Power" hand held Lantern" (plus a good Flash Lite).

You may never need any of this stuff.......BUT if and when you do......you will be a "happy-camper".
.....and obviously your cell phone & car-charger.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:00 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,776 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks for sharing!Actually I am considering about moving there
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:19 AM
 
281 posts, read 764,028 times
Reputation: 299
I have been living 8 miles outside of Missoula for almost 6 years now. To be quite honest, I do not like it there. Don't care for the congestive traffic on reserve or brooks. Don't care for the college hip strip scene either. We took our daughter downtown there to eat supper on Halloween and she got an eye full of scantily dressed women including the one who took her top off on the corner for a group of guys. I know this sounds harsh and believe me, I'm quite a liberal person. I just didn't care for the vibe. For the most part, Missoula feels like a party town for the college kids and I've grown up and have a family. The hip strip scene is reminiscent of my days I hung out in Berkeley. The only thing is, it's not Telegraph and it's not Berkeley, so seeing kids pretend that it is, is a little off-putting.

I do enjoy the Wilma, and going to Scotty's table for a nice dinner with a great atmosphere. But the rest of the town, I just don't get into.

I see it every year..... a bunch of transplants that come up, buy or rent out an expensive home, hate it, pack up, sell their house and split. Or, they stick around and try to change all of the laws, because they want to make Missoula into Berkeley, thus, angering the locals who have been here all of their lives and enjoy Montana as it is/or was.

The traffic up here is getting worse by the year, and I see a ton of people driving dangerously while chatting or texting. I've had 5 near misses, and one hit. Someone ran into us while they were texting on Reserve. So if YOU are reading this and you enjoy chatting and texting while driving, STOP. The highways up here are dangerous as it is, and you are stupid for not paying full attention to the roads.

The winters here are not that bad. Live through a midwest winter, then come talk to me.

The housing in Missoula is expensive. It's close to California rent costs, but with small town wages. So if you are coming, make sure you can pay your way because you can't eat scenery.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:30 AM
 
281 posts, read 764,028 times
Reputation: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoEagle View Post
I am getting a dreary impression of it on here. No jobs, everyone is gonna hate you. Poverty is the standard.

I lived in the area for a year and it was dreary for me. I came from another part of Montana so I wasn't hated, but I did hear plenty of complaints about people from "back east" which seemed to mean anyone from outside of Montana. I describe western Montana as poverty with a view. Take a look at it and see for yourself if you like it before making your decision. Go with your gut.
Honestly? If you are not of any profession, doctor, lawyer, RN, trade skills etc. prepare to work at the highest paid job in Missoula, which is Directv call center. If you enjoy getting screamed at all day by disgruntled customers, then go there. My husband worked there for years, and quit, happily. There are NO jobs to be had and the housing is very high. As I said in my post above, rent is starting to become comparable to California rent costs. When I first moved here, my rent was $625.00. Now I'm paying $700.00 small town. My rent when living in the bay area for a one bedroom was $750.00, in 2006. Montana is catching up with California cost of living, but no one can make money to afford that lifestyle. I'm seeing rents going up to $1000 + depending. Yes, my husband and I make do with little, but we are fine with that as this is where we want to be, we do love it here better than the bay area in CA. I'm done with the metropolis, fast paced lifestyle. You trade one thing for the other. Better money, with crowded streets, ocean, etc, or peace, beautiful scenery, hellish conditions at times, high cost of living for little pay.

I think many people come up here extremely disillusioned by the cost of living and winter time. Don't even get me going on how high my electric bill was for heating costs last winter. For a 2 bedroom, we are talking $250.00 a month in the coldest months.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:48 AM
 
281 posts, read 764,028 times
Reputation: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by strudel42 View Post

Several years ago DirectTV opened a call center and there was much squawking from the powers-that-be in the community about their $10/hour jobs. DirectTV was lionized as the savior of Missoula (never mind the massive taxbreaks they were given to locate there in the first place). Actually I would think that, with the low going-wage and large potential workforce, Mizzoo would be attractive to manufacturers and others even though it poses some transportation/supply problems.
When we first got up here, my husband got a job at DTV. At first, it was a great job, with great incentives and bonuses. He was pulling in an extra $100 or more every paycheck. He was lovin it. But after two years of this, DTV said, "Oh hey, our employers are making too much money off of this" and pulled all stops out to end those bonuses and made the incentives so difficult and out of reach. That's when reality set in about how badly this job sucked, including the fact that your schedule is forced changed every six months. You have to bid on a shift and pray to God you get the shift you want, otherwise, you may have to quit. He saw many parents that worked there that couldn't get the shift they needed have to walk away from the job due to schedules with their kids. That's the breaks, and DTV does not care about it's employees. I don't care how nice their work out and gaming room is. And the job itself is a high stress job and many people can't take it. After four years of being screamed at on the phone by angry customers, he had his fill, put in notice and left. So yeah, DTV which is the highest paid job in Missoula for people without a trade or profession is about all there is for now.... and may be for years to come.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,751 posts, read 13,162,984 times
Reputation: 3236
Heart, Missoula has been called "Berkeley North" for decades.... it ain't new, tho I imagine it's been getting worse at the same pace as Berkeley South. And you might be shocked by CA metro rents now.. I know people who are paying $1200/mo for nothing but a bedroom, in a 3-bedroom shared condo.

Winter stuff.. one of the nicest things I ever did for myself in winter was put FOUR studded snow tires on my car. Made it just about impossible to skid, and I could stop on glare ice. Well worth the relatively small extra investment.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,309 posts, read 3,525,303 times
Reputation: 4975
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart View Post
I have been living 8 miles outside of Missoula for almost 6 years now. To be quite honest, I do not like it there. Don't care for the congestive traffic on reserve or brooks. Don't care for the college hip strip scene either. We took our daughter downtown there to eat supper on Halloween and she got an eye full of scantily dressed women including the one who took her top off on the corner for a group of guys. I know this sounds harsh and believe me, I'm quite a liberal person. I just didn't care for the vibe. For the most part, Missoula feels like a party town for the college kids and I've grown up and have a family. The hip strip scene is reminiscent of my days I hung out in Berkeley. The only thing is, it's not Telegraph and it's not Berkeley, so seeing kids pretend that it is, is a little off-putting.

I do enjoy the Wilma, and going to Scotty's table for a nice dinner with a great atmosphere. But the rest of the town, I just don't get into.

I see it every year..... a bunch of transplants that come up, buy or rent out an expensive home, hate it, pack up, sell their house and split. Or, they stick around and try to change all of the laws, because they want to make Missoula into Berkeley, thus, angering the locals who have been here all of their lives and enjoy Montana as it is/or was.

The traffic up here is getting worse by the year, and I see a ton of people driving dangerously while chatting or texting. I've had 5 near misses, and one hit. Someone ran into us while they were texting on Reserve. So if YOU are reading this and you enjoy chatting and texting while driving, STOP. The highways up here are dangerous as it is, and you are stupid for not paying full attention to the roads.

The winters here are not that bad. Live through a midwest winter, then come talk to me.

The housing in Missoula is expensive. It's close to California rent costs, but with small town wages. So if you are coming, make sure you can pay your way because you can't eat scenery.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart View Post
Honestly? If you are not of any profession, doctor, lawyer, RN, trade skills etc. prepare to work at the highest paid job in Missoula, which is Directv call center. If you enjoy getting screamed at all day by disgruntled customers, then go there. My husband worked there for years, and quit, happily. There are NO jobs to be had and the housing is very high. As I said in my post above, rent is starting to become comparable to California rent costs. When I first moved here, my rent was $625.00. Now I'm paying $700.00 small town. My rent when living in the bay area for a one bedroom was $750.00, in 2006. Montana is catching up with California cost of living, but no one can make money to afford that lifestyle. I'm seeing rents going up to $1000 + depending. Yes, my husband and I make do with little, but we are fine with that as this is where we want to be, we do love it here better than the bay area in CA. I'm done with the metropolis, fast paced lifestyle. You trade one thing for the other. Better money, with crowded streets, ocean, etc, or peace, beautiful scenery, hellish conditions at times, high cost of living for little pay.

I think many people come up here extremely disillusioned by the cost of living and winter time. Don't even get me going on how high my electric bill was for heating costs last winter. For a 2 bedroom, we are talking $250.00 a month in the coldest months.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart View Post
When we first got up here, my husband got a job at DTV. At first, it was a great job, with great incentives and bonuses. He was pulling in an extra $100 or more every paycheck. He was lovin it. But after two years of this, DTV said, "Oh hey, our employers are making too much money off of this" and pulled all stops out to end those bonuses and made the incentives so difficult and out of reach. That's when reality set in about how badly this job sucked, including the fact that your schedule is forced changed every six months. You have to bid on a shift and pray to God you get the shift you want, otherwise, you may have to quit. He saw many parents that worked there that couldn't get the shift they needed have to walk away from the job due to schedules with their kids. That's the breaks, and DTV does not care about it's employees. I don't care how nice their work out and gaming room is. And the job itself is a high stress job and many people can't take it. After four years of being screamed at on the phone by angry customers, he had his fill, put in notice and left. So yeah, DTV which is the highest paid job in Missoula for people without a trade or profession is about all there is for now.... and may be for years to come.
.......Well, in the span of 29 minutes you composed 3 posts that were approx 2/3rds full of negative comments about Missoula & the area around it......and 1/3rd related to what you do find acceptable.
In "my world", that would make me ask myself the "Big Question":[....I]Why the hell am I still here........maybe I should go back to "the Great State-of-Calif" where I came from originally?[..."

IMHO,...it appears that your situation is typical of so many that move here and do not accept and/or acclimate to the existing culture, living conditions and lifestyle that is "part & parcel" of the Missoula area.........Many that fall into that catagory 'want the area and it's culture, life style and living conditions to CHANGE and satisfy what THEY want and what THEYfind desireable!!! Too bad, but "that ain't gonna happen"!

........How much "true total research" did you really do on this area.? Did you visit Missoula & the area several times (at different times of the year), did you thoroughly research & check out the employment situation; did you not realize "what comes with "living near and/or in a COLLEGE TOWN"??
...Did you (or husband) secure a guaranteed job BEFORE you moved here?.............and did you do the calculations related to "cost of living" and what you would have as related to income and/or savings?

Realisticly speaking,......."lets put your level of 'dis-satisfaction' on the set shoulders where it REALLY belongs!!

Having lived (and worked) in this area for approx 33 years and visited, rented and spent many vacations here during the 4 years prior to actually moving.....................I think I can speak with some degree of intelligence and objective analysis as to what it takes to "make-a-go-of-it"..........................Some have it...and....some don't!......................Put the blame where it belongs and don't try and make Missoula and the area "THE SCAPEGOAT"!!
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:06 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
8,213 posts, read 9,906,214 times
Reputation: 12273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
.......Well, in the span of 29 minutes you composed 3 posts that were approx 2/3rds full of negative comments about Missoula & the area around it......and 1/3rd related to what you do find acceptable.
In "my world", that would make me ask myself the "Big Question":[....I]Why the hell am I still here........maybe I should go back to "the Great State-of-Calif" where I came from originally?[..."

IMHO,...it appears that your situation is typical of so many that move here and do not accept and/or acclimate to the existing culture, living conditions and lifestyle that is "part & parcel" of the Missoula area.........Many that fall into that catagory 'want the area and it's culture, life style and living conditions to CHANGE and satisfy what THEY want and what THEYfind desireable!!! Too bad, but "that ain't gonna happen"!

........How much "true total research" did you really do on this area.? Did you visit Missoula & the area several times (at different times of the year), did you thoroughly research & check out the employment situation; did you not realize "what comes with "living near and/or in a COLLEGE TOWN"??
...Did you (or husband) secure a guaranteed job BEFORE you moved here?.............and did you do the calculations related to "cost of living" and what you would have as related to income and/or savings?

Realisticly speaking,......."lets put your level of 'dis-satisfaction' on the set shoulders where it REALLY belongs!!

Having lived (and worked) in this area for approx 33 years and visited, rented and spent many vacations here during the 4 years prior to actually moving.....................I think I can speak with some degree of intelligence and objective analysis as to what it takes to "make-a-go-of-it"..........................Some have it...and....some don't!......................Put the blame where it belongs and don't try and make Missoula and the area "THE SCAPEGOAT"!!
Heart is just giving a realistic view of her experience in Missoula as a warning to people who may be considering moving there. It might prevent people from moving in and changing the "way of life" so it could be a good thing for some of you.
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