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Old 09-11-2006, 08:38 PM
 
2 posts, read 63,565 times
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We love just about all of Montana! But given our desires and needs, Missoula seems maybe our best choice. Any thoughts about our choice, and/or about living in Missoula? Below is a little more about us and our thinking.

We're currently Northern Californians (one a native, one an East Coast transplant much more familiar/comfortable with "real winters"), both age 60, very outdoors-oriented (flyfishing, hiking and running, downhill skiing mostly) with a bias towards University environments and - although we currently live in a very politically conservative area - are more liberal than conservative. Other stuff; we'd want a reasonable ability to get back to see grandkids in NorCal during winter. Because of our age we have some concerns about medical facilities. Lastly, we're not terribly upscale-oriented and we always want to get involved with whatever community we're in.

Sorry to be wordy but appreciate your thoughts!
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
5,438 posts, read 8,538,474 times
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It sounds like you would really like Missoula, especially if the both of you are outdoors oriented because that is mostly what there is to do here. I'm afraid that if you did not like the outdoors you would be pretty bored. The town of Missoula is the college town for the University of Montana. If you like college football, people here seem to really support and enjoy Griz football. There are plenty of eating places in downtown Missoula, and all of the most sought-after stores are here (Starbucks, Target, Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-mart (2 Walmarts, 1 is a Supercenter), etc. I actually live in the Bitteroot Valley near Missoula. It is more quiet and peaceful here in the valley than in Missoula, but within easy driving distance to Missoula, when you want to go. The town of Hamilton, Montana is great for retirees, it is a charming, quaint little town with older bungalows, and has a K-mart and grocery stores, etc. right there in town. The housing is pricey though (and yes, the locals are blaming all of you RICH Californians for moving here and driving up the housing prices), but every other person you meet here now is from California, so you will fit right in. Hope this helps, from an insider's point of view!
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:45 AM
 
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I lived in Missoula for 2 years recently and from what you say I think you will like it. We moved from the east coast so it was quite a change. Its a small town and it takes awhile to understand the culture there.Winters are really long and summers had lots of fires when we were there. The smoke was so bad for 6 weeks in the summer, you could barely see the sky. There are may good restaurants in Missoula and lots of good breweries. It's light till 10 pm in the summer and dark very early in the winter. The snow is not that bad and they have no snow days there for school. Its a great university town, which makes a huge difference. Airline flights are expensive in and out of Missoula.The people are terrific . The farmers market in the summer is fantastic. Good luck and have a great time there.
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:37 PM
MHT
 
434 posts, read 2,124,025 times
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Default Missoula

I grew up in Missoula but haven't lived there for 15 years. Just go back a few times a year to visit my mom and mother-in-law. It sounds like you would enjoy Missoula. The weather in the winter isn't so great - just grey and overcast most of the days (inversions) but the rest of the year makes up for it. It is expensive to fly out of anywhere in MT. The restaurants are good there and the Farmers Market is fantastic. I graduated from the University of MT and the town is Griz crazy. It's great.
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Old 09-13-2006, 04:11 PM
 
2 posts, read 63,565 times
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Thanks to all you folks thus far for your input. Your input really helps us understand what it is like to live there and that's very important to us. Based on what you have had to say, it really seems like we would like Missoula, and perhaps the Bitterroot Valley near Hamilton or closer would be a good choice as well. We'll have to come up with a strategy for dealing with the long winters, though. One of us is prone to some depression issues and we're concerned that the grey-ness might get a bit overwhelming. We'll probably go there for a few weeks in the dead of this coming winter to see what it's like for ourselves. Again, thanks very much.
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Old 09-13-2006, 05:44 PM
MHT
 
434 posts, read 2,124,025 times
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Default Missoula

Quote:
Originally Posted by rexraiford View Post
Thanks to all you folks thus far for your input. Your input really helps us understand what it is like to live there and that's very important to us. Based on what you have had to say, it really seems like we would like Missoula, and perhaps the Bitterroot Valley near Hamilton or closer would be a good choice as well. We'll have to come up with a strategy for dealing with the long winters, though. One of us is prone to some depression issues and we're concerned that the grey-ness might get a bit overwhelming. We'll probably go there for a few weeks in the dead of this coming winter to see what it's like for ourselves. Again, thanks very much.
The greyness is overwhelming after a time. It's a good idea to check it out yourselves in the winter. The other direction to go is North out of Missoula - towards Polson. We lived in Arlee for 7 years (about 10 years ago) and it would be gorgeous and sunny there - drop off Evaro hill into the fog and gloom. My mother-in-law lives in Ronan. The views of the Mission Mountains from St. Ignatius, Charlo, Ronan, Polson are fantastic. Flathead Lake is there at Polson. Huge lake. Beautiful. Anyway, it might be something to check out as the weather is so much better that direction. Missoula is at the mouth of 5 valleys so they get inversions there - the clouds and fog come in and don't move.
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:21 AM
 
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MHT- just out of couriosity, what highschool did you graduate from? I also grew up in Missoula and have not been back there since 1990...when i was half way through highschool.....I really miss Montana, and hope to eventually get back there to live.
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Sarasota
462 posts, read 1,585,582 times
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Rex,

Missoula tends to have much more weather issues in the winter than over here, east of the divide. We tend to have beautiful sunny, clear, blue sky days and less snow since we are south of Missoula and quite a bit east, therefore not so inline with the weather systems that come across from Seattle etc.
The Jefferson Valley does not have bad winters and not much snow. My elevation here is 4300' and I'm sandwiched between two mountain ranges so in kind of a rain shadow. This is truly a banana belt area. In the time I've lived here (close to 10 yrs) I've never seen more than 12" of snow and that only happened once! Since then, it's just a few inches here and there.

You would be less than an hour drive to Bozeman where there is a first rate university and lots of cultural happenings, good shopping, skiing etc. BUT you will have blue ribbon fishing out your back door. The Jefferson River is right here and has huge trout...not tons but it's a quality thing, not quantity. Then just down the road, where the Winston Rod Co. is, there are more top notch rivers to choose from, ie: The Ruby, Beaverhead, Big Hole not to mention a short drive to the Madison and less than two hours to Yellowstone Park.
There is a ski area on the other side of Butte behind Anaconda close to Georgetown Lake (Discovery) where you can ski very inexpensively...much more so than Bridger Bowl out of Bozeman or Big Sky. (or Missoula for that matter)

You would have access to either Butte or Bozeman for airports and be right off I-90 for convenience.

I'd give it a look because I think you will find the weather is better over here. The only thing is, the elevation is a little higher, so spring comes a little later. But, housing is also much less expensive over here with more land and fewer people. If you doh't have to worry about driving to a job every day, this area would be perfect for what you want.

Good luck to you!
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Old 12-23-2006, 01:08 AM
 
10 posts, read 95,430 times
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Default you'LL Be fine

Yes Missoula sounds right for you. And, we have some of the best medical facilities in the North West (doctors like it here too). It is cold, wet, rainy, snowy, whatever, for 9 months of the year. The airport is small and therefor easy to deal with, planes are only commonly delayed for a few hours in the mornings during the winter. Just also remember that there are locals in the woods hunting from September until January. Some people aree suprised at how active the mountains are, particularily during rifle season.
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Old 12-23-2006, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Great Falls, Montana
529 posts, read 1,777,287 times
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Chirping in on this one if I may....

I lived in Missoula for 20 years... moved to Great Falls in 1991 and haven't ever had the desire to go back.

Missoula's only seemingly saving grace anymore these days, is the fact that it resides in Montana.

There are 3 things that irritate me about Missoula.......

#1 Traffic

#2 Traffic

#3 Traffic

and not necessarilly in that order.

If you ever plan to drive from Missoula to Polson, or other points north, you better plan to pack a lunch.... the traffic can be a bearcat.
(same can be said for points south of Missoula)

Be prepared for folks pulling out in front of you at the very last minute and then doing 35 miles an hour in a 65 mile per hour zone. (totally oblivious to there being anyone else on the road but them)

Another thing is the gloominess in the winter months, and it does get quite gloomy. The daylight only really lasts as long as it does on the west end because the time zone change from mountain to pacific time is only 50 miles away to the west..... notice I said "daylight"...... this is because direct sunlight is inhibitted by the mountains.

If you are looking for "liberal"..... well then by golly, Missoula is the place to go for sure. There are only about 2 natives for every 10 transplants living in the Bitterroot valley any more, so you should do just fine. It always best to pick a place where folks have the tendancy to think alike.

I like the sunshine, and we here on the eastern slope of the Rockies get sun, and lots of it, most all year round. Of course, then, we might be a weee bit more conservative too.......

Either way, I'm quite sure that you are going to choose the best place for you and your living situation requirements.

Good luck, happy holidays and welcome to Montana...... yer gonna luv it here.
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